Ra's al Ghul (Arabic: رأس الغول Raʾs al-Ghūl but originally pronounced by the creators with Re'sh, hence /ˈreɪʃ ˌæl ˈɡuːl/ RAYSH al GOOL or /ˈrɑːz ˌæl ˈɡuːl/ RAHZ al GOOL; "The Head of the Ghoul" or, in a rougher translation, "The Chief Demon") is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the crime-fighting vigilante, Batman. Created by editor Julius Schwartz, writer Dennis O'Neil, and artist Neal Adams, the character first appeared in Batman #232's "Daughter of the Demon" (June 1971). The character is one of Batman's most enduring enemies and belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery, though given his high status as a supervillain, he has also come into conflict with Superman and other heroes in the DC Universe.
Most notable as the leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul's name in Arabic translates to "Head of the Ghoul". He is the son of Sensei, the father of Talia al Ghul, Nyssa Raatko, and Dusan al Ghul, and the maternal grandfather of Damian Wayne. Stories featuring Ra's al Ghul often involve the Lazarus Pits, which restore life to the dying. The Lazarus Pits have considerably prolonged Ra's life, making him particularly dangerous as he has honed his combat skills for centuries.
Ra's al Ghul has been featured in various media adaptations. The character was voiced/portrayed by David Warner in Batman: The Animated Series, Liam Neeson in The Dark Knight Trilogy, Jason Isaacs in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Dee Bradley Baker in the Batman: Arkham video game series, Oded Fehr in Young Justice, Matt Nable in the Arrowverse television series, and Alexander Siddig in Gotham.
|Ra's al Ghul|
Ra's al Ghul in Detective Comics #953. Art by Christian Duce and Fernando Blanco.
|First appearance||Batman #232 (June 1971)|
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil (writer)|
Neal Adams (artist)
Julius Schwartz (concept/name)
|Team affiliations||The Demon|
League of Assassins
The Demon's Head
Created by editor Julius Schwartz, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams, he was introduced in Batman #232's "Daughter of the Demon" (June 1971). The character's creation and depiction was inspired by other works of fiction, such as the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the Fu Manchu fiction. The Bond film has international crime lord Draco wanting the agent to marry his daughter Contessa Teresa. Another visual antecedent for Ra's al Ghul and his daughter Talia are found in Saloud (James Lanphier) and Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale) in the 1963 film The Pink Panther.
Ra's al Ghul is an international criminal and terrorist mastermind whose ultimate goal is a world in perfect environmental balance. He believes that the best way to achieve this balance is to eliminate most of humanity. Ra's usually tries to assault the world's human populace with a biological weapon, such as a genetically-engineered virus. He is aided in this quest by the Lazarus Pits, reservoirs of rejuvenating chemicals that restore the dead and dying to life; these pits have granted him a lifespan of several centuries. He regards Batman as his worthiest opponent, addressing him as "Detective" out of respect for his intellectual brilliance, and has frequently sought to make the Dark Knight as his successor. He is one of the few criminals in Batman's rogues gallery to have deduced his secret identity as Bruce Wayne, but keeps silent on the matter due to the same sense of respect for Batman. For his own part, Batman's opposition to Ra's is complicated by both his own respect for al Ghul's genius (if not his goals and methods) and his attraction to his daughter, Talia, which she reciprocates.
Ra's al-Ghul's real name, early life, and exact age have been described differently by various writers. His Post-Crisis origin story is told in the graphic novel Batman: Birth of the Demon (1992) by Dennis O'Neil and Norm Breyfogle.
As told in Birth of the Demon, Ra's al Ghul (known only as The Physician prior to adopting the moniker) was born over 600 years before his first appearance in Batman comics, to a tribe of Chinese nomads in a desert somewhere in North Africa, near a city governed by a Sultan. Developing an interest in the sciences at an early age, Ra's abandoned his tribe to live in the city, where he pursued life as a researcher. He subsequently became a physician and married a woman named Sora.
Ra's discovered the secret of the Lazarus Pit, and he saves a dying prince by lowering him into it. The prince, who is sadistic to begin with, is driven completely insane by the Lazarus Pit. He proceeds to strangle Sora, on whom he has already had his eye for some time. The Sultan, unwilling to admit to himself his son's culpability, declares Ra's guilty of the crime and sentences him to a slow, tortured death in a cage with Sora's corpse.
Ra's is set free by the son of a dying elderly woman, who Ra's had earlier examined. The son feels that he owes Ra's a debt for easing his mother's suffering during her last few hours. Ra's and the son head into the desert to seek the tribe of Ra's' birth. Ra's convinces the head of his tribe, his uncle, to follow Ra's in his quest for revenge by promising the downfall of the Sultan. By understanding the germ theory of disease hundreds of years before anyone else, Ra's is able to infect the prince with a deadly virus by sending him contaminated fabrics. When the Sultan comes to ask Ra's to cure the prince again, Ra's kills both him and his son. Ra's then leads his tribe to raze the city to the ground and kill all of its inhabitants. Subsequently, Ra's declares himself "Ra's al Ghul", the "Demon's Head".
