Talia al Ghul Taught Batman How to Be Scary

Bruce Wayne’s training is nearing completion in 2018 Batman: The Knight #9 (by Chip Zdarsky, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Ivan Plascencia and Pat Brosseau). However, the problem also revealed that he still had a long way to go and had to learn various techniques that he didn’t even know existed until he was approached by Ra’s al Ghul. In particular, the issue could indicate that it was Talia al Ghul who taught Bruce how to intimidate.


This theory is based on two things. Bruce admitted that Talia’s behavior was scary and the training that Bruce went through was not only done by Ra’s but also by Talia. While it is uncertain how much time he spent learning from them, it can be surmised that it was enough to warrant serious progress. Perhaps Talia’s training was not only in martial arts but also in psychological warfare, teaching Bruce how to be the menacing figure he is today.

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While Bruce’s education was almost complete, it was lacking in certain subjects. It’s seen throughout the prequel run that he’s not really able to enforce the level of intimidation he regularly uses as Batman these days. However, readers of the time attributed this to his lack of a costume to scare criminals. But Bruce’s introduction to Ra’s implies that the problem wasn’t external – it’s internal. Everything he’s learned can only affect the world around him and to some extent his mind, but there are spiritual components that he lacked. These missing pieces give Batman his advantage.

The training he received was guided by both Ra’s and Talia. While Ra’s tutored Bruce in the more spiritual and healing aspects of her classes, Talia appeared to be in charge of Bruce’s martial arts training. It stands to reason that, like her father, her portfolio would go far beyond mere fighting skills. Bruce has a healthy respect for Talia, her strength, skill and intellect creating a towering personality that no one underestimates. His admission of being intimidated by her shows that she taught him more than anyone expected.

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It’s not so far-fetched to imagine that Talia taught Bruce how to scare his enemies. As an Al Ghul, she knows the power of her family’s reputation and has also mastered using it to her advantage. She’s also thrived in a world full of vicious killers, thanks in no small part to her own formidable skills. However, utilizing this without having to use them is also a useful talent that Bruce seemed particularly affected by.

If Talia taught Bruce to be as relentless as she is, then that would explain where Batman learned to be scary and intimidating. Bruce has always been stoic, but right now it comes across as more grumpy than unnerving. Batman, on the other hand, makes people uncomfortable just walking into the room. And he can owe this gift to the mother of his child.

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