TALIA AL GHUL Set for Her First-Ever Trade Collection

The Daughter of the Demon finally gets a book of her own escapades — in time for her 50th anniversary…

It’s fair to say that Batman’s really only had three legit love interests in his 81-year career: Catwoman, Silver St. Cloud and Talia al Ghul. (Sorry, but Vicki Vale has always been a poor bat’s Lois Lane.)

Catwoman has been celebrated many times over and in many different ways, most recently with the Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular.

Silver St. Cloud figures prominently in Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers’ seminal Detective Comics run of the late ’70s and still looms mighty large among the Batnoscenti. But she’s been used sparingly since and doesn’t really lend herself to a standalone tribute book.

Batman #232, by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano.

But Talia? The mother of Batman’s son? Talia’s a big name and it’s rather startling that she’s never had her own publication — but that’s set to change when DC releases the trade paperback Batman Arkham: Talia al Ghul in early 2021, just in time for the Daughter of the Demon’s 50th anniversary.

Dig this official description from a new Amazon listing, along with a cover by Cliff Chiang:

Batman Arkham: Talia al Ghul

Intelligent, calculating, and composed: this brilliant strategist and master martial artist has proven to be one of the very few adversaries capable of going head-to-head with Batman on an emotional, mental, and physical level.

As Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter–also known as Daughter of the Demon–she is an elite and lethal warrior of the League of Assassins. Throughout this anthology, however, she enlists in both villain and hero affiliations, making her a complex antihero in her own right. Batman Arkham: Talia al Ghul features the combined storytelling talents of classic creators like Dennis O’Neil, Bob Brown, Neal Adams, Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert, Greg Rucka, Judd Winick and many more!

This anthology collects Batman #232, Batman #656, Detective Comics #411, Batman: Son of the Demon #1, Batman: Death and the Maidens #9, President Luthor Secret Files #1, Batman Villains Secret Files 2005 #1, Red Hood: The Lost Days #1, Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #23, Batman and Robin #12, Batman Incorporated #2, Batman Incorporated #13, and Batman #34-35.

A few thoughts:

Detective Comics #411: Talia’s first appearance, by Denny O’Neil, Bob Brown and Dick Giordano.

— The 320-page softcover lists for $29.99 and is scheduled for March 2021. (Talia debuted in Detective Comics #411 — in March 1971, a month before Ra’s arrived in Batman #232.)

— This is a pretty strong collection. Aside from obvious choices like Batman #232, Detective Comics #411 and Son of the Demon, Batman Incorporated #2 is included. This is the Talia origin issue by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham — and it’s great.

— Pop quiz: Who created Talia? A combination of Denny O’Neill, Bob Brown and Dick Giordano. Still, nobody — and I mean nobody — has ever drawn Talia as well as Neal Adams. An indisputable fact. (Click here for Adams’ take on the dream casting of Caroline Munro as Talia.)

— Hey, in case you forgot, DC recently re-released the original Ra’s al Ghul saga in hardcover (click here), and a Demon Trilogy hardcover collection is due for a September 2020 release (click here).

— Quibble time! DC releases its Batman villain collections under the “Arkham” banner. I get it. Branding. But Talia is not a candidate for Arkham and neither is her father (who already has his own Arkham collection.) These two are international terrorists, not mentally ill people with fixations on hats or the number 2. But hey.

— Speaking of Silver St. Cloud, right now we’re in the middle of an ongoing series of interviews with Steve Englehart about his Detective run. Click here to check that out.

— Standard caveat: This has not been solicited by DC yet, so nothing is official until it’s official. Even then, things can change. Just keep coming to 13th Dimension for updates.

MORE

— The Brilliant Majesty of the BATMAN-RA’S AL GHUL Treasury. Click here.

— 13 DAYS OF THE NEAL ADAMS GALLERY: Batman, Talia and Deadman! Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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