The Lazarus Pits are an iconic part of Batman lore. The mysterious chemical pools and their life-restoring and rejuvenating powers are intrinsically linked to the Dark Knight's oldest foe, Ra's al Ghul, allowing him to extend his lifespan by centuries. They're powerful things, the Lazarus Pits, but in this week's Batman #73 writer Tom King may have just introduced something even stronger and potentially more terrifying -- the Nain Pit.
In Batman #73, Flashpoint Batman Thomas Wayne on a journey on horseback with both Bruce Wayne and a coffin in tow. As they journey -- and once he regains consciousness -- Bruce figures out what exactly it is that Thomas is looking for: the Nain Pit. It turns out that this pit is very mysterious, and Bruce has really only ever heard rumors of it and what it can do and it's the "do" implication that leads Bruce to figure out exactly what Thomas aims to do and why he's got the coffin. The coffin contains the corpse of Martha Wayne and Thomas intends to use the Nain Pit to bring her back to life.
Now, if this Nain Pit were simply a Lazarus Pit with a special name, this whole journey would be a fool's errand. To use a Lazarus Pit, the subject needs to be at least slightly alive or, in a worst case scenario, only very recently dead and even in the best of circumstances, those who go into the Pit often go insane. In the case of Martha Wayne, she's been dead for decades so even if a Lazarus Pit could resurrect her, it probably wouldn't be a good situation -- something that Thomas and Bruce both likely realize. That means the Nain Pit has to be something different and more powerful, at least in terms of what they know or expect.
The name of the Nain Pit also implies that it has some sort of power of resurrection. The name Lazarus has deep connections to the Bible as perhaps the most famous of Jesus Christ's miracles in which he brought a man -- Lazarus of Bethany -- back to life. In the Book of Luke, Jesus performs a similar miracle, raising a young man from the dead in the city of Nain. The resurrection at Nain is the first of Jesus' three miracles in the canonical gospels. It's not clear if the implication is that perhaps the Nain Pits are the first such pit and, therefore, more powerful somehow, or if it's just different or what the situation is exactly but it certainly seems to hint that there is something different and significant there.
However, even if the Nain Pit does have the ability to bring Martha Wayne back that doesn't mean Thomas and Bruce should do it. A resurrection pit with any connection to Ra's al Ghul can't be good and, even if it were, this is Batman. There are no happy endings here for Gotham's hero.
Batman #73 is on sale now.