"Daughter of the Demon": This story is reprinted from Batman #232.
Appearing in "Daughter of the Demon"
- Ubu (First appearance)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
- Martha Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- John Grayson (Dies in flashback)
- Mary Grayson (Dies in flashback)
Synopsis for "Daughter of the Demon"
This story is reprinted from Batman #232.
As Robin returns home from a night of adventuring, he finds himself the target of two gunmen armed with tranquilizer darts. They shoot the Boy Wonder and take him prisoner.
Hours later, Bruce Wayne receives a photograph of his kidnapped partner along with a challenge to find him. He returns to the Batcave to investigate further, but when he arrives he finds a man named Ra's al Ghul and his servant Ubu waiting for him. Ra's' contacts have deduced that Bruce Wayne and the Batman are one in the same, and he has called upon the world's greatest detective to help him find his daughter Talia, who has likewise been kidnapped. Suspecting that Talia's kidnapping and Robin's are related, Batman agrees to aid Ra's al Ghul.
Their journey leads them first to Calcutta where they find clues linking the kidnappers to a cult known as the Brotherhood of the Demon. Batman interrogates a local thug about the Brotherhood's whereabouts and the man points them towards a building in the Alley of Widows. As Batman enters the building, a poised leopard leaps out and attacks him. Batman catches the animal's jaw with his elbow and is forced to snap its neck. With the danger past, Batman finds a map that points them towards the Himalayan Mountains.
Ra's al Ghul finances a mountain-climbing expedition and the three begin scaling the frozen mountainsides. A sniper begins firing at them, and it appears that one of the bullets strikes Ra's. Ubu pulls him inside of a crevice, while Batman deftly evades repeat gunfire. Ascending the peak, he finds a temple belonging to the Brotherhood. He enters the temple where he finds Robin bound with rope under armed guard. Batman frees Robin, and the gunmen begin to advance on him. Turning around, Batman reveals that he is not fooled by this elaborate ruse. The masked "leader" of the Brotherhood approaches him, but Batman tears the mask off of him revealing the face of Ra's manservant Ubu. He knew all along that Ra’s was the true perpetrator of this crime. Ubu and Batman fight, but Batman's speed and skill prove more than a match for him. Ra's finally enters the chamber along with his daughter Talia. He confesses to staging the entire episode to see if Batman could prove to be a worthy successor to Ra's role of leader of the Brotherhood. He also reveals that Talia is in love with Batman, and Ra's wants assurances that the Dark Knight would be a worthy son-in-law.
Appearing in "Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!"
- Sluggo (Single appearance)
- Lo Ling (First appearance)
- Ra's al Ghul (In a photograph only)
Synopsis for "Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!"
This story is reprinted from Batman #242.
The news about Bruce Wayne's accidental death reach Gotham City and the consequences of this are discussed by Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Gordon wants Batman to assist to Wayne's memorial ceremony, but Batman informs him that he is needed somewhere outside of Gotham and that he can't attend. Batman parts ways with Gordon, telling him that he might be out of town for a long time.
Once out of Gordon's reach, Batman thinks that faking Bruce Wayne's death was the best approach in order to take down an enemy who knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. With that in mind, Batman has decided that he will need assistance in order to bring down such a menacing threat and he starts recruiting members to form a team.
Batman's first choice is the relatively notorious gangster Matches Malone. Batman disturbs the man while he is taking a meal on his favourite restaurant and Malone sends his thug to stop Batman. When Batman easily defeats the henchman, Malone tries to escape through the kitchen, but he panics at the last second and he shoots at Batman. Unfortunately, the bullet misses the target and ricochets back to Malone, killing him instantly.
Batman's second recruit is Doctor Harris Blaine, a notorious scientist who has been working on secret projects for the government. Batman disguises himself as the late Matches Malone and follows Blaine to the Gotham Arms Hotel, where Blaine is suddenly attacked by a mysterious assailant. "Malone" intervenes, saving Blaine and taking him to a special screening room, where he is introduced to Batman. Both Malone and Batman explain that they need Blaine in order to stop the dangerous threat of a man who is mad for power: Ra's al Ghul. At that moment, the mysterious attacker finds them and he introduces himself as Lo Ling, one of Ra's men who was sent to capture Dr. Blaine and kill Batman. Having failed at his first assignment, Lo throws a dagger through Batman's chest and he escapes. Malone tells Blaine to find help and once he is alone, Batman takes off the disguise of Matches Malone and makes sure that the Batman dummy he used to fool the assassin accomplished its goal.
