The mysterious Talia, daughter of archvillain Ra's al Ghul
and Batman's one-time love, returns with a boy named Damian
and claims the child is Batman's son. Stunned, the Dark Knight
takes the child in, but the boy, raised among the brutal dictates
of the League of Assassins, has his own agenda. Soon, both
Tim Drake, Bruce Wayne's newly adopted heir, and Alfred, Wayne's
faithful butler, find themselves targets of this genetically
perfect and very angry child. Is Damien really a young misguided
boy trying to prove himself to his father - or have long years
of Talia's indoctrination left him an operative solely designed
to destroy the Batman?...
is a pretty impressive addition to the Batman series
of graphic novels. It's also a little odd in that it takes
us out of the universe that we have grown used to and knocks
the reader for six.
first tale sees Batman discover that he has managed to father
a son after one night of passion with Ra's al Ghul's daughter
Talia. Overly confident and aware that he is a superior combatant,
Damian proves more than a handful for Bruce Wayne, Alfred
and Tim Drake. That in itself would probably be problem enough,
but now man-bats (and ninja man-bats, at that) are wreaking
havoc in Gotham. Does Damien really want to learn from his
father, or is his appearance merely part of a more cunning
plan set in motion by Talia?
up is a text based illustrated story entitled The Clown
at Midnight, which sees Batman having to deal with his
greatest nemesis, the Joker, as he enters Arkham Asylum.
is followed by a two-part tale which follows Batman as he
investigates the brutal slaying of the city's prostitutes.
What he discovers is an enemy as powerful as Bane, and in
order to bring his foe to his knees, Wayne must face his inner
finally we have a story set in the future, a future in which
Bruce Wayne's son has taken on the mantle of the bat to become
Gotham's vigilante. The only problem is, this Batman is having
to deal with an enemy that isn't even human - a creature that
is the root of all evil.
collection is one of the best Batman graphic novels
to have been released in recent years. The mix of tales is
diverse enough to ensure that you get a very different kick
out of each, and the artwork is breathtaking. Batman fans
need to add this to their collections.