Talia al Ghul v. Lady Shiva

Talia versus Shiva

There are many things that DC has been lacking these days, but the one that I lament over regularly is Lady Shiva. I made a point to read the issues of Nightwing where she made an appearance, and while she is portrayed as being plenty skilled … something about her is missing. There wasn’t enough exposition or cold-hearted philosophy of life that Gail Simone would write into the character. Also, that costume is atrocious.

For today’s versus fantasy, I imagine the Shiva of yore. Continue reading

Comic Judgment: Batman Incorporated #2

Batman Incorporated #2
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn
Letters by Patrick Brosseau

Batman Incorporated is a story about a father and son, but issue #2 is devoted to the woman who casts a long shadow over the child in the equation. Writer Grant Morrison’s pen agrees with Talia al Ghul, mother of Damian, presented here in all her ruthless, unblinking glory. Every villain has an origin story, and Talia’s is as colorful as you’d expect from someone with her lineage.

Though there are some very familiar moments in Batman Incorporated #2, Morrison’s character sketch of Talia from childhood to present day adds to the narrative and gives the reader a fuller understanding of who she is. What kind of person would add “assassin” to the list of required life skills for her child? One who was cut off from her mother and raised by Ra’s al Ghul. But before a sword was put in her tiny hands, Talia was just a kid who wanted her father’s love and attention. It’s a little heartbreaking to see her briefly as a tot drawing cute pictures of Ra’s, knowing all the while that she’ll develop a deadly cold-heartedness to rival her father’s.

In a single issue, Morrison conveys Talia’s drive and massive sense of entitlement as a woman who has been given almost every tangible thing she’s ever wanted. Continue reading