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She was the first daughter of the Ra's al Ghul, born to a Russian peasant woman in 1775. Nyssa Raatko grew up listening to stories about her handsome and powerful father, told by her mother - who never stopped loving the man who abandoned them. At fourteen, Nyssa left home and sought her father, traveling the continent until finally finding him in North Africa. This act impressed Ra's, who accepted her as his protegee and began her training. Soon they were a fearsome duo, for she became an accomplished fighter and tactician.
In 1794 she was in a battle and mortally wounded. Ra's took her to one of his Lazarus Pits and restored her to life, the first of many such treatments she experienced for the next several centuries. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, Nyssa and her father saw the world in different ways, so they parted company. He anticipated that she would make her fortune, marry, and provide him with heirs. This proved not to be the case, and his heart grew colder until he disowned the woman.
It took time, but in 1923 she finally began a family, starting with a son, Daniel. Ra's unsurprisingly turned up soon after, intending to take the boy. Nyssa disagreed, pulling a gun and insisting she would kill him if he did not leave. They parted bitterly. They next saw each other when he was an SS officer and she was suffering at Germany's Ravensbruck concentration camp. It was an unpleasant visit: He explained that sacrifices such as his grandchildren had to be made in order for his great plan to take shape. He never revealed the plan, though. As a result, Nyssa was left to suffer unimaginable pain as she became a test subject for gruesome experiments. She survived but would never be able to have children again.
Her activities after World War II remain unchronicled, but she turned up as a neighbor to her unwitting sister Talia Head when the younger woman was serving as CEO of Lexcorp. The two became friends - until the day Nyssa kidnapped Talia, and then the truth began to emerge. Time and again Nyssa killed Talia, only to resurrect her in the Lazarus Pit, which had been altered by Nyssa to allow a person to be resurrected more than once in the same pit. During each emerging period of madness, Nyssa began to recondition Talia's mind, turning her into a tool.
When she deemed her sister ready, Nyssa sent Talia to see their father, and the Demon's Head was finally slain, seemingly for good. As he lay dying, Ra's admitted that he had anticipated this action and had hoped his death would teach his daughters the correctness of his vision so they would continue his work. Instead, the two plundered his holdings and jointly ran the League of Assassins for a period of time.
Nyssa was not done. She also planned to kill the world's symbol of hope - Superman. Using Kryptonite bullets stolen from the Batcave, she stalked the Man of Steel, who surprised Nyssa by dressing instead as Batman. She was disarmed but managed to maintain her freedom, taking control of Ra's al Ghul's holdings. She and Talia jointly controlled the League for a time.
Her reign ended when she was assassinated by Batfirl, Cassandra Cain. Ironically, Nyssa had attempted to recruit Batgirl to join the League, seeing she was prophesied "the One who is All." Cassandra rejected the offer and left with half the League.
When she was next in North Africa, she entered a car - which exploded. Lady Shiva reported to the League that Nyssa was dead. She has not been seen since.
aka Nyssa al Ghul, aka Nyssa Head
First Appearance: Detective Comics (1937) #783
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
TPB Batman Sonderband (2004)
- 'Destruction's Daughter'#67
- 'Destruction's Daughter, Part 2: Bird Calls'#68
- 'Destruction's Daughter, Part 3: Motherlode'#69
- 'Destruction's Daughter, Part 4: Love's Labors...'#70
- 'Destruction's Daughter, Conclusion: The Resurrection and the Life'
#3 Batman Versus Bane (2012)
- 'Der Tod und die Mädchen '#4
- 'Der Tod und die Mädchen 2'
TPB Batman Villains Secret Files and