Thursday, November 3, 2016

ARROW Casts Lexa Doig as Talia al Ghul

At this point, Oliver Queen should be wearing a bat logo on his chest.

Variety has word that the CW series Arrow has cast Lexa Doig as Talia al Ghul, the daughter of DC Comics supervillain Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) and half-sister of Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law).

According to the article, Talia will first appear in the tenth episode of Season 5 and is described as "Talia, like Nyssa, is an elite warrior, excelling in multiple different forms of combat.  Unlike her sister though, she refuses to pick sides and instead creates her own."

Doig, 43, is best known as Andromeda Ascendant/Rommie on the TV series Andromeda and as Sonya Valentine on the series Continuum.  In addition, she's appeared in the movie Jason X and other television appearances include episodes of Primeval: New World, Smallville, V (2010), Supernatural, Eureka, The 4400, The Chris Isaak Show, Earth: Final Conflict, and TekWar.

Created in 1971 by Dennis O'Neil and Bob Brown, Talia al Ghul first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #411 as the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, who is rescued by Batman from Dr. Darrk, apparently the leader of the League of Assassins.  It was eventually revealed that the League is just one part of Ra's al Ghul's organization, The Demon, and that Darrk apparently turned against Ra's after failing in a mission and the usual punishment being death.  At the end of the story, she shot and killed Darrk to save Batman's life.

In Batman's next encounter with Talia, Dick Grayson (Robin) was kidnapped and Ra's al Ghul entered the Batcave, revealing to Batman that he knows Batman's secret identity and that Talia was also kidnapped along with Dick.  Batman went with Ra's to search for Dick and Talia, but in the end, it was revealed that Talia loved Batman and that the entire kidnapping was a setup designed by Ra's as a final test of Batman's suitability to be Talia's husband and his successor.  Though Batman rejected Ra's offer, he nevertheless returned Talia's feelings.  Ra's and Talia considered Batman to be married to Talia with only their consent necessary.

A later encounter had Ra's al Ghul successfully enlisting Batman's aid in defeating a rogue assassin who had murdered his wife and Talia's mother, Melisande.  Talia witnessed the murder as a young child.  Batman married Talia and the conjugal relations result in her becoming pregnant, but Batman was nearly killed protecting Talia from an attack by the assassin's agents.  In the end, Talia concluded that she can never keep Batman, because he will be continuously forced to defend her.  She faked a miscarriage, and the marriage was dissolved, with Talia later giving birth to their son in secret.

Their son was grown in an artificial womb and named Damian.  Raised and trained in the League of Assassins, Damian was introduced to Batman by Talia introduces him to Batman as part of a grand scheme involving ninja man-bats and the kidnapping of the British Prime Minister's wife.  Following Batman's apparent death, Talia apparently decided to leave Damian in the hands of his adopted brother Dick Grayson, who later took on the role of Batman, and selected Damian to succeed Tim Drake as Robin.

Doig will be the third actress to portray Talia in live action, after Marion Cottilard in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, and Milli Wilkinson, who played Talia as a child in the TV series Legends of Tomorrow.  The character has also appeared in various animated projects, including Batman: The Animated Series (voiced by Helen Slater), Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond (voiced by Olivia Hussey), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Andrea Bowen), and Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin and Batman: Bad Blood (voiced by Morena Baccarin).

Arrow airs Wednesday nights on The CW at 8:00 p.m. EST.

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