Batman then follows Lo Ling to the rooftop of the building, where the assassin attempts to escape. However, when Lo sees Batman alive, he loses his balance and falls down. Lo is saved by Batman and he is now forced to return the favor to the Dark Knight. Batman gives Lo the instructions to meet Dr. Blaine and Matches Malone the next week, when they'll start their plan against Ra's al Ghul.
Finally, when Batman finds himself alone, he realizes that all the odds are against him, but he doesn't give up as he believes he is fighting for the right cause.
Appearing in "The Lazarus Pit!"
Synopsis for "The Lazarus Pit!"
This story is reprinted from Batman #243.Batman and Lo Ling have arranged a combat in which Ling would decide whether to continue working as a servant of Ra's al Ghul or if he is to work with Batman. With Matches Malone as their witness, they start the combat and they are evenly matched until Batman disarms Ling and gets the upper hand of the fight. Ling however manages to recover his dagger and tries to stab Batman with it, but the Dark Knight uses his strength to turn the dagger against Ling and cut some of the skin of his neck. As Batman to draws first blood, he is declared winner of the combat and Ling is compelled to obey and serve Batman, turning his back on his previous master. Batman instructs Ling to meet him later at a private airfield and when Ling leaves the place, Robin takes off the disguise of Matches Malone and bids Batman farewell as he returns to Hudson University.
Moments later, Batman wears the guise of Matches Malone and he joins Ling and Doctor Harris Blaine at the private airfield, where they jump into a plane that will take them to the last known location of Ra's al Ghul; Switzerland.
After their arrival, "Malone" decides to leave his partners in order to visit an old friend. Meanwhile, Blaine and Ling get outside of the airport and Ling spots Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Talia. Following his loyalty to Batman, Ling attempts to capture Talia, but he is stopped by the powerful Ubu. At that moment, Batman appears and challenges Ubu before defeating him. Batman then goes after Talia and he grabs her by the arm, but she has no intention of escaping. Unfortunately, Batman is attacked by a lady from behind, who believes that Talia is a damsel in distress and needs help against Batman. This moment is used by Ubu to attack Batman while he is down, but Talia prevents him from seriously hurting Batman, as she tells Ubu that they need to warn her father about Batman.
When Batman recovers, he meets the lady who attacked him. Molly Post is a well known athlete and she apologizes for the mistake she made. When Batman informs her about his mission to capture Ra's al Ghul, Molly decides to join their team, as one of her former lovers was once a victim of Ra's and his schemes. Using some snowmobiles, Batman and his team travel to Ra's al Ghul's secret lair in the snowy mountains. Ling guides them to the place until they reach a cable car, which connects them directly to Ra's place. Batman and his team ride the cable car and manage to take down the guards, but as soon as they reach the highest part of the mountain, they are attacked by some shooters from a bunker. Dr. Blaine's chemistry knowledge proves useful against their attackers, who are stunned after an explosion caused by Blaine, which allows them to reach the main entrance to Ra's secret fortress.
Upon finding the secret door, Batman decides that he is going to be the first to enter the place, all alone, to make sure there are no traps for them inside. After kicking the door open, Batman finds a hallway and at the end of it is Ubu, manipulating some kind of machine. Batman runs towards him and delivers a stunning flying kick, as payback for their last encounter. Soon, Talia enters the place and she is tackled by Molly, who believes she was about to harm Batman. However, Talia explains that she would never harm Batman and she proceeds to kiss him, making Batman even more confused about his feelings for her. After this, Batman asks Talia about her father and Talia informs them that Ra's is in the room with them. Taking a large cloth from the machine that Ubu was working on, Talia reveals Ra's al Ghul's corpse lying on a table. At first, Batman is unsure about the whole scenario, but when Dr. Blaine confirms Ra's death, Batman has no option but to leave the place with his team. Talia then suggests Batman that she should go along with them as well, but before she leaves, she secretly activates a button and then she joins Batman and the others on their way out.
As Batman and the others leave the secret sanctuary, the machine starts working and a large section of the floor opens, revealing a secret pool underneath. After the floor is cleared and the pool is absolutely visible, the table in which Ra's body is lying, starts a slow descent towards the green, murky waters of the pool below until it is completely submerged. After a couple of minutes, the table starts rising, as slowly as it had descended. Finally, when it has reached its initial position, the table stops and the body of Ra's al Ghul comes back to life. As Ra's slowly incorporates, it becomes clear that the process has affected his mind as a mirthless, insane smile is shaped on his face and the body that was dead a few minutes ago, starts walking the land of the living once again.
