Episode 35 – Batman: Son of the Demon

Welcome to the thirty-fifth episode of The Overlooked Dark Knight.  The is a non-index index show where the hosts, Andrew Leyland and Michael Bailey, look at Batman comics that rarely, if ever, get talked about.  In one episode they will talk about Bat books from the late seventies and early eighties.  In another episode they will talk about the animated Adventures titles that DC published in the nineties.  Sometimes they talk about whatever strikes their fancy.

Andy and Mike are celebrating Batman’s 80th Birthday for the next year.  It’s going to be fun.  They are doing this by covering stories outside of their normal mandate.

Not that they have a mandate.  But they do.  It’s complicated.

This time out Andy and Mike spend the entire episode discussing the original graphic novel Batman: Son of the Demon.  What if Batman tried to settle down with Talia Al Ghul and actually worked with Ra’s Al Ghul against a common enemy?  What if Talia fell pregnant?  Those questions and more are asked and answered in this mature Batman story that was almost immediately taken out of continuity until 2007 when it was kind of, sort of brought back.  Along the way Mike and Andy talk about what makes a good mature comic and why Batman and Catwoman don’t belong together for the most part.

Below is a gallery of images from this comic.

Andy and Mike want your feedback on this episode so they can read it on an upcoming show!  You even have options in how you leave your feedback.  The most direct way is to leave a comment right here on the site.  You can also send all questions, concerns, fears and trepidations to overlookeddarkknight@gmail.com.  Then there’ the Facebook page, where you can also leave a Batman related question for Andy and Mike to answer at the beginning of the show.  If you talk about this show on the social medias please include a #overlookeddk so the guys know where to find it.

If you want to subscribe to the show here’s the RSS Feed and the Apple Podcast link.  If you use iTunes please leave us a review.  Not only will we read that on the air like the other feedback but it really helps the show out.  The show is also available on the Google Play Store and Spotify.

Next Time: A trip to the Silver Age for some Bat Family fun!


  1. Michael & Andy-

    Great episode of ODK! I loved Son of the Demon at the time, and still do, though I wish (like Killing Joke) it had been left alone as a one-off, a weird little dark alley never to be visited again. I realize, Batman having a son was just too good a story springboard to ignore, but I really do wish it had just ended there.

    MB, thanks for mentioning my Reagan joke from the Legends show. Andy didn’t laugh, so maybe he was worried I wasn’t kidding?

    I enjoy this show a lot, sorry I haven’t written in before. This show is the EPITOME of what I listen to comic podcasts for—a critical eye, but mostly positive recollections.

    P.S. I don’t get the Riversong/Phantasm joke. Please explain.

  2. Rob,

    River Song, as you probably know from being friends with Shag and David, is a character from Doctor Who. Her “catch phrase” is “Spoilers,” which has to do with the fact that sometimes she knows whats going to happen and sometimes she doesn’t and she wants to keep mum about it. The Phantasm figure from The Mask of The Phantasm line revealed who Phantasm was right on the packaging. Thus it’s a spoiler. So, having the person that has “spoilers” as a catch phrase holding a massive spoiler amuses me.

    I hope that was clear.

    – Mike

  3. Great show. I still don’t understand that Reagan joke.

    OK, cards on the table, I’ve never liked Ra’s as a villain – yeah, he’s a decent Bond baddie but Batman isn’t James Bond. Outside of the team books, Batman belongs in Gotham, dealing with its brand of nutters; Ra’s (another reason to hate him is that his name is so annoying to type) works on such a big, yet sneaky, scale that there’s no reason for Batman to be drawn into his web.

    And Talia, ugh – she’s a like a slave girl in Conan, a prize to be handed over by Creepy Dad to anointed son. In this story, Talia outright says she wants to kill Qayin and Batman doesn’t protest. He agrees to team up with a known genocidal maniac and his pet daughter – think Blofeld and pussy – when he’s perfectly able to go after the minor bad guy alone. And he agrees to seal the bargain by taking possession – this is not a marriage, there’s been no courting, no building of love, it’s lust on Bruce’s part and Talia looking to shag a Daddy-a-like – of the Daughter of the Demon?