Batman: Birth of the Demon provides a rough figure of 500 years for Ra's al Ghul's age. Due to living so long, he is assumed to have lost track of how old he is. Azrael #6 (July 1995; written by Dennis O'Neil) places Ra's age closer to 450 years. As he tells Jean Paul Valley, "I appear to be a vigorous fifty. I am actually a very vigorous four hundred and forty-eight...or is it four hundred and fifty-three? I lost count during the Black Plague. No matter". In Batman Annual #25 (published in 2006), Ra's al Ghul is described as a "700-Year Old International Terrorist".
Using the Lazarus Pits to extend his life, Ra's spends the next several centuries journeying the world. He fights in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and becomes a formidable warrior. As the world entered the modern age and industrialisation began to cover much of the Earth, Ra's grew to despise the humans who he believed were destroying the world's natural beauty, thus setting him on a path of eco-terrorism. Also during this time, Ra's, his uncle, and Huwe, the son who freed Ra's from the Sultan's initial execution are all using the Lazarus Pits to prolong their lives until an incident in London. Ra's catches Huwe writing his own memoirs in their original Chinese language, of which Ra's has forbidden all records. During a battle, Ra's kills Huwe and flees to a Lazarus Pit, which he uses. When he returns to their home in London, his uncle has vanished with the remnants of their historical records.
Over time, he becomes a master of many forms of combat, notably fencing. He also builds up vast wealth and creates The Demon, a huge international organization. According to Justice League of America (1st series) #94:
It has been whispered in the darkest places for 500 years that a cartel of criminals has slowly sucked its way into the rich veins of the Earth. Many are its names spit from the mouths of men, but most often it is cursed only as. The Demon. It has a leader. A Head".
The League of Assassins, one of the many smaller organizations making up The Demon, is thus sometimes called "The Demon's Fang" or "Demonfang".
Ra's returns to prominence and comes dangerously close to realizing his dream of worldwide genocide in the "Contagion" story arc of the Batman titles. His organization unleashes a deadly virus known as Ebola Gulf A (a.k.a. "The Clench") in Gotham City, putting Batman in conflict with a force he seemingly cannot defeat. A cure is eventually located by Batman and his allies, though the mastermind behind the outbreak is not discovered until the follow-up story "Legacy".
Learning that the Demon's Head still lives, Batman and his team circle the globe, preventing further outbreaks of the virus. Ra's allies himself with Bane, the man who once crippled and nearly killed Batman. Ra's considers Bane a potential heir to his empire, despite his daughter Talia's distaste for the criminal mastermind. Eventually, Batman deduces a way to eliminate the Clench virus from an ancient "Wheel of Plagues" artifact whose knowledge has aided Ra's in the creation of the disease. The long-lived madman eludes justice again.
In the "Tower of Babel" storyline, in JLA #43–46, Ra's discovers Batman's contingency plans for stopping the other members of the Justice League of America, should they turn or be turned evil, and uses them to try to destroy the group. Meanwhile, Ra's steals the bodies of Batman's parents. This theft prevents Batman from realizing Ra's is using his traps until it is too late, as he is distracted by the search for the corpses of his parents.
Though defeated, Ra's does cause the temporary exit of Batman from the JLA, who now distrust the Caped Crusader. However, though some of the League resent Batman's plans, they eventually accept that the plans were created for the right reasons once Batman confirms that he trusts them by revealing his secret identity to the rest of the team.
Talia, disillusioned with her father, leaves the League to run LexCorp for former U.S. President Lex Luthor, before selling the company to Bruce Wayne for his Wayne Foundation to aid Batman and Superman's victory over Luthor. Ra's blames Batman for his failed relationship with Talia, and stages a plot where he tries to separate Batman from his heir, Dick Grayson, shortly before Wayne officially adopts his former ward as his son. The plan fails, and Wayne and Grayson go ahead with the adoption.
Ra's is also featured in Birds of Prey #31–35, where he has a romantic fling with the Black Canary. The superheroine is injured and healed in the Lazarus Pit, which also restores the Canary Cry she lost years earlier.
In Death and the Maidens (2004), Ra's' other daughter, Nyssa Raatko, furious at her father for abandoning her in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, begins plotting to destroy him, prompting Ra's to contact Batman to make a deal for access to a Lazarus Pit to give him the strength for a final confrontation with Nyssa; in exchange for the location of a Pit, Ra's provides Batman with a serum that will allow him to walk in the spirit world and speak with his parents. While Batman experiences his "vision", Nyssa befriends Talia and then kidnaps and brainwashes her. Nyssa plots to destroy all hope and optimism in the world by assassinating Superman with Kryptonite bullets she steals from the Batcave. While Batman stops Nyssa from killing Superman, he is unable to stop her from mortally injuring her father. A dying Ra's reveals that this is all part of his greater plan to ensure that his daughters will realize that he is correct in his perceptions about the world and what needs to be done to it, and that they would come to accept their destinies as his heirs. Ra's' plan works: both Nyssa and Talia become the heads of The Demon and the League of Assassins. Talia disavows her love for Bruce Wayne, and both sisters declare Batman their enemy. It is too late for Ra's, as Nyssa stabs her father through the heart, seemingly killing him for good. To ensure Ra's will not return, Batman oversees his nemesis' cremation.
In Batman Annual #26, Talia is prompted to read the history of Ra's al Ghul to her son Damian by a mysterious figure from Ra's' past: the White Ghost. Unbeknownst to her, the White Ghost plans to use Damian as a vessel for Ra's' return. However, mother and son escape before the plan is completed. After the escape, Batman confronts the White Ghost; he fights Batman, but accidentally falls into a Lazarus Pit.
