- Father. I imagined you taller.
Synopsis for "Batman & Son, Part 2: Man-Bats of London"
Bruce Wayne attends the Action for Africa fundraiser in London, where he meets African princess Jezebel Jet. They admire the comic book art on display while he flirts with her. Bruce shows his cynical side discussing the problem of poverty, and she agrees to meet with him again.
Alfred is waiting outside when he sees Kirk Langstrom and his wife Francine kicked out of a moving van. Langstrom explains that the League of Assassins forced him to give over the Man-Bat Serum, and everyone is in terrible danger.
They begin slaughtering the guards, and Bruce leaps in as Batman. The Man-Bats attempt to kidnap the Prime Minister's wife, but Batman takes down all six of them. Many more arrive, and Alfred evacuates the building with Jezebel. Batman uses super-sonics and takes out 30 of them, but they overwhelm him and knock him out.
Batman wakes up in an underground lair, somewhere in the London sewer, next to the tied-up Prime Minister's wife. Man-Bats hold him as Talia al Ghul approaches. She explains that with her father dead, she has taken over the family business. Talia reminds Bruce of a night "under the desert moon above the tropic of cancer" when they made love. Batman replies that he remembers being drugged and raped as part of a "depraved eugenics experiment." It's revealed they have a ten-year-old child Talia hasn't told him about, raised by the League of Assassins his entire life. Talia leaves Batman to get acquainted with his son, and promises to "hold the whole world hostage to a new kind of terror." Damian Wayne approaches his father with a sword at his throat, and says he imagined him taller.
Appearing in "Batman & Son, Part 2: Man-Bats of London"
- Aunt Agatha (Flashback only)
- Cherie Blair (Prime Minister's wife)
- Darius Cage (Single appearance)
- Dick Grayson (Flashback only)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman and Son and Batman and Son: New Edition.
- This issue is part of the Morrison's Batman saga.
- Bruce has a flashback to spending Thanksgiving with Dick Grayson and "Aunt Agatha." This is a reference to an obscure Golden Age story about Bruce's seldom-referenced aunt.
- Talia mentions that Ra's al Ghul is dead. This happened during Death and the Maidens. He is eventually resurrected during the aptly named The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul. She also mentions her father choosing Bruce to produce his heir, which happened in one of their earliest adventures during Tales of the Demon.
- This issue heavily retcons the story of Bruce and Talia's son. In Post-Crisis Pre-Zero Hour continuity, as told in Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), Talia and Bruce had consensual sex and she got pregnant. Bruce knew about her pregnancy, but she later lied and told him she had miscarried. Talia gave the baby to an orphanage, and he was adopted by an unnamed couple. In this story, the baby was never named. After Zero Hour (1994), Dennis O'Neil announced that this entire story had been retconned out of existence: Talia had never been pregnant and Bruce had no children. Two years later, Kingdom Come was published; in this story Bruce and Talia's adult son was named Ibn al Xu'ffasch, but (at the time) this was an Elseworlds story so it had no impact on continuity. After Infinite Crisis, Grant Morrison retconned the child back into existence, with altered details. As revealed in Batman #656, Talia had drugged Bruce and had sex with him in order to conceive a child as part of a eugenics experiment. Bruce never knew she was pregnant, and he didn't learn about Damian until years later. In Wizard magazine, Morrison admitted he simply got some of the details wrong. This change is explained in continuity as one of the many after-effects of Superboy-Prime punching reality. It's the same event that resurrected Jason Todd.
- For a long time, [DC] said [Son of the Demon] was out of continuity. Now it's just kind of out of continuity. I didn't actually read it before I started writing this. I messed up a lot of details, like Batman wasn't drugged when he was having sex with Talia and it didn't take place in the desert. I was relying on shaky memories. But now we have this new "Superboy punch" continuity. People still don't realize how important that single punch was to cover everyone's ass.
- The title "Man-Bats of London" is a reference to the Warren Zevon song Werewolves of London.
- Alfred is reading The Eternity Code, an Artemis Fowl novel by Eoin Colfer. This is a humorous reference as the butler in that series is an action hero who protects his master.
- The pop-art paintings of comic book characters are largely unfamiliar, but one notable image is a portrait of Wonder Woman in the style of Andy Warhol's Marilyn Diptych.
- The woman Bruce tries to rescue is mentioned to be the Prime Minister of England's wife. Her name is not given in-story, however at the time it would have been Tony Blair's wife Cherie Blair.
- Talia mentions that she plans to hold the world hostage to a "new kind of terror." This is possibly foreshadowing her turn as the leader of a greater conspiracy.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)