Friday, August 1, 2008

What happened to Talia?

In his 2005 re-launch of the Batman film franchise, Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan introduced movie audiences to Ra's al Ghul, one of the most interesting villains of the comic book series. But, for some mysterious reason, he, or the producers or the writers or any of the hundreds of people involved in the final script, decided not to introduce Ra's' daughter, Talia. Hardcore Batman fans know that it is the sexually charged and morally conflicted relationship between Batman and Talia, with whom he had an illegitimate son (yes, Batman had sex!), that produced the best Ra's al Ghul stories. The stage was set back in June 1971, in Denny O'Neal's and Neal Adams' landmark Batman Vol. 1, #232, with Talia torn between her loyalty for her father and her thing for men in leather masks with pointy ears. The tension was finally released in the graphic ("graphic", get it?) novel Batman: Son of the Demon, in which Talia finally beds Bruce Wayne. In a nutshell, the absence of Talia was my big tibia to pick with that movie. Could it be that American films have turned puritan on us? Remember when sex was more common on the big screen than gruesome deaths? No? Me, neither. That's why we still have comics.

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