As of Batman #670, Ra's al Ghul has returned, having evaded death by transferring his consciousness into the body of another. Because his host body is decaying from radiation poisoning, he needs to transfer his mind into another host body. His first choice is that of his grandson Damian Wayne, but Damian escapes to alert his father.
Upon taking Ra's to a "Fountain of Essence", which contains the qualities of a Lazarus Pit, Batman is confronted with the sight of the Sensei, who is revealed to be Ra's' father. After defeating Ra's, Sensei fights and impales Batman with a cane. Determined to win, Batman drags the Sensei into the Fountain, where he is killed for not being a pure soul. Ra's, meanwhile, has taken over the body of a Nanda Parbat monk and departs. Healed by the Fountain, Batman emerges and yells for Ra's.
Ra's attempts to make amends with Batman after his resurrection, but Batman responds by crushing his decaying fingers. Ra's accepts this latest rebuke and, with the help of his men, overpowers Batman and captures Damian, who has arrived to try to help his father. Ra's attempts to take over Damian, but Batman breaks free just as Robin, Talia, Alfred Pennyworth, and Nightwing arrive to save him. While the battle ensues at Nanda Parbat, the White Ghost takes Ra's to a secluded place, where he appears to accept the fact that his death is inevitable. The White Ghost is revealed as Ra's' estranged albino son Dusan, and offers up his own body instead. Ra's performs the transfer of souls, but the White Ghost apparently dies soon afterward. Ra's resumes the battle and attempts to kill Batman, but the monks at Nanda Parbat stop him and banish him from the temple.
Following his resurrection, Ra's al Ghul, in his new body, moves his base of operations to Gotham City where it is revealed that a remnant of his son Dusan's consciousness still remains within him. Since the White Ghost was his son, Ra's was able to use the resemblance between them to modify his new body's appearance to be more like his own. This arrogance contributes to the brazen move to Gotham and a subsequent ninja attack on Batman, which indirectly leads to the discovery of a map of all the known Lazarus Pit locations across the globe. Batman then infiltrates Ra's al Ghul's new Gotham penthouse headquarters and easily defeats his horde of ninjas and Ra's himself. To ensure Ra's is not a constant threat within Gotham City, Batman comes up with the false identity of "Terry Gene Kase", and plants it along with credible photos, medical records, and police records for both Blackgate Penitentiary and Arkham Asylum. Batman takes an unconscious Ra's directly to Arkham where it is believed he really is the prisoner "Terry Gene Kase", a criminal with multiple personality disorder who has just been transferred to Arkham to finish out multiple life sentences. Along with attaching false information and a false identity to Ra's al Ghul's file, Batman attaches a false prescription of potent medication that ensures slurred speech and next to zero mobility.
Despite these precautions, Ra's eventually escapes when the orderlies miss his dosage once, which allows him to become conscious enough to escape from Arkham.
Ra's realizes that Batman has apparently died after Darkseid's invasion during Final Crisis. After confronting Nightwing with his knowledge, he and the hero eventually duel with swords. Nightwing defeats Ra's and earns the immortal's respect, signified by leaving his sword in the Batcave as a gift after their fight. Ra's refuses to believe his enemy's passing despite the evidence, leading him to be involved in the Red Robin's (Tim Drake) quest concerning the fate of the original Dark Knight. After Drake finds proof that Wayne is still alive but lost in time after his battle with Darkseid, the former Boy Wonder cripples Ra's' organization, the League of Assassins, from within. In response, Ra's returns to Gotham to begin his attack to destroy every legacy of the Wayne Family. While his men target everyone close to the Waynes, Ra's makes a pact with Hush as part of his plans. Unknown to both men, Lucius Fox has already given Tim power of attorney leaving him in control of the Wayne Family resources.
Enraged, Ra's then engages Tim Drake in combat, which ends with Tim mocking Ra's by saying that there's nothing he can do to harm the Bat Family anymore; in response, Ra's smiles and says "Well done. Detective" (a name he has only ever reserved for Batman, Nightwing and Red Hood once before). He then proceeds to kick him out of a skyscraper window and retreats from the battle. Later, in seclusion, Ra's reveals everything which happened was a test for Tim Drake, from the League, the Council, the Men of Death, and the plot against Bruce Wayne.
Learning of Bruce Wayne's return, Ra's muses that his next confrontation with the detective will be particularly interesting as he believes that Batman has at last had a taste of the immortality that Ra's himself enjoys.
He goes after Vicki Vale and almost kills her. He spares her life only after she refuses to publish the identity of Batman and gets rid of all of the evidence she has to that effect. He also realizes that Vale may be a descendant of a French opponent, Marcel du Valliere, from centuries before; therefore, his business with her may not be finished.
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Ra's al Ghul appears in a hooded robe at the League of Assassins' city of 'Eth Alth'eban. He enters the Well of Sins after an encounter with Jason Todd. When he emerges, Ra's is consumed by the evil that corrupted the Untitled centuries before, and he feels compelled to rid himself of the machinations of his daughter and Ducra by killing Jason. At Ra's' command, the prisoners are brought to him, and he promises to use his newfound power to destroy them. Red Hood engages Ra's, as Essence joins the battle. She insists that he will allow Jason and his friends to leave his realm, or he will be forced to die a mortal death just as he always feared he would. Despite having destroyed the All-Caste, Ra's al Ghul's actions have led to their eventual rebirth. Defeated, he swears that he will visit great agony upon Red Hood if he ever sees him again.
