Neal Adams, the artist who first drew the now-classic Batman villain Ra's al Ghul, will return to the character this summer in a new, six-issue miniseries titled Batman vs. Ra's al Ghul. Adams will write and draw the series, as he has other recent prestige projects at DC. The miniseries, which represents Ra's's return from the dead, will be set in-continuity and is timed to DC's "Year of the Villain" promotion. The first issue will feature two different covers by Adams -- the standard cover, a black and white version. DC will also release a "facsimile edition" of Batman #232, the first appearance of Ra's al Ghul.
DC says that the Batman #232 Facsimile Edition will be the first of many such books they will roll out. The format feels similar to Marvel's "True Believers" one-shots, which reprint older issues with new trade dress to give fans a chance to read up on the "classics" without having to shell out for a trade paperback collection. In the now-famous story “Daughter of the Demon,” Ra’s reveals that he knows Batman’s secret identity — and that he needs the Caped Crusader’s help to save his daughter, Talia. It’s a tale that established Ra’s al Ghul as one of Batman’s most cunning and unpredictable foes.
Years later, of course, Ra's al Ghul's attempts to breed his daughter with Batman would come to frution in the form of Damian Wayne -- the current Robin and likely to be a major player in the new miniseries as well.
DC notes that Neal Adams "has produced some of the most memorable DC comics ever, but none more memorable and known worldwide than 1971’s Batman #243 and #244, in which Ra’s al Ghul co-creators Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams built to one of the most iconic images in the history of the Dark Knight, a swashbuckling Batman fighting for his life in the desert!"
Kicking off Batman vs. Ra's al Ghul in August, Adams explores a Gotham City under siege by terrorists, with Batman determined to find the source of the violence. But when Boston Brand, aka Deadman, tries to intervene, he discovers an even more disturbing and deadly truth: the terrorists are led by an inhuman monster. Ra’s al Ghul volunteers his own private security force to aid the GCPD, and now they are the saviors standing between nuclear terror and the townspeople. But al Ghul’s true goal is hidden from everyone’s eyes. He will destroy the city and kill Batman — this time for good. Watching in horror is…Bruce Wayne?
The involvement of Deadman makes a lot of sense, not just because Neal Adams created that character, but because a recent miniseries that Adams did with Deadman followed up on a decades-old storyline Adams never got to finish, which tied the character to Ra's al GHul and the League of Assassins.
"I never told anybody that he had another brother and sister that are still alive and that one of them might belong to the League of Assassins," Adams told ComicBook.com. "I didn’t tell people that his parents are both still alive, and they run a small circus and that there’s friction between Boston Brand and his parents. Why? You’ll find out in the story. I didn’t tell anybody that, no, he wasn’t killed as a test for an assassin. He was killed for another reason, and that reason is very important in the DC Universe."
Both Batman vs. Ra's al Ghul by Neal Adams and Batman #232 Facsimile Edition by Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams and Dick Giordano will hit shelves on August 21, 2019.
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