Son of the Bat #1 wasn't the first book to portray the son of the Batman. Of the more interesting books, these stand out:
The Kingdom: Son of the Bat #1 (quarter bin)
Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat (Elseworlds)
Detective Comics Annual #1 (current DC Continuity)
Batman: Son of the Demon (current DC Continuity)
The Kingdom Continuity: Son of the Bat #1
|Summary: (Minor Spoilers)
Ibn Al Xu'ffasch (Son of the Bat). Gads, I can't even begin to pronounce it. Lucky for us the writer (Mark Waid) mercifully truncated it to "Ibn" for most of the dialogue (for those of us who still hear the words in our heads while we read).
In this book, Ibn, the son of the Bruce Wayne and Ra's Al Ghul's daughter, Talia, resurrects 3 "dead" villains (Brainiac, Lex Luthor, and Ra's Al Ghul) to engineer a device that will protect Ibn from changes in his timeline. Of course, the three try to backstab him but Ibn (being the son of the Batman) had prepared for that eventuality. The book climaxes with a brief battle between Ibn and his grandfather, in which Ra's explains that he "planned" for Ibn to supplant the Batman and inherit his empire.
2 chees. This book was pretty disappointing. Maybe it's because I haven't begin following the Kingdom continuity (where Superman has a child with Wonder Woman and other quirky things happen), but I felt like I just didn't care about this character all that much. I would've liked to have seen Ibn go against the Batman more than Ra's Al Ghul. Also, the part where he's talking to his shrink just seemed to drag on and on -- the saving grace being the part where Ibn goes into his childhood. Even there -- what's disheartening is that Ra's Al Ghul is the one who apparently "raises" young Ibn. It's disturbing because the only way that would happen is if somehow the Batman were put out of the way... (and I hate to see bad guys win)
Elseworlds "Continuity": Batman: Brotherhood of the Bat
|This is another book (that unfortunately you
probably won't find in a quarter bin yet) that explores what would happen if Talia and
Bruce Wayne had a son. In this "Elseworlds" book, Bruce Wayne is dead
under unexplained circumstances but apparently everyone else in the DC universe is alive.
Ra's Al Ghul resurrects Batman's costumes (oy) and tries to take over Gotham with
his own legion of Batmen.
Meanwhile, Talia plots to undermine her father's efforts through her son, named Tallant (huh?). Tallant learns of the his heritage by reading Alfred's journal, and succeeds in destroying Ra's plan from within. ( Click HERE)
This book was a little closer to what I'd expect -- the Batman's son is pretty much another Batman (although this comes off as kind of lame, how he gets inspired is by reading about his father's exploits). What's interesting is that this book COULD fit into continuity, if it weren't labelled Elseworlds (DC Comics' imaginary stories) and if it weren't so lame. See below....!
DC Main Continuity:
Batman: Son of the Demon and Detective Comics Annual #1
Son of the Demon is one of my favorite Batman stories in general. It's got romance, good action, a real evil bad guy, a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. In this book we see Batman making an alliance with Ra's Al Ghul, and in the process, accepting Talia as his wife. There's a full page where they're together on their wedding night and then a few battles later, Talia drops the bomb on Batman. ( Click HERE) I still get a grin when I read that scene.
Unfortunately for the happy couple, their fate is sealed by the DC editors that wouldn't allow Batman to have a son in current continuity. Batman gets over-protective, and thus Talia feigns injury after yet another battle. They part ways after she informs him that she lost the baby. In the end, a child up for adoption, to some unknown parents. ( Click HERE)
Detective Comics Annual #1 touched on this briefly. It didn't mention Batman's son, but it did reconcile the rift that had formed between Batman and Talia (did Batman somehow KNOW she was lying?). ( Click HERE)
At this point I haven't said too much about Talia. If you're curious, try picking up a copy of the trade paperback, Batman: Tales of the Demon. It retells the first conflicts between Batman and Ra's Al Ghul, and introduces Talia. You can see why Batman had a special relationship as well. ( Click HERE).
On a final note, I realize that there were many Silver-Age stories in World's Finest that dealt with the topic of "the Sons of Batman and Superman" -- man, that just sounds too funny. But Batman's son in those stories was created "magically" and was not the product of Bruce Wayne and Talia -- something that writers in all of the aforementioned books seemed to agree upon.
Article written 8/14/99
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