CREDITS: Written by Kelley Puckett; art by Dev Madan and Rick Burchett.
REVIEW: Guest artist Dev Madan replaces Mike Parobeck easily, giving the series a more detailed look without pulling out of the house style. What we might lose in panel clarity, we gain in interesting details like the way Batman's cape might fold on his back, catching a gangster about to swallow evidence whole in the back, or extra fight choreography in the background.
Being a Ra's story, it has an international canvas, but it's actually an intimate Talia story. We keep getting the sense that if Ra's was out of the way, Batman really might take the mantle and Talia indeed would marry him, and the League of Assassins would be disbanded, or turned to good works. She was trained to be a killer, but can be defused by her love. Though action-driven, this is a romantic story.
However, when Ra's shows up, and the adventure is revealed to be a test for his daughter, she does another 180. Or I should say when the ghost of her father appears. Ra's DOES arrive, but she makes her decision before then - successfully completing the test - based on what he would have wanted. So Ra's would never really be "out of the way", and there lies the tragedy of their relationship. Batman stops them, of course, but that's not why Talia feels such a sense of loss. By being her father's daughter, she has denied herself the love of the Batman.