Shanina Shaik photographed by Tetsuharu Kubota
One thing we don’t talk much about with Son of the Demon besides the fact that it is the story of Damian’s birth is the aftermath of the story and its effects on Bruce as a character.
Talia fakes a miscarriage because she sees Bruce put himself in danger for the sake of protecting her and the child.
Bruce of course is devastated and Talia tells him to leave. Even though it pains her to tell him that, she does it because she believes it’s better and safer for him.
She gives the baby up for adoption, and that is the last we ever see of the child.
Mike Barr had said how he wanted to make another story adding on to the events of Son of the Demon, by having Bruce and Ra’s find out about the child and race each other trying to find him, but that story never came to fruition, sadly.
Instead the last mention of Son of the Demon is in the first Detective Comics Annual.
Bruce and Talia had not interacted in the comics for roughly a year until this moment.
Bruce, of course, is terse with her. He is still dealing with the hurt of their separation. But nevertheless, he works with her to stop Penguin from using the drug to harm thousands of innocents.
Now while Bruce had dealt with the heartache of the miscarriage and the separation, Talia had been pregnant and just given away their son to Brooksdale Orphanage 3 months prior. She has her own personal pain. The months away from Bruce has not made her love for him any less.
When she sees Penguin going to attack Bruce with the drug she goes to protect him and ends up getting hurt instead.
In her hospital bed, she asks Bruce if they could start again. This time, she promises him that she’ll leave the league entirely. But Bruce can not do it. His reasoning being that it would make him stop being Batman.
And so he leaves her, without a kiss goodbye, still dealing with the torn up heart.
It is only once he gets to the manor does he let himself cry. A single tear rolls down his cheek just like Talia.
And that’s the last we ever see related to the Son of the Demon storyline. It saddens me that this story has been destroyed in current canon in favor for a story more wicked and grotesque when the original was much more heartfelt and tragic. I would have much preferred if DC stuck with Son of the Demon as Damian’s origin story instead of whatever the current canon is.
Reading the old stories make me miss Talia so much. The current comics really do not do her justice. They have pretty much destroyed everything her character was about. Her character was centered around love, the love for her father and her love for Bruce.
Taking that away from her really ruins the core of what her character is.
Afraid? Batman's not afraid of anything. It's me. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that The Joker may be right about me. Sometimes…I question the rationality of my actions. And I’m afraid that when I walk through those asylum gates... when I walk into Arkham and the doors close behind me... it’ll be just like coming home.
Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth (1989) written by Grant Morrison with art by Dave McKean
Justice League of America (1997) #118
Of Power and Time, Mary Oliver / Liana Finck for the New Yorker