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Quote1 Do you think this matters? You are but seconds in my life! Only I know humanity for what it truly is! Only I can see the grand movements of generations! Only I, undying, can live within this world and protect it from itself! Quote2
Ra's al Ghul src

Ra's al Ghul is the founder of the League of Assassins, an organization of deadly warriors that he used to achieve his goal of ridding the world of evil. The League's violent methods have made him a sworn enemy of the Batman. Through the continued use of a Lazarus Pit, Ra's has been able to live for thousands of years.

Early Years

Ra's al Ghul was originally a physician somewhere in the East. At some point the Sultan killed his wife, and in response Ra's razed the city ground, save for the palace tower.

Ra's al Ghul's first mention in recorded history is from 1285, during the crusades. A rumor had spread of a powerful force in the east, a demon in a dark tower. He was believed to be a creature who could crush a civilization in the palm of his hand, and was so feared none would speak his true name. They said death had no power over him, so in order to show there was only one master of death, Prince Gerhardt, riding under the command of Pope Martin IV, travelled to the tower with his crusaders and demanded entry. A servant of Ra's opened the door and told the knights to follow him. As they travelled down a staircase in the tower, every knight except Gerhardt was assassinated. At the bottom, the servant and Gerhardt are in front of a Lazarus Pit, and the servant then leaves and closes the door. Ra's starts laughing and Gerhardt asks "Are you man? Or a fiend from hell?!" Ra's, rising out of the pit, says "I am both. I am neither. I am Ra's al Ghul." He let Gerhardt live to tell the story, in turn causing the west to fear him. To know of his existence and power, but not able to understand what it meant. He became a myth and a legend, and it kept the west away as he built his empire.

As his legend, and fear of him, grew in the west, he took his loyal subjects and travelled east. Along the way he learned much about the arts of death, doing things such as fighting an army of Samurai after they insisted he bow. He also learned of the secrets of the Lazarus pits, including the Well of Sins.

But that was just the beginning, and he then decided he was ready to make his mark on the world and build it as his own. As he travelled, he collected the most dangerous men who ever walked the earth as his disciples. With them he formed the League of Assassins, with the purpose of tearing the world apart and rebuilding it as something far greater.

In 1666, he started the Great Fire of London. In 1721 he started the opium trade with the East India Company (in real life, this led to Opium Wars. Presumably the same occurred in DC). In 1832 he saw to spreading cholera to the new world, causing the cholera epidemic in New York. In 1917 he trained Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, which led to World War I. He also had a hand in many other tragedies throughout the years, such as tearing down societies and destabilizing governments, all with the goal of causing humanity's downfall so he could recreate the world.[3]

Modern Age

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Deal with the All-Caste

Ra's al Ghul approached an organization called the All-Caste, to create a working relationship with the League of Assassins. Through the All Caste, the League gained a connection with the Untitled, an enemy organization of the All-Caste. As part of their deal, the League asked the All-Caste to train Jason Todd. Ra's eventually betrayed the All-Caste, and shortly after, the All-Caste was killed off by the Untitled.

Red Hood and the Outlaws

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Deathstroke

When Deathstroke's daughter, Rose, was on the verge of death, Ra's made an offer to Slade, telling him that if he swore his allegiance to the League of Assassins, he would heal his daughter. Slade reluctantly agreed to the terms, only to find out Ra's had tricked him, forcing Rose, along with Slade's son Jericho, to also swear their allegiance to the League.[4]

League of Shadows

Concerned with mankind's course of destroying itself, Ra's created a splinter group of the League of Assassins, called the League of Shadows, and put Lady Shiva in charge. After Shiva learned of Ra's' true purpose for the Shadows, she turned them against him and used them for her own path of destruction and power. When she used the Shadows to attack Gotham, Ra's met with Batman, seemingly trying to help him bring the Shadows down, although it was revealed he had made a deal with Shiva, in exchange for Batman.[5]

