Ra's al GhulBack to Villains Main > Ra's al Ghul
Real Identity: Unknown
Affiliation(s): Society of Shadows
Appearances (BTAS): Off Balance, The Demon's Quest, The Demon's Quest Part Two, Avatar, and Showdown
Appearances (BTAS Comic): Demons
Appearances (STAS): The Demon Reborn
Appearances (BB): Out of the Past
Powers/Skills: Limited Immortality, Knowledge, Wealth, Manipulation, Swordsmanship, and Technology
Voiced By: David Werner
A Middle Eastern mystic discovered a Lazarus Pit, pools filled with an alchemical mix of acids and poisons excavated above the electromagnetic leylines crisscrossing the Earth, and with timely immersions, he could extend his life. He was a near immortal. After leaving the pool, the user endures a temporary uncontrollable rage. Taking on the name "Ra's al Ghul" ("Demon's Head" in Arabic), he amassed wealth, power and knowledge. Ra's even founded a secret organization called the Society of Shadows and established a global network and secured control of Lazarus Pits situated throughout the world.
Ra's endlessly worked to make his ultimate goal of restoring an ecological balance to Earth. Ra's lived for over 600 years. The side effect of immersing himself in the Lazarus Pit was insanity and his point of view became heavily biased. To acheive his dream, he was willing to sacrifice billions of innocent lives. Some time later, in the late 1700s, Ra's al Ghul attempted to take the power of the Summoning Tablet for himself. He tracked Jason Blood to a Mayan temple in South America, unaware of Blood's alter-ego. Blood transformed into Etrigan and swiftly took back the Tablet. Ra's had suffered his first defeat. Centuries later, Ra's would get another chance.
In 1883, Ra's al Ghul amassed an army of his followers somewhere in the Utah territory in the Wild West Era of the United States of America. His plan was to build a hydrogen powered blimp with outfitted cannons then attack the site of the meeting of the Transcontinental Railroad, kill the President of the United States and take over the government. His son, Arkady DuVall operated directly under him. However, Ra's had misgivings about DuVall's brutal nature and admonished him at every turn. Ra's allowed an interloper named Jonah Hex to be imprisoned and interrogated instead of an immediate execution. Hex, of course, was just a bounty hunter and not a suspected spy. Hex escaped and pursued his target, DuVall. In his moment of victory, Ra's witnessed Hex single handedly sabotage his blimp and defeat his son. He escaped and left his son to his fate.
Ra's al Ghul later fathered a daughter, named Talia. While raising Talia alone, Ra's continued his 500 year study of the lost half of the Scroll of Osiris. He began to have doubts about his survival and began to seek out a worthy successor. Ra's journeyed to Gotham City and attempted to test a candidate, Batman. Under a ruse that Talia and Robin were kidnapped, Batman and Ra's embarked on a global chase. Batman eventually deducted that Ra's was tricking him. Ra's, undaunted, offered Batman the position as heir to his empire. Batman, who had feelings for Talia, still refused. Enraged, Ra's left Batman and Robin to die in his collapsing Himalayan hideaway.
Batman and Robin survived and resettled at a Wayne Enterprises division in Nepal. They uncovered Ra's latest plan to use a satellite, Orpheus, to engineer a cataclysm that would result in erupting every Lazarus Pit on the planet and restore it to its former purity. As a result, a near genocide of the human race would occur. Batman infiltrated Ra's desert compound alone and confronted Ra's. After destroying the feed to Orpheus, Batman fought sword to sword with Ra's. Ra's fell into a Lazarus Pit and seemingly perished. He survived, however, and kept it secret from Talia, whom he believed betrayed him.
Ra's relocated to a hidden sanctuary in Cairo. Months later, he learned Wayne Enterprises was putting on a 'Treasure of the Pharoahs' display which included the other half of the Scroll of Osiris. Ubu failed to successfully steal it but Ra's poisoned Batman with an Egyptian cobra. After recovering, Batman traveled to Gibraltar, at the tip of Spain, to another of Ra's hideout, where Talia was staying at. She led him to Cairo and discovered Ra's had completely translated the Scroll. He now knew the location of the ancient queen, Thoth Khepera in the Canyon of Tombs and sought the secret of her power. Khepera's sarchapogus held brittle scrolls but concealed a hidden entrance to her santuary. Khepera appeared to Ra's and began to steal his essence. Batman and Talia intervened and instigated a cave-in. Ra's was restored and realized his daughter's love. Talia had second thoughts and freed her father.
Ra's had discovered another artifact he long sought and ordered the destruction of an office building at 112 River Street in Gotham City. Hidden in the cornerstone of this building was the Tablet. Upon dispelling the curse and dispatching Batman, Ra's set about his goal of summoning Haahk and cleansing the world of mankind then rebuilding it with a chosen few. Batman and Jason Blood/Etrigan intervened. When Ra's attempted to banish Etrigan, Batman rendered Ra's unconscious and took the Tablet. Talia dragged Ra's away to safety while the duo dealt with Haahk.
Arkady DuVall, Ra's son, wound up in the Gotham Retirement Villa. With his Society of Shadows, Ra's took his dying son and left a detailed account for Batman and Robin. The two caught up to Ra's at the Gotham Airport but allowed Ra's to leave with DuVall.
The effects of the Lazarus Pit became more and more short lived and could no longer sustain Ra's al Ghul. He realized the one object that could save him was the Shaman Staff, a Native American artifact with mystic healing powers. The object originated from a lost city named Mesa de Oro. Ra's led Spanish conquistadores to conquer it and the city became the foundation of his fortunes. He planned to use the Staff to transfer Superman's life force onto himself. Batman intervened before the process could be completed. Ra's al Ghul held onto an enhanced youth but the city collapsed in the scuffle. Ra's and his daughter Talia disappeared into a nearby underground river.
Ra's al Ghul initiated his next daring plan to save the Earth in what would be later called the Near Apocalypse of '09. Batman fought Ra's and defeated him with Talia's help. Ra's barely survived the battle and his body was so badly damaged that the Pit could no longer heal him. He called for a sacrifice. Utilizing a computer interface, Ra's could imprint thoughts and memories on a genetic match. As a result, the brainwaves of the host were purged. Ra's took over Talia's body and relocated to a 200 acre estate on New Cuba.
As Talia, he put up the cover story that she would use the money of her late father to clean up the devastation caused in the Near Apocalypse. After almost 50 years, the imprinting technology was refined that any body could be used as a host. Ra's planned to lure his enemy, Bruce Wayne to New Cuba. He gave Wayne a choice to share the Pit and broaden Talia's philantrophic corporation to all nations. Ra's staged an incident to make Wayne feel helpless and weak. He underestimated the second Batman and allowed him to accompany Wayne, assuming he would be easily killed. Ra's would take over Wayne's body and return to Gotham City with genetic proof of being the unknown son of Bruce Wayne and Talia. He would use Wayne Industries to fund his empire and return to his ultimate goal. Batman arrived and facilitated the destruction of the device. Ra's saved the core system but a loose wire fell onto the Lazarus Pit and set off an explosion that finally killed him.