During the Second World War, Ra's al Ghul had an organization of his own, which he often used to combat the Axis Powers. Two members of the organization were Lieutenant Landor and his wife, who several years earlier had been blessed with a son, Quinlan. Ra's had been made Quinlan's godfather, and he and his wife Melisande would care for Quinlan when his parents were away on missions. One such mission was to the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which just happened to be taking place on August 6, 1945, when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on the city at 8:15 a.m. Quinlan was devastated by the deaths of his parents, and blamed Ra's for his loss. From that day, Quinlan became moody, fatalistic and obsessed with the subject of death — demanding that he be called Qayin, after a variation on the name of the first murderer. Neither Ra's nor Melisande could do anything to relieve his melancholy. Melisande was at the time pregnant with Talia, and begged Ra's to expel Qayin from their household, but her husband could not bring himself to do this. Ra's would later have cause to regret his inactions as one night, Melisande caught Qayin prowling about Ra's secret room where an earlier version of the Lazarus Pit was kept. The room was forbidden to all except Ra's and, horrified at having been discovered, Qayin fled — and in doing so, he pushed Melisande into the Pit where she died instantly. Her death was witnessed by Talia, who was still only a child.
On the night Melisande died, Qayin disappeared without a trace — only resurfacing several years later, around 1987, after terrorists, each with the letter 'Q' carved into his flesh, took hostages while attempting to steal from a warehouse in Gotham City barrels of an experimental chemical used in pluviculture (the science of rainmaking), a situation which was resolved by Batman. Qayin was discovered to be working with General Yossid, ruler of the small Mediterranean country of Golatia and who had recently signed a pact with America after years of courting both the USA and the USSR. Batman later discovered one of his longtime allies, Dr. Harris Blaine, had been mysteriously murdered, and all the clues seemed to point to the murderer being Ra's al Ghul. However, Ra's was innocent of the crime, but on hearing that Qayin had returned, Talia wished to hunt down and kill him — not only to avenge her mother but also to prove to her father that she still loved him. Batman once again renewed his relationship with Talia.
Qayin had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and had only six to eight weeks to live. He therefore planned to seize the Lazarus Pit to save himself — or take the world with him when his end came. The launch of a US weather control satellite was taking place in Golatia, and Qayin planned to usurp it for his own ends. A raid on the base by Ra's men, led by Batman and Talia, in an attempt to destroy the satellite failed, but Qayin's hirelings were successful in attaching the override circuitry/anti-radar screen implant that would allow them to take control of it. Although the mission had been unsuccessful, Talia announced wonderful news to Batman — she was pregnant with their child.
Having learned the location of Ra's al Ghul's base, Qayin and his men launched a raid in a bid to kill Ra's and seize the Lazarus Pit. But Ra's was ready for him — and rather than let the Pit fall into Qayin's hands, Ra's detonated explosives that completely destroyed the Pit. Talia fought alongside her father's men, but Batman stopped her as he would not risk her safety or that of the baby.
Taking control of the weather satellite, Qayin and Yossid planned to use it as a weapon which no nation would be able to withstand. When Yossid objected to Qayin's intention to invoke war between America and Russia by creating a hurricane and sending it to the Soviet Union, Qayin killed him. The hurricane devastated several Russian villages, and Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev contacted President Ronald Reegan of the United States by telephone — warning that if the hurricane came within one hundred miles of Moscow, it would be considered an act of war.
In the aftermath of the raid on Ra's base, tragedy struck: as a result of the strife of the raid and the exertion, Talia apparently lost the baby she was expecting. To avenge the death of their unborn child, Batman joined Ra's and his men in their final assault on Qayin's base. Having reached the nerve center of Qayin's operation, and with no time to find the computer's proper access code, as the hurricane was only one hundred and fifteen miles outside Moscow, Ra's deactivated the radar screen controls by exposing the internal circuitry — restoring control of the satellite to the Americans and allowing it to be destroyed by US missiles. With his organization by now destroyed, Qayin attempted to kill Ra's with sparking electrical cables from the computer, but Batman came to the rescue, during which Qayin was instantly electrocuted by the selfsame cables. Ra's hoped Qayin was now at peace, but Batman hoped not.
- Qayin was a large, heavily-built man and had great strength.
- Qayin had been diagnosed as having a terminal disease — possibly cancer, though this is never confirmed — with only a short time to live.
- In line with Qayin's Biblical fixation, his base in Golatia was located at Mount Ararat — the spot where Noah's Ark first touched land after the Great Deluge.
- 1 Appearances of Quinlan (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Quinlan (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Quinlan (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Quinlan (New Earth)