Batman is sure going to have a lot of enemies to deal with in Batman: Arkham City, and not all of them can be dealt with through martial arts and brute force. And good comic book fan knows that millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne has gotten himself into more than a few romantic entanglements over the years, and thanks to a brief shot in the newest trailer, it looks like Arkham City will take full advantage of the fact. How large a role Talia al Ghul will be playing in the game remains to be seen, but it’s obvious she’ll be making things a lot more complicated.

Now whenever the idea of Batman and romance is brought up, most minds immediately go to Catwoman, and with good cause. The two nocturnal characters have developed an incredibly tense and charged relationship, and the developers at Rocksteady plan to make the most of that.

But only one woman can claim to be the mother of Batman’s child, and that makes Talia al Ghul unique, and her presence in Arkham City all the more interesting.

While many would have initially assumed that the presence of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter would be a sign that the Demon’s Head would himself be appearing, that doesn’t seem to be the case. With Talia acting as the head of her own army of assassins, it wasn’t much of a stretch to rationalize her presence in Arkham City, at least not at first.

But then we got a look at some more game details thanks to the extremely dark ‘Secrets of the Joker’ trailer. Among the plot points surrounding Batman’s most infamous villain was a single shot that many fans managed to catch. Take a look:

Batman Arkham City Talia Joker

That’s right, Talia al Ghul, future paramour of Batman standing by while the Joker laid the boots to Batman. To be fair it’s never said whether the character being beaten is Batman or Catwoman, but either one implies that Talia has a much more complicated role to play in the game’s plot. The first logical conclusion was that the developers of the game had gotten creative with Talia’s character, perhaps ignoring the romantic history of the two and merely including the female assassin as a means to shape Ra’s as a future villain.

But now Rocksteady has released a new trailer for Arkham City, boasting some of the review comments the game has received in a last ditch effort to gain a few more pre-orders. Among the praise and punches is one brief shot (at 0:48 to be exact) of Talia al Ghul and Batman facing off, and we’re not talking about a fistfight. Have a look:

Now obviously the video shows a mere second of Talia, but the fact that a kiss looks imminent, and Batman doesn’t seem to be fighting back speaks volumes. The casting of a bonafide actress as Talia al Ghul shows that the character will likely have a meaningful role, but these two other appearances seem to be at odds with one another.

Now we have to wonder which scene appears first in the game’s story. If Talia first appears as a potential romantic interest and eventually turns out to be sided with Joker, that could leave the possibility of Ra’s and Talia playing major villains in future games. But if Talia first sides with Joker, only to turn on him and show her romantic intentions for Bruce, then who knows what that could mean.

Batman Arkham City Batman Talia Kiss

We’re obviously speculating, but the presence of such a pivotal character in the world of Batman demands inspection. She is the mother of Damian Wayne, lest we forget. Rocksteady may only be focused on the plot of Arkham City, but the developers have made it clear that they are interested in telling exciting Batman stories. And with Tim Drake (Red Robin) and Dick Grayson (Nightwing) already included in the game, would it be that much of a stretch for the current Robin to get a similar treatment in the future?

What is your theory on Talia’s role in Arkham City? Will she be planting seeds for future games, or just another fan service cameo? Either way, Batman will have more than a few femme fatales to deal with.

Batman: Arkham City will be released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 18, and the PC on November 8.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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