The Heretic first appeared in Batman and Robin #12, created by Grant Morrison and David Finch, published by DC Comics in July 2010. After discovering that her son Damian Wayne decided to follow the steps of Batman, his father, in become a vigilante; Talia al Ghul decided to create a clone of her son after failing in controlling her son's mind to kill Dick Grayson, resulting in the Heretic. Taking him to a facility located at Yemen that created metahuman bodyguards using experimental surgery, Talia gestated the Heretic's body of a whale. He grew to the size of an adult human, and subsequently killed the facility's population of metahumans. After the Heretic successfully kills Damian, he decides to became Batman and betrays Talia, but Talia beheads him atop the Wayne Tower.
According to animator Phil Bourassa, the Heretic was the most tedious character to design in Batman: Bad Blood. In accordance to Bourassa, some DC Comics character just by name, like Black Manta, anyone can quickly take an image of it, but in the case of the Heretic, people who have him in mind would question his appearance and wonder the why his name is that.