Batman and Aquaman head to an island, where the League of Assassins are located, after Ra's has the bodies of Damian Wayne and Talia exhumed. Ra's had ordered the hunt of whales, creating genetically altered super-humans in the wombs of sperm whales, part of a plan to rebuild the League of Assassins. Inside the compound, they find that Ra's is wiping the hard drives clean, preventing data recovery. As his parting gift, he has left Batman the Heretics to keep him entertained. Batman fights his way to Ra's escape aircraft. He sees Talia and Damian's bodies stored within it, and clings to the fuselage from outside as the plane takes off. Though Ra's plans to go to Paradise Island, he is nearly surprised to see Batman pounding on the cockpit's windshield. From outside, Batman screams for Ra's to give back his son, but Ra's responds that he is blood of Damian's blood and the boy is in good hands. He orders the plane to tilt its angle, causing the wind shear to rip Batman from his purchase and drop down into the sea, where he is caught by Aquaman.
Batman and Ra's then encounter Glorious Godfrey. Glorious Godfrey's reason to come to Earth is to retrieve the Chaos Shard, a powerful crystal once belonged to Darkseid which Ra's al Ghul revealed was hidden inside the sarcophaus he crafted for Damian.
During Batman Eternal, Bruce briefly speculates that Ra's is the mastermind behind most of the attacks against him that have left Wayne Enterprises bankrupt and Batman pushed to the limit. However, when he confronts Ra's, his foe reveals that, while he was invited to participate in the attack by the true mastermind, he rejected the offer as Ra's would prefer to destroy Batman when the Dark Knight believes that his legacy will be as eternal as Ra's, rather than tear him down in such a manner.
Ra's al Ghul is featured in Detective Comics issues #953-956 as part of the "League of Shadows" story arc, which runs from issue #951-956 (April–July 2017).
Ra's al Ghul appears in Dark Nights: Metal issue #2 as a member of the Immortals, a group formed by the oldest beings in the multiverse. He participates in a discussion on how they will fight the Dark Multiverse invasion.
Due to his expanded life span of longevity, Ra's has accumulated a vast knowledge of hand-to-hand combat, chemistry, detective artistry, physics, and martial arts (all of which are greater than that of Batman). He has also gained many international contacts and a vast fortune over the course of centuries.
When in combat, he favors more ancient weaponry (as he has had more time to utilize them than more modern weaponry). These weapons include scimitars, katana, bolas, throwing stars (shuriken), smoke pellets, and miniaturized explosives. Ra's is also assisted by his devoted, musclebound servant Ubu.
Ra's' greatest tools are his green Lazarus Pits, which heal any injury including recent death and restore the user back to the prime of life, but cause temporary insanity (or, for those already insane like the Joker, sanity). His constant exposure to the pits have granted him slightly enhanced endurance, strength, and healing but also comes with the price of a gradual onset of insanity if overused.
Along with his physical abilities and resources, Ra's al Ghul has been shown to possess a certain degree of proficiency with mysticism. In an effort to guarantee his continued existence, he has on several occasions demonstrated the ability to transfer his soul into the bodies of others, giving him a way to live on in the event that his physical body is destroyed and unable to be transported into a Lazarus Pit. The exact details of this process have remained inconsistent; at times it appears as though a complicated ritual is required to achieve this effect, while on other occasions he is capable of performing this feat on a whim, merely by making physical contact with his intended host.
In the New 52, Ra's temporarily gained vast magical powers after bathing in the Well of Sins, the first Lazarus Pit. He claimed he was gifted with true immortality and displayed powers such as levitation, energy projection and construct creation and matter manipulation. However, he lost these abilities following his battle with Jason Todd.
The following are members of Ra's al Ghul's family:
Created by Neal Adams in 1968, the Sensei was originally introduced as high-ranking member of the League of Assassins. He was portrayed as an aged but highly skilled martial artist. During the Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul storyline, he was revealed to be Ra's al Ghul's centuries-old father. He dies during the same storyline.
Created by Peter Milligan and David Lopez in 2007, Dusan al Ghul (Arabic: دوسان الغول) was Ra's' only known son. He was also referred to as Ash'Shabah Al-Abyad (Arabic: الشبح الأبيض), meaning "the White Ghost". Though little is known about his past, it is stated that he was born out of a union meant to strengthen his father's hold over "some long-extinct people", suggesting that he was older than Ra's' other children. As an albino, he was never considered a potential heir to his father's empire. He ultimately sacrificed himself to ensure his father's survival during the Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul storyline.
Created by Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson in 2003, Nyssa Raatko (Arabic: نيسا رعتكو) is Ra's al Ghul's oldest known daughter. She was born to an unnamed woman in 18th century Russia. She would later become a Holocaust survivor. She is murdered by Cassandra Cain during the One Year Later storyline.
Created by Dennis O'Neil and Bob Brown in 1971, Talia al Ghul (Arabic: تاليه الغول) is Ra's al Ghul's daughter. Talia's mother was a woman of mixed Chinese and Arab ancestry named Melisande, who met Ra's at the Woodstock festival.