League of Lazarus

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Shadow War

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Flashpoint Beyond

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Powers

  • Lazarus Enhancement: Ra's al Ghul has lived for several centuries thanks to his use of Lazarus Pits, which he has used countless times to replenish his aged, injured, or even dead body. The Pits are partially made up of the chemical compound Dionesium, which has the supernatural ability to revive dead tissue, bringing those who encounter it back to life.[6] As a side effect of exposure to the pit, Ra's temporarily endures a "Lazarus Fever". This causes him to break out into uncontrollable rage, temporarily enhancing his physical attributes.[7]
    • Immortality: Ra's has acquired an extended lifespan through the use of the Lazarus Pit. His unrestricted access to the Pit has rendered him nearly immortal. Ra's is currently over seven hundred years old.[8]
  • Magic: Though rarely displayed, Ra's is able to use magic spells for various purposes. Using his mother's spell book, Ra's was able to create a binding spell that imprisoned Mother Soul and the Lazarus Demon to a remote island.[9] He was later taught by Giovanni Zatara to invoke magic by speaking backwards. He has used this type of magic to erase memories from Batman's mind on multiple instances.[5][10]
    • Necromancy: Ra's has been shown capable of utilizing magic to summon the dead. On one occasion Ra's used a spell to resurrect Solomon Grundy. When the Lazarus Pit's effect began to fade, Ra's was able to absorb Grundy's immortality through a spell.[11]
    • Telepathy: Ra's can make people forget memories of his choice by saying their name backwards and then saying "Tegrof".[5][10]

Abilities

  • Alchemy[4]
  • Aviation[12]
  • Deception: Ra's is greatly skilled in the art of deception.[13]
  • Eidetic Memory: Ra's knows the "Memory Palace Technique", a strategy of memory enhancement that allows him to treat and store memories like a museum. This is how he is able retain the vast knowledge obtained throughout his lifetime. Ra's also taught this technique to Bruce Wayne.[14]
  • Escapology[5]
  • Equestrianism[15]
  • Firearms: Although not his preferred weapon of choice, Ra's has displayed the ability to handle himself well with firearms.[16]
  • Fishing[17]
  • Genius Level Intellect: Due to his greatly extended lifespan, Ra's has learned from the Earth's greatest minds for hundreds of years, granting him him the intellect of a genius.[17]
  • Gadgetry[18]
  • Historiography
  • Intimidation[3]
  • Leadership: Ra's is a highly capable leader, as he has successfully led the League of Assassins for centuries.
  • Martial Arts: Ra's near-immortal life has allowed him to learn numerous fighting styles over centuries of training, making him rival even Batman in combat.[3] He was also skilled enough to defeat Deathstroke in combat, despite Slade's superior strength and speed.[13]
    • Dhritishastra: Ra's has managed to learn the basic forms of Dhritishastra, an Indian martial art developed by Vandal Savage, so complex that it takes an entire lifetime to learn.[19]
  • Medicine: As a young man, Ra's served as a sultan's physician.[9]
  • Meditation[17]
  • Multilingualism: Ra's speaks several languages, including ancient Akkadian.[20]
  • Occultism: Ra's possesses knowledge and understanding of magic and concepts of mystical nature.[9] He also has extensive knowledge of the arcane Lazarus Pits and their progenitor, the Well of Sins.[3][20] Ra's also knew about the existence of Themyscira and how to find the island, which normally cannot be done without guidance from an Amazon.[21]
  • Science[9]
  • Swordsmanship: Ra's is a master swordsman, honing his skills over centuries of training and combat. He stated that he had trained the sword masters of the first ever fencing academies on the planet.[3]
  • Tactical Analysis: Ra's is a brilliant tactician, honing his tactical skills throughout the multiple centuries of his extended lifespan.
  • Throwing: Ra's is a deadly marksman and can hurl projectile weapons such as knives, with precision.[22]
  • Weaponry: Throughout his years, Ra's has displayed his mastery of weapons in combat, favoring a sword, although he has undoubtedly mastered many other forms of weaponry.

Equipment

  • Paralytic Toxin: Ra's carries a paralytic developed three hundred years ago from an extinct cousin of the poppy flower.[5]
  • Ultraviolet Light Grenade: Ra's has used U.V. light grenades on occasion, which replicate the effects of a red sun, making them harmful to Kryptonians.[18]

Transportation

  • Demon Wing: Ra's owns an aircraft called the Demon Wing, similar to the Batplane.[12]

Weapons


  • Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit is composed of Dionesium, the same chemical compound that gave Vandal Savage his immortality and the Joker his limited healing ability.[6] However, it was revealed that there is also magical properties to the Lazarus Pit.[9]
  • After bathing in the Well of Sins, the very first and purest form of the Lazarus Pit, Ra's temporarily gained mystical powers. The power however proved to be too much for Ra's to control, and he was eventually stripped of it by Jason Todd.[23]

Related

Footnotes


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Outsiders Villain(s)
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Legion of Doom member
This character is or was a member of the Legion of Doom, a team of supervillains called together for the purpose of conquering the world and defeating the Super Friends, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Legion of Doom members" category.

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