Capes on the Couch Batman Rogues,DC,Episodes,Villains Issue 27 – Ra’s al Ghul

Issue 27 – Ra’s al Ghul

Issue 27 – Ra’s al Ghul post thumbnail image

Third time’s a charm – we finally get around to analyzing Ra’s al Ghul! Anthony & Doc discuss the value of legacy, reference Hamilton for a second week in a row, and Ra’s turns into Grampa Simpson on the couch. Listen now!


  • Introduction
  • Background
    • Created by Julius Schwartz, Dennis O’Neill, and Neal Adams in Batman #232 (June 1971)
    • Name translates from Arabic to “the Demon’s Head” or “Head of the Ghoul”
    • Born 600 years ago in the Arabian peninsula to a tribe of nomads – became a doctor who discovered Lazarus Pits which physically rejuvenate the user, but take a mental toll
    • Over centuries, he becomes a genius and capable fighter, but comes to hate humanity because of their destruction of the environment – becomes an eco-terrorist whose goal is to eliminate much of the world’s population through a virus
    • Deduces Batman’s secret identity and determines he is the most suitable heir to his empire, so he creates a trap to kidnap Robin and test Bruce
    • Daughter Talia was also used as part of the trap – she falls in love with Bruce, and he reciprocates her feelings – they have on-again/off-again relationship that culminates in the birth of a son, Damian
    • Ra’s is integral part of the Tower of Babel story, where he discovers Batman’s contingency plans for Justice League and uses them with stunning efficiency – steals corpses of Thomas & Martha Wayne to keep Bruce distracted
    • Death and the Maidens – pits daughter vs. daughter – he manipulates Talia and another daughter, Nyssa, into turning on Batman – Nyssa stabs Ra’s and Batman cremates the body
    • Resurrection – Ra’s spirit wants to return to a physical body and plans to use grandson Damian – his father, the Sensei, dies fighting Batman, so he wants the body of another son, the White Ghost, Dusan – Ra’s succeeds, but Dusan dies – Batman battles Ra’s, and has him imprisoned in Arkham
    • New 52 – head of the League of Assassins, and plans to create super-humans inside the bodies of sperm whales – steals the body of Damian Wayne to use for his own nefarious purposes, but Batman recovers his son’s corpse
  • Issues (14:07)
    • Insanity as a result of Lazarus Pits
    • Betrayal of everyone he’s ever worked with has left him alone (22:34)
    • Nostalgia bias (30:55)
  • Treatment (35:26)
    • In-universe
    • Out of universe
  • Skit (43:00)
  • Ending


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