Appearing in "The Demon Lives Again!"
Synopsis for "The Demon Lives Again!"
This story is reprinted from Batman #244.
Batman and his small team have captured Talia after witnessing the death of her father Ra's al Ghul in their secret hideout. However, as they approach the cable car that would take them down from the snowy mountains, they are utterly shocked to see Ra's al Ghul coming after them. Ra's had been revived by the powers of the Lazarus Pit and Talia explains that after the process, his strength is extremely increased while his mind is struck by a fit of madness. True to her words, Ra's seems to be unable to control his actions and Lo Ling tries to stop him, but fails miserably. Knowing that Ra's could harm the others, Batman confronts the crazed man, but despite his best efforts, he is easily defeated by Ra's. With Batman knocked unconscious, Talia talks to her father, bringing some reason to his mind and she takes him to a secret hovercraft they had concealed in case of emergencies. When Batman recovers, he is informed about Talia and Ra's escape before he starts following their trail with Molly Post by his side. Using Molly's skiis, they follow the hovercraft and Molly reaches the vehicle first. She throws one of her poles to the engine of the vehicle and manages to bring it down, but the pole ricochets towards her and injuries her shoulder. Batman watches as Talia and Ra's make their escape by foot, but he can't give chase to them as he has to take Molly to a medical center.
After Molly and Ling are taken to medical centers for their injuries, Batman finds himself alone since Harris Blaine has decided to stay with the injured and Batman has to continue his quest to bring down Ra's alone. Batman starts by investigating the wreckage of Ra's hovercraft, where he finds a camel's bridle and he knows where to locate his dreaded enemy.
Far away from Switzerland, Ra's al Ghul and his daughter have gathered enough people and supplies on their desert hideout in order to rebuild many of the damages caused by Batman. While his men work endlessly, Ra's explains to Talia that he might no longer be able to use the Lazarus Pit to renew is life, since he has used it many times over the years and soon it will no longer work on his body. For this reason, he finds himself in need of hasten his plan to cleanse the world. At that moment, Batman breaks into Ra's tent, where he attempts to capture Ra's and bring him to justice. Ra's al Ghul is not intimidated by Batman's sudden appearance and he tells Batman that he is not going anywhere without a fight. Ra's then shows his respect and admiration for Batman by informing the "Detective" that he won't have him shot by his men if he is able to defeat him on a duel to death.
The final duel of the fates is to take place right then and there, and both adversaries prepare for their last stand. Ra's commands Talia to bring him his finest weapons and she delivers a couple of magnificent swords, one for each fighter. Ra's and Batman take away their upper garbs for the combat and then the battle starts, much to Talia's sorrow. Batman and Ra's are both skilled swordsmen and their fight is a sight to behold. For hours, they exchange attacks and counter-attacks, worthy of only the greatest duelists.
The fight continues for hours until twilight with no clear winner, until fate ends the fatal combat. While fighting on the hot sands of the desert, Batman's foot reaches a small, but deadly scorpion, which stings Batman's foot, making the Dark Knight unable to continue the duel. Ra's declares himself the victor and he decides to leave Batman to his eventual death by denying him the antidote for the scorpion's poison. As Ra's walks away from his defeated enemy, Talia approaches Batman and claims that she wants to give him one last kiss. However, Talia is really giving Batman the antidote to fight the scorpion's venom and a few hours later, Batman recovers from the deadly attack.
Batman starts walking alone in the desert night and follows the trail of Ra's al Ghul, back to his base of operations. When Batman appears once again in Ra's tent, Ra's al Ghul is utterly shocked to see Batman alive, deeming him as a supernatural being. With unprecedented rage, Batman knocks down Ra's al Ghul, who doesn't even try to evade Batman's attack. With Ra's unconscious, Batman wonders why the most dangerous of enemies he has faced, didn't try to resist and Talia tells him that perhaps Ra's recognized him as his superior. Finally, knowing that Batman will take Ra's to the authorities, Talia asks her beloved if she is to be imprisoned as well, to which Batman simply replies by holding her in his arms and giving her a long passionate kissing before parting. Talia then watches as Batman strides away, carrying Ra's along with him.
- This book was first published on May 5, 1977.
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- No trivia.
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