- Sons are born to die in war.
- — The Heretic src
Talia al Ghul had a romance-story plan for herself and Batman: she would bear him a child, and they would unite as a family to rule the world. Unfortunately, Batman turned her down, and her plan to send her son to usurp the name of Batman backfired. So she turned to science to provide her with the perfect child: a clone of Damian Wayne.
While Batman was missing for a year, his former sidekick, Dick Grayson was acting as Batman at the time. After an attempt to control her son's body to kill Grayson failed, Talia was forced to disown Damian, who had chosen to follow his father's path as a crime fighter. As she bids farewell to her son, Talia makes sure to show him that she's already cloned him, in an effort to create a new son who she can mold to her desires. After that, she decided to speed up her new son's development. Taking him to a facility in Yemen that created metahuman bodyguards using experimental surgery, she had him gestated in the body of a whale. Growing to the size of an adult human, he fought his way free of the whale, and subsequently decimated the facility's entire population of metahumans as he honed his killing skills. By the time the Batman returned, he was ready.
On Batman Inc's inaugural mission, Batman and Robin found the facility and Robin confronted the clone, now calling itself the Heretic. Cryptically remarking that they would meet again, the Heretic departed. He has since been seen guarding Talia al Ghul whenever she appeared in public as The Leviathan, the leader of the eponymous terror-army. He later takes on many of Batman Incorporated members singlehandedly, killing Knight in the process, while defeating Batman himself.
Talia gives him the world-bomb trigger to guard. He arrives on the scene at the exact wrong moment as Robin and Nightwing try to reach the higher levels of Wayne Tower. He takes out Nightwing with one move, then fights Robin. Robin puts up a lethal assault, but thanks to Leviathan foot soldiers shooting at him, the Heretic gains an advantage and eventually stabs Robin through the heart with a sword taken from a display case.
Batman arrives on the scene and is horrified to discover his son is dead. Enraged, he attacks the Heretic with the help of Nightwing, but the man-monster easily crashes them both. Recovering Damian's body, they flee. Meanwhile, the Heretic returns to Talia's side, where she berates him for killing Damian without waiting for her command. He replies that he did not need her command, having developed the ability to observe, assimilate knowledge and arrive at conclusions independently. He declares that he is Batman now, and decides that Gotham is his by right.
Batman defeats him at the end and is in shock to see him as a boy in an adult body. He is killed in a confrontation with Talia atop of Wayne Tower by having his head decapitated by a sword and by a bomb being placed on his back spine that blew up Wayne Tower.
- Heretic's origin as born in the belly of a whale is another tie to the sea-monster mythos that the Leviathan organization has built for itself.
- 6 Appearances of Heretic (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Heretic (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Heretic (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Heretic (New Earth)