Originally appearing as an unnamed infant in the 1987 graphic novel Batman: Son of the Demon, the character was introduced as Damian Wayne or Damian al Ghul (Arabic: دميان الغول) by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert in 2006. Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, making him the grandson of Ra's al Ghul. He is a Heir to the Demon Head and expected to one day lead the League. Ra's raised him to be the new Alexander the Great. He is bred from birth to take and rule the world by his mother Talia al Ghul. He was very aggressive until he met his father, Batman. Batman taught him how to calm himself and trained him to be the new Robin. His genetic perfection and genetic makeup unfortunately marked him as the ideal host for his grandfather who wants to take over his body.
Created by Benjamin Percy and Jonboy Meyers, the character debuted in Teen Titans Vol.6 in December 2016. Mara al Ghul is a granddaughter of Ra's al Ghul, daughter to the late Dusan al Ghul and a cousin to Damian Wayne. Introduced as an enemy to Damian she was also raised by the League of Assassins. She and Damian were both members of the Demon's Fist, an elite group within in the League. Damian was supposed to lead the Demon's Fist but Mara now leads the group since Damian's choosing his father over the League. Mara hates Damian since he left her with a scar across her right eye during a training session when they were younger. Mara has not inherited her fathers albinism; she has black hair with red bangs. Like the rest of her family, she is a skilled fighter and is also noted to be a talented artist.
Athanasia al Ghul is a character featured so far only in the Injustice 2 prequel comics and does not appear in the prime earth continuity. She is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, sister of Damian Wayne and granddaughter of Ra's al Ghul. Athanasia is the secret daughter of Talia and Bruce and raised by Talia without Bruce or even Damian's knowledge. While Talia allowed Damian to become a hero and work with his father for a time, Talia kept Athanasia a secret from her father and raised her as a member of the League of Assassins. Athanasia is first seen beside her mother Talia breaking her brother Damian out of prison. She is insulted by Damian's apparent rudeness and wants him to say please before letting him out. When Warden Dan Turpin tries to arrest them she kills him and the guards. While exiting the building Damian tells his mother to control her 'servant', Athanasia, who then assaults him. It is only then that Talia reveals Athanasia is Damian's sister and the "Daughter of the Bat". After the fall of Superman's regime Athanasia and the rest of the League come out of hiding. She works alongside her mother and grandfather in a scheme to reclaim the Earth from humans who were destroying it. During a fight with Batman in their secret base in the Amazon Rainforest Athanasia was seemingly killed when El Diablo exploded and Athanasia wasn't shielded by the blast. She later appeared again alongside her grandfather in Gorilla City as King Solovar's guests.
Although he fathered children with several women, Ra's al Ghul has only two confirmed marriages. The first was to Sora, whose death set Ra's on the path to becoming the "Demon's Head". The second was to Melisande, Talia's mother.
Ra's also appears to have an unnamed sister or half-sister, a female assassin belonging to a group called the "Daughters of Acheron", whose members share the same father. Another member is a woman using the alias "Promise". It is unclear if their common father, "Acheron", is in fact the Sensei (making them all Ra's' half-sisters) or if Ra's only has one half-sister on his mother's side.
In Batman and Robin #12, it is revealed that Talia has cloned her son, Damian. The clone is, therefore, a grandson of sorts of Ra's al Ghul. Additionally, Nyssa once stated that she has given birth twelve times, opening the possibility of Ra's having many other descendants.
After Talia encounters and falls in love with Batman in Detective Comics #411 (May 1971), Ra's begins to consider Batman as a possible heir. Ra's first deduces Batman's secret identity when he reasons the Dark Knight has to be rich, and learns only Bruce Wayne has bought the equipment a crime fighter would have; he is then ready to put Batman to a final test.
Ra's surprises Batman in the Batcave, seemingly to enlist Batman's aid in rescuing both Talia and Dick Grayson, the first Robin, both of whom have apparently been kidnapped. Batman soon discovers the whole affair is a charade orchestrated by Ra's to test Batman, which he passes. Ra's asks Batman to become his heir, which Batman refuses, appalled by his genocidal plan to "cleanse" the world. This story was later adapted into a two-part story in Batman: The Animated Series during its third season under the title "The Demon's Quest".
Despite being mortal enemies, Ra's al Ghul and Batman maintain some level of respect towards one another. Similar to The Riddler, Ra's admires Batman's intellectual prowess first and foremost, regularly referring to Batman as "Detective" or "The Detective" when speaking to or about him. Despite being aware of Batman's true identity as Bruce Wayne since their first meeting, Ra's has never exposed that information to the public or Batman's other foes; something Batman once attributed to Ra's' personal code of honor. However, Ra's has repeatedly used that knowledge to his own advantage when fomenting plans and contingencies against Batman.
In the story "Resurrection Night" in Batman #400, Ra's helps all of Batman's foes to escape from Arkham Asylum and the Gotham State Penitentiary, setting them on a plan to abduct certain individuals across Gotham City who are linked in one form or another to Batman. Ra's' true intent is to show Batman the folly of his efforts to protect a corrupt society, to his mind, allows criminals to exist and flourish. Ra's eventually uses the Pit while still healthy, both increasing his strength and putting his life at risk, in an attempt to outmatch the Dark Knight. The plan backfires, as Ra's is left writhing in the pit, seemingly destroyed.