    No wonder Morrison misremembered drugs as being involved.

    And there’s no way Ra’s wasn’t watching them shag from behind a mirror, stroking his ermine.

  4. Great show guys. I haven’t re-read this in quite a while. I was waiting for when Ryan and I got to it on Knightcast, and then delays happen, and then you guys announced you were doing it, and then we decided to retool our show and …there you go. I loved it when it came out (and the sex scene was quite memorable to 12 year old me), BUT, I had a problem with Batman leaving Gotham for that long, and whole-heartedly signing up with Ra’s just to capture this ONE guy. The Batman/Talia parts were great, but I just didn’t buy Batman being that at ease with joining Ra’s, even if the ends justified the means.

    For that reason, I can’t put this above Year One. I’m no fan of what Miller’s done with Batman since Year One, and there are parts of DKR I can do without. And I’m definitely sorry it is so influential, especially in regards to what it did to Superman, but I don’t personally think SoD, despite it’s merits and beautiful Bingham art is in the category of either of those. But variety is the spice of life.

    Oh, and while Barr did write Batman Annual #8 where Bats just kind of lets Ra’s disintegrate in space, he reappeared in Doug Moench’s Batman #400 in between. Batman thought he had “died” there too, but it was definitely less definitive, so depending on when Barr wrote this, he probably is referring to his own annual story. Which I like more than SoD, by the way. Just my preference.

  5. Hey guys,

    Terrific episode! As already mentioned, SON OF THE DEMON was the subject of what would have been episode 25 of Knightcast as the book came out right between BATMAN #413 and #414. And if we hadn’t decided to change the direction of the podcast last month, that episode with SotD as the subject would have come out one day prior to this one. Crazy!

    Part of me wishes we had covered it because I have always thoroughly enjoyed this story and I would have had a ton of praise to heap on it. On the other hand, you two hit almost all of the notes I would have, so no need to be repetitive. Like Chris, I don’t think this book is as good as Batman Year One, but it’s not far behind by any means.

    Back when I covered the Secret Origin of Captain SHAZAMarvel on the Secret Origins Podcast, I said Jerry Bingham’s art looked too dark and severe for a character like that. His style and influences were much better suited to a character like Batman. At the time I said it, I didn’t remember he was the artist on SON OF THE DEMON, but when I re-read this a couple years ago I was blown away by how right I was. If Bingham had contributed more to the Dark Knight, if he had ever had a lengthy run on BATMAN or DETECTIVE COMICS, I think he would be fondly remembered today as one of the Batman’s greatest artists along with Adams, Rogers, and Aparo.

    The action in this story is great. The opening sequence that you guys described is one of my favorite Batman scenes. It’s cinematic and thrilling and perfect for the first five minutes of a movie, as you said. The characterization of Ra’s al Ghul and Talia is terrific, as well.

    I could be biased by how bad a taste Year Two left in my mouth, but I would say this is Mike Barr’s best Batman story, far exceeding the DETECTIVE issues he did with Alan Davis. And yes, unlike Chris, I like this more than BATMAN ANNUAL #8, although that could be based on my complicated feelings toward Trevor Von Eeden’s work.

    Great job, as usual. If you want to cover the post-Crisis Jim Starlin issues, have fun with them! Someone should and there are definitely listeners who want to hear those books discussed. My only request is that when you get to BATMAN #416 when Dick Grayson meets Jason Todd you play Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”, and later when you get to BATMAN #428 during “A Death in the Family” you play Alphaville’s cover of “Forever Young” when the Joker murders Robin.

  6. A great episode gentlemen. Ra’s is one of my favorite villains and this has always been a fun elseworld story, in my personal continuity anyway.
    This book proudly sits on my classroom bookshelf and every now and then I see a kid pick it up. Inevitably there are tons of questions about Damian. I may just steer them towards your podcast in the future rather than get on my fanboy soapbox.
    Thanks for the fun look back at the Batman stories I grew up with. I’m currently purging my comic collection and look forward to finally getting to my Batman boxes, so I can listen to several episodes again with a fresh perspective on what I find there.
    Keep up the good work guys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *