If you thought the Joker was twisted and enigmatic, wait until you see how Ra's al Ghul and his family do things. Being one of Batman's most persistent and dangerous enemies, Ra's has existed long before the Dark Knight. This is all thanks to his special fountain-of-youth called the Lazarus Pit. It's arguably his best-kept secret, though him involving his daughters revealed his ace to all superheroes.

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That doesn't really matter because the al Ghul family is rife with oddly inexplicable and mysterious quirks. While the comic books and other media forms have fleshed out Ra's al Ghul, much of his background and other relationships remain shrouded in mystery. Here are 10 of those secrets that will have even the World's Greatest Detective scratching his head.


Initially, the Lazarus Pit(s) was something only Ra's and a handful of other people knew. However, due to his daughters' meddling in his affairs, it has since been revealed to pretty much every superhero in the DC universe. Sometimes, other Bat-family or even Justice Society members even use the revival vat as a means of coming back from certain death.

Popular as it may be, the funny thing about it is that no one still bothers to find out what it really is, not even Bruce Wayne. As a result, we still don't truly understand what the heck is a Lazarus Pit. Some discoveries about the mysterious green chemical pool have been made; for example, there's the fact that it seeps up from beneath the Earth (probably even the core). Also, it is situated in magical keypoints. Beyond that, Ra's is lucky no one bothers much with his milk bath.


Despite not knowing the Lazarus Pit's composition, Ra's still liberally bathes within it. That means his age may well be incalculable. Estimates range from 400 to 700 years old but no one, not even Batman, is sure. In that regard, Ra's al Ghul is Batman's oldest enemy. He most likely existed way before the Wayne family.

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Since he's pretty much undying, Ra's age in the DC universe just keeps going up. Heck, it's probably come to a point where even he has lost track of the exact number, which is understandable as it happens even to people past their 20s. Age or probably even time, for that matter, has become an alien concept to Ra's.


Ra's al Ghul, as cool or prone to mispronunciation as it may be, is not his birth name. His original name is lost to the annals of DC history. His name was never revealed ever since he was born (whenever that is) to a nomad Arabic tribe some six centuries ago. Now, we only know him by Ra's al Ghul, which in itself is peculiar.

It's actually a combination of Arabic and Hebrew words meaning "head of the demon" or "head of the ghoul." "Ra's" is Arabic for "head," "al" is equivalent to "the" in English, while "Ghul" translates to ghoul. However, the Arabic pronunciation for Ra's is "razz" but DC has announced that Ra's al Ghul's "Ra's" is actually Hebrew and is pronounced "resh" which also means head or chief. That means Kevin Conroy is right with his pronunciation in the Arkham games. Regardless, it's still not his original name and we've been calling him "head" this whole time.


Turns out, the League of the Assassins (or Shadows in Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy) is just the tip of the iceberg. Ra's has grander schemes for the world than just assassinating everyone who gets in his way and ideals. To that end, the first and primary organization he founded is named The Demon.

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To this day, it remains shrouded in mystery. The Demon has several departments and wings with the League of Assassins being only one of them. Ra's often considers the League of Assassins as The Demon's fang, meaning it spearheads the operations of his sinister organization. All in all, Ra's grasp on the world is vaster than one would think.


Ra's parents are as mysterious as his original name or age. They simply were not revealed nor seemed to be an integral part of his plans, whatever those may be. That is until Ra's actual father revealed himself! (dun-dun-duuuun!). Turns out, it was a DC villain named Sensei who appears to be an old Karate master and trainer for the League of Assassins.

The Sensei and Ra's are estranged, with the latter not knowing the former's true identity. Oddly enough, the Sensei seems to have achieved the same longevity as Ra's since he also managed to make it into the modern era along with his clueless son. Sadly, upon having a reunion with his son, Sensei stabbed Ra's. We still don't know Sensei's name or the identity of his wife/partner. Speaking of wives...


Ra's first wife, Sora, was killed by a prince he saved using the Lazarus Pit. He did have another chance at building a family and it's a weird one, to say the least. Ra's met a woman named Melisande... in Woodstock back in the late 1960s. The two of them fell in love during the hippie music festival and conceived a child, Talia al Ghul.

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Now, we don't know about you, but what the heck would Ra's be doing at Woodstock? Most likely, he was once a hippie or, at the very least, wanted to hear some psychedelic music. No matter the angle, it's unreal and puzzling. A leader of a worldwide Illuminati-like organization being a tree-hugger at his leisure... okay. Come to think of it, that might have influenced his goals...


The League of Assassins or The Demon sounds like an evil ninja organization and all, but Ra's plans for the world sort of don't match with the theme. He's best described as a radical eco-bandit who disdains what the human beings are doing to the Earth. In that regard, Ra's wants to rid the world of the destructive human beings, usually the evil ones like criminals, murderers, warlords, etc.

That noble intention doesn't help make his motivations clear or understandable. Ra's has often resorted to criminal and even destructive means to carry out his advocacy and plans. That means he's the very thing he wants to destroy. Not to mention he regularly teams up with other evil supervillains such as Bane and his own criminal organization. Anyway, it's not fair to expect much from someone who has bathed in the Lazarus Pit; side effects include going wacko.


When your father prides on calling himself "The Demon" or the head of it, you'll have to come to terms with the fact that he's probably going to be a bad parent. That's Talia al Ghul's dilemma. Her father is an evil overlord but her moral compass is still somewhat intact. She even became more altruistic and "normal" once she brushed up (in more than one way) with Batman.

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Talia fell head-over-heels for the Caped Crusader and was sometimes willing to do anything for him. At one point, she even revived and nursed the deceased Jason Todd (one of the Robins) back to health. She has regularly helped Bruce Wayne/Batman without her father's knowledge. Even so, she still conducts her father's bidding and nefarious activities. Eventually, she even replaced Ra's as the leader of the League of Assassins. In any case, Bruce did well to not trust her completely.


It's not just Talia who has a stormy relationship with Bruce Wayne, but also Ra's. Regardless of which origin story (comic book, cartoons, or film) is followed, Ra's respects Bruce Wayne a lot. Ra's usually considers Bruce a reputable opponent, often wanting Bruce to be his heir.

In fact, Ra's and his family are some of the few people who know Batman's real identity but still opt to keep it a secret. It's complicated alright. Despite their faithfulness to Batman's best-kept secret, they still go out of their way to harm Bruce Wayne and his Bat-family. Such events happen so frequently, both parties have gotten used to it.


If there ever was a "most messed-up family award" in the DC universe, Ra's and his daughters deserve to be nominated. As it happens, Talia is not Ra's' only daughter. He also has another one named Nyssa, who also appears to be centuries old as well. Like Talia, Nyssa is partial about their father's schemes, even more so in the latter's case.

So, the two of them set out to kill their own father and actually succeed. Then, Nyssa also sets out to repeatedly kill and revive Talia using the Lazarus Pit. This drives Talia insane until she agrees to take over the League of Assassins... basically continuing their father's wishes. Then it turns out Ra's was never really dead and even planned his demise at the hands of his daughters all along. Why? He wanted to bring them back into the fold. Ra's strange logic is brought to you by the Lazarus Pits. Don't do Lazarus Pits kids.

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