In the graphic novel Son of the Demon, Ra's successfully enlists Batman's aid in defeating a rogue assassin and warlord, Qayin (a variation on the spelling of Cain), who has murdered Ra's' then-wife Melisande (Talia's mother). During this storyline, Batman marries Talia and she becomes pregnant. Batman is nearly killed protecting Talia from the assassin's agents. In the end, Talia ends her relationship with Batman, unwilling to put him in danger. She claims to have miscarried and the marriage is dissolved. The child is eventually born and left at an orphanage (eventually taking the name Ibn al Xu'ffasch). The only identification provided is Talia's jewel-encrusted necklace, which once belonged to Talia's mother. Two Elseworlds stories, Kingdom Come and Brotherhood of the Bat, feature two alternate versions of Ibn as an adult, coming to terms with his dual heritage. For a time, DC Comics' policy was that Son of the Demon was not canon and that Batman had no son. The recent appearance of the child (under the name Damian) in an issue of Batman implies that this policy may have changed.
In the first Superman & Batman: Generations series, created by John Byrne, Bruce Wayne tracks down Ra's al Ghul after passing the Batman mantle on to his son. Ra's offers Bruce (whom he addresses as "Adversary") a chance at immortality. Ra's has determined that if two people enter the Lazarus Pit, the Pit will merge both life forces, destroying one soul in the process and imbuing the other with youth and immortality without the ensuing madness. With his only alternatives being a fifty-fifty chance at death in the Pit or being murdered by Ra's' men, Bruce agrees to the process. He survive exposure to the Pit and subsequently uses Ra's' criminal empire to clandestinely set up an international humanitarian network. He also becomes a near-immortal, aging one year for every century.
In the Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning crossover book (considered an Elseworlds story), Ra's begins plans for worldwide devastation. He manipulates the Kingpin to his side by infecting the crime lord's wife Vanessa with terminal disease and promising him the cure in return for his allegiance. Ra's then orders him to press the button on his machines which would send New York City under the ocean. Ultimately, Spider-Man and Batman interfere and the Kingpin reveals that he knows Ra's' plans and allows the two heroes to board his plane so they can assist him. Defeated, Ra's bows out of the plan gracefully but claims that there is no cure for the disease. Vanessa convinces her husband that she wishes no further violence, and they leave. Talia soon gives the cure to Batman, who then gives it to Spider-Man, who passes it on to the Kingpin.
In The Batman Adventures #1, albeit Ra's didn't appear, he plays a larger role behind-the-scenes along the Society of Shadows and the Penguin. Ra's finally appears in issue #4, in which he fights Batman again only to be defeated by him one more time. Series writer Ty Templeton originally wanted to bring back Ra's in issue #5 depicting him at prison, but his script for the planned story was rejected because DC Comics told him and Dan Slott that they were 'done' with Ra's and it was time to move with other characters, resulting in issue #5 as a story of Black Mask's False Face Society.
In the Amalgam Comics alternate dimension, Ra's is fused with Marvel Comics supervillain Apocalypse to become "Ra's Al-Pocalypse". Ra's' daughter Talia is fused with Lady Deathstrike to become "Lady Talia".
In Kingdom Come, a rogue superhuman claimed that Ra's al Ghul was killed. Ra's' grandson, Ibn al Xu'ffasch, is a member of Lex Luthor's Mankind Liberation Front. When the appearance of Gog threatens this reality, Ibn uses a Lazarus Pit to restore Ra's to life to try to find a solution in collaboration with Lex Luthor and Brainiac, but they fail to find a solution. All three of them attempt to betray Ibn, and Lex and Brainiac die in their own trap for him. Ra's gets into a sword duel with his grandson in the Batcave and is killed by him.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Ra's al Ghul is a young boy and member of the H.I.V.E. council. He voted against using nuclear weapons to end the war in Western Europe between Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
In the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover miniseries, when the Foot Clan initially arrive in Gotham, Batman considers the possibility that they are a branch of the League of Assassins, but dismisses the idea as the Foot's combat skills show a focus on a specific area of martial arts as opposed to the more varied skills of the League. After Shredder attempts to escape a confrontation with Batman and the Turtles, he is confronted by Ra's, who offers him an alliance. With a batch of fresh mutagen brought to the DC Universe by Casey Jones, Shredder and Ra's try to bring the world to its knees by unleashing their mutated monstrosities (starting with the inmates of Arkham Asylum), but are defeated by the combined efforts of Batman, Ra's' own grandson Damian, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Splinter, who force Ra's into flight.
In the Arrow tie-in comic, Season 2.5, when he hears about terrorist group Onslaught and his leader Khem-Adam, Ra's wishes to speak with him. He sends Nyssa al Ghul and Sara Lance to retrieve him from his base in the Amon-Shu caves of Kahndaq. They arrive back, with him and a girl named Mesi Natifah. Wishing to give Mesi vengeance, he gives her his sword to execute him.
Ra's appears as the main antagonist in a crossover story between Batman '66 and Wonder Woman '77 (taking place in the continuity of Adam West's portrayal of Batman and Lynda Carter's portrayal of Wonder Woman). He and his daughter Talia first meet Bruce in the 40s at a Wayne Foundation auction to support the war effort, where The League of Shadows and the Nazis attempt to bid for a book detailing ancient treasures and locations. When they confront the book's auction winner Mr. Finlay, the young Bruce and Talia escape with both of the books to keep them safe. Ra's finds Bruce in the maze and threatens his life, but Bruce escapes as Ra's manages to obtain one of the books.
