Ra's al Ghul, sometimes written Rā's al Ghūl ( ), is a DC Comics supervillain and is one of Batman's greatest enemies. His name is Arabic for "The Demon's Head," and references the name of the star Algol. Created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams, he was introduced in Batman #232's "Daughter of the Demon" (June 1971). Given his high status as a supervillain, he has also come into conflict with Superman and other superhero in the DC Universe. Ra's al Ghul has been featured in various media adaptions, most notably the 2005 Christopher Nolan film, Batman Begins, where he was portrayed by actors Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe, the latter being a successful decoy.
Ra's al Ghul is an international terrorist and assassin 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 human. 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 Pit, reservoirs of rejuvenating chemicals that restore the dying to life; these pits have granted him a lifespan of several centuries.
He regards Batman (whom, out of respect for his intellectual brilliance, he addresses
as "Detective") as his most worthy opponent, and has frequently sought to make the Dark Knight his successor. He is one of the few criminals in Batman's rogues gallery to have deduced his secret identity as Bruce Wayne. For his own part, Batman's opposition to Ra's is complicated by his attraction to the villain's daughter, Talia.
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Official Site: DC Comics
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