After an attempt to control her son's body to kill Dick Grayson (who was acting as Batman at the time), Talia al'Ghul is forced to disown her son Damian Wayne, who has chosen to follow his father's path as a crime fighter. As she bids farewell to her son, she makes sure to show him that she's already cloned him, in an effort to create a new son who she can mold to her desires. Talia would later take the young clone to an illegal bio-genetic factory, where the clone would grow at an accelerated rate, and be birthed from the carcass of a whale. It was at this factory that The Heretic became a killing machine.
The Heretic was created by Batman scribe Grant Morrison.
Major Story Arcs
After the clone known as the Heretic was born, both Batman and Damian Wayne come in contact with him shortly after the forming of Batman Incorporated. Damian is the first to see him, where the Heretic tells him that he will eventually know him, but not yet, then disappears. He's later seen at Talia's side by the time that Batman and his allies realize she is the true leader of Leviathan. When Talia moves in on Gotham City, the Heretic accompanies her as her personal muscle and body guard. He later takes on many of Batman Incorporated members singlehandedly, killing Knight in the process, while defeating Batman himself.
Talia gives him the world-bomb trigger to guard. He arrives on the scene at the exact wrong moment as Robin and Nightwing try to reach the higher levels of Wayne Tower. He takes out Nightwing with one move, then fights Robin. Robin puts up a lethal assault, but thanks to Leviathan foot soldiers shooting at him, The Heretic gains an advantage and eventually stabs Robin through the heart with a sword taken from a display case.
Batman arrives on the scene and is horrified to discover his son is dead. Enraged, he attacks the Heretic with the help of Nightwing, but the man-monster easily crushes them both. Recovering Damian's body, they flee. Meanwhile, the Heretic returns to Talia's side, where she berates him for killing Damian without waiting for her command. He replies that he did not need her command, having developed the ability to observe, assimilate knowledge and arrive at conclusions independently. He declares that he is Batman now, and decides that Gotham is his by right. Batman defeats him in the end and was shocked to see him as a boy in an adult body. Talia killed him with a sword and all of a sudden his head was decapitated and also was a bomb in his head and blew up Wayne Tower building.
A rogue member of Talia's organization intent on preserving Ra's al Ghul, revived him using the Lazarus Pit. He spent his time in a monastery studying various ancient texts. There, he discovered about "The Other" who had caused misery to others for a millennia while staying hidden.
The Heretic easily slayed The Other and realized he was only a man with nothing more than a criminal empire which he gained control of and adopted the moniker for himself. He used The Other's criminal empire to manipulate other criminals and took them out when they remained of no further value to him.
After killing Lady Vic, he blew up the building Teen Titans found her corpse in to test their abilities. As he had started dying, he had Lobo kidnap the Teen Titans, so Damian could take over his mission and blackmailed him with the lives of his teammates.
Heretic also offered to help Damian free Djinn from her ring with the Book of the Damned, if he agreed to take over his mantle. Djinn however convinced Damian to not give in to the temptation and he assaulted The Heretic, but found out he was just a clone of the original who attacked him from behind. During the battle with the Teen Titans who had broken out with the help of Roundhouse, The Heretic fell through a hole in his castle's floor with his fate undetermined.
Powers and Abilities
Whether it be due to the armour he wears or a genetic ability, the Heretic has superhuman strength. "Damian" has been able to easily lift grown men with one hand, send Batman flying with a kick and crack two men's skulls together in a single move. He also has superhuman durability and examples include showing very little reaction after being hit by Nightwing and Robin in the face at the same time and take punches from one of Batman's mechanical suits. It is not impossible for a non-superhuman to injure him though and Talia al Ghul was able to decapitate him using a sword.
As well as his physical stats, the Heretic has some skill in unarmed combat. Although often using his shear power to fight, he is able to perform kicks and punches with some ability as well as use a bladed weapon with basic knowledge.