Twenty-two years later, Talia hires Catwoman to steal the second book from Mr. Finlay. Batman, Robin and Catwoman travel to Paradise Island to warn Wonder Woman and her people that the League of Shadows will be invading one of the nearby areas, with Diana knowing that Ra's is after the island's Lazarus Pit. Ra's uses the pit to restore his youth and offers the four the chance to join the League of Shadows, but they refuse. Ra's tries to bury them alive, but they are saved thanks to the intervention of Wonder Girl and Talia rescuing them behind her father's back (still harboring feelings for Bruce). Talia is placed in prison by the Amazons while Ra's manages to escape.
11 years later, Catwoman aids Talia in escaping Paradise Island and the two Ghuls continue their search for Lazarus Pits. Thanks to spying on Wonder Woman and Batman, the League discovers there's a Pit in Gotham underneath Arkham Asylum. Ra's hires the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Killer Croc, and Cheetah to keep the heroes at bay. Batman follows Ra's near the Pit and tries to stop him, but Ra's uses his magical assassins to prevent them from interfering. Due to using the Pit sooner than the last time he used it, Ra's is de-aged into a ten year old. The two Ghuls are taken into authorities, with Batman saddened that Talia chose to follow her father's influence.
Ra's serves as a major antagonist in the comic prequel series to the video game Injustice 2. After the fall of the Regime, he takes control of the Suicide Squad, using them to break out Damian Wayne out of Stryker's Island and kidnap the heads of large companies for execution, including Ted Kord. He also organizes the kidnapping of the relatives of active superheroes as a deterrent to their involvement in his plans and resurrects Alfred Pennyworth with one of his Lazarus Pits. Ra's' plan is eventually stopped when Batman and the remnants of the Insurgency, including Ted's successor as Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes, break into his base, inadvertently killing all endangered life he was protecting. As he leaves, Ra's reveals that he had ordered Jackson Hyde to attack the US congress, causing the deaths of thousands and damage to Batman's plans of rebuilding society. It is also revealed that he has been working with Solovar and has possession of the android Amazo. The war between him and Batman continues until he and Solovar are usurped by Gorilla Grodd. During Grodd's coup, he attempts to warn Bruce about the coup before he was mind controlled. As his last request, he asks Bruce to protect his grandchildren. Soon, Ra's appeared before Grodd and was killed by the new ruler of Gorilla City.
Ra's al Ghul has been a staple in the Batman: Arkham franchise where he has been voiced by Dee Bradley Baker:
His stories have been collected into a number of volumes:
Alfred Pennyworth: Civil war amongst the League? How is that possible? Ra's Al Ghul is not known for restraint when it comes to punishing dissent.
Writer Denny O'Neil once stated that he and artist Neal Adams 'set out to consciously and deliberately to create a villain...so exotic and mysterious that neither we nor Batman were sure what to expect.' Who they came up with was arguably Batman's most cunning adversary: the global eco-terrorist named Ra's al Ghul.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 2019 animated superhero film produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment in association with Nickelodeon, making it the first collaboration between Nickelodeon & Warner Bros. Animation. It is based on the six-issue intercompany crossover comic book miniseries, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II. It is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray and Digital HD on June 4, 2019.Destiny Calling (Gotham)
"Destiny Calling" is the twenty-first episode of the third season, the first part of the two-part season finale, and 65th episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by executive producer Danny Cannon and directed by Nathan Hope. It was first broadcast on June 5, 2017.
In the episode, Gotham is currently in chaos with most of the citizens getting infected with the Tetch virus. While Gordon struggles to contain the virus inside him, he and Bullock continue looking for an antidote. They plan on having Hugo Strange develop the antidote but they find that he has been taken by Fish Mooney's gang for their own purposes. However, Nygma and Barbara also want the antidote in order to remain their claim over the city but Butch and Tabitha are planning on betraying them. Meanwhile, Bruce finally comes face to face with the man he was looking for: Ra's al Ghul.Great White Shark (comics)
The Great White Shark or simply Great White, formerly Warren White, is a fictional comic book supervillain owned by DC Comics who exists in that company's DC Universe.League of Assassins
The League of Assassins (renamed the League of Shadows or Society of Shadows in adapted works) is a group of fictional villains appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The group is depicted as a collective of assassins who work for Ra's al Ghul, an enemy of the superhero Batman and the Arrow who later becomes the green arrow
The League of Assassins has been adapted into other media several times, predominantly in animated Batman productions, the live action Batman film series The Dark Knight Trilogy, as well as the CW TV show Arrow, and the FOX TV show Gotham.Leviathan (DC Comics)
Leviathan is a fictional criminal organization in DC Comics, later revealed to be a schism of the League of Assassins under the leadership of Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul.List of Gotham characters
Gotham is an American crime television series developed by Bruno Heller, based on characters appearing in and published by DC Comics in their Batman franchise, primarily those of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne. The series premiered in the United States on September 22, 2014 on Fox television network. The series stars Ben McKenzie as the young Gordon while Heller executive produces along with Danny Cannon, who also directed the pilot.
As originally conceived, the series would have served as a straightforward story of Gordon's early days on the Gotham City Police Department, but the idea evolved, not only to include the Wayne's "transformation" into Batman, but also to explore the origin stories of several of his villains, such as Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman and several others.
The following is a list of characters who have appeared in the television series. In addition to directly adapted characters from DC Comics, many other characters in the series are based on, inspired by and/or otherwise reference preexisting characters without sharing the exact same identities.Matthew Nable
Matthew Nable (born 8 March 1972) is an Australian film and television actor, writer, sports commentator and former professional rugby league footballer. After playing in the Winfield Cup Premiership during the 1990s for the Manly-Warringah and South Sydney clubs, he wrote and starred in the rugby league-centred drama The Final Winter in 2007. Nable went on to act in films such as Killer Elite and Riddick. He appeared on The CW's Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow as Ra's al Ghul.Nyssa Raatko
Nyssa Raatko (Arabic: نيسا رعتكو), also known as Nyssa al Ghul, is a fictional character, a supervillainess in DC Comics. Nyssa Raatko was created by Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson for the Batman series of comic books. She is an enemy of Batman. She is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and the half-sister of Talia al Ghul.
Nyssa made her live appearance as a recurring character on the television series Arrow starting in the second season played by Katrina Law. She was married to Oliver Queen in the Arrowverse. She also appeared in Gotham portrayed by Jaime Murray.Ra's
Ra's (Persian: راس) may refer to:
Ra's al GhulRed Robin (comic book)
Red Robin was an American comic book ongoing series, written by Chris Yost with art by Ramon Bachs, featuring former Robin Tim Drake under the identity of Red Robin. The debut of the series follows the events of Batman R.I.P., Final Crisis, and Battle for the Cowl in which the original Batman, Bruce Wayne, apparently died at the hands of DC Comics villain Darkseid. Of all the characters in the so-called "Batman Family", Drake (now using his legal name, Tim Wayne) is the only one that believes Bruce Wayne is still alive and leaves Gotham City to begin a global search for evidence supporting his theory and hope.Red Robin (comics)
Red Robin is a name that has been used by several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. In current DC Comics continuity, Red Robin is Tim Drake (under the alias of Tim Wayne). Tim Drake was the third Robin before assuming the Red Robin persona.
In the future timeline of the 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come, a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle and becomes Red Robin. His uniform is closer to Batman's in design than any previous Robin uniform. Red Robin then reappeared in promotional material for the DC Countdown event; eventually, it was revealed that this Red Robin was not Dick Grayson, but rather Jason Todd, who appeared under the cape and cowl. During the "Scattered Pieces" tie-in to the Batman R.I.P. storyline Ulysses Armstrong briefly appears as Red Robin. In 2009, a new ongoing series was introduced titled Red Robin.Sensei (DC Comics)
The Sensei, (Buzurg: noble aged man) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The Sensei was created by writer-artist Neal Adams and first appeared in Strange Adventures #215 (December 1968). The character is a martial arts sensei and adversary of the superhero Batman, along with Deadman and several other heroes.Sensor (comics)
This page discusses the post-Zero Hour reboot version of the character. For the other versions, see Princess Projectra.Jeka Wynzorr, codenamed Sensor, is a fictional character, a superheroine in the future of the DC Comics universe, and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
She is a snake-like alien, who was later altered by "Hypertaxis energy" and Ra's al Ghul into a semi-humanoid shape, retaining her serpent's tail but gaining a humanoid upper body.Talia al Ghul
Talia al Ghul (Arabic: تاليا الغول; TAH-liə al GOOL) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. The character was created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Bob Brown, and first appeared in Detective Comics #411 (May 1971). Talia is the daughter of the supervillain Ra's al Ghul, the grand-daughter of Sensei, the half-sister of Nyssa Raatko, on-and-off romantic interest of the superhero Batman, and the mother of Damian Wayne (the fifth Robin). She has alternately been depicted as an anti-hero.
Talia has appeared in over 500 individual comics issues, and has been featured in various media adaptions. The character was voiced by Helen Slater and Olivia Hussey in the DC Animated Universe, which became her first appearances in media other than comic books. The character was subsequently portrayed by Marion Cotillard in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, and Lexa Doig in the television series Arrow.The Demon's Head
"The Demon's Head" is the fourth episode of the fourth season and 70th episode overall from the Fox series Gotham. The show is itself based on the characters created by DC Comics set in the Batman mythology. The episode was written by main cast member Ben McKenzie on his writing debut and directed by Kenneth Fink. It was first broadcast on October 12, 2017.
In the episode, Bruce and Alfred set to discover more about the knife and its big importance to Ra's al Ghul. They leave the knife to museum curator Dr. Niles Winthrop and his grandson, Alex, to research more about the knife. However, Ra's continues his search for the knife, killing Niles in the process. Alex manages to escape and Bruce needs to find him to know everything he wants from the knife. Meanwhile, Cobblepot and Sofia set to make business together but this brings big consequences for Sofia. Nygma also continues wanting to regain his previous persona after struggling through his Riddler persona.
The episode received positive reviews from critics, who highlighted the writing, Alexander Siddig's performance and the development of Bruce Wayne's storyline.The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul
"The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" is the name of an eight issue comic book crossover story arc published by DC Comics in 2007 and 2008. It involves the return of notable Batman villain Ra's al Ghul, and is his first appearance since his apparent death in "Batman: Death and the Maidens" in 2003. It also connects back to the "Batman and Son" storyline, which introduced Damian as the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul.
The seeds for the story were planted in 2007's Batman Annual #26, which added some more background to the origin story of Ra's. The same week the first issue of the story came out, Robin Annual #7 served as a jumping off point with an interlude starring Damian.
|In other media|
|In other media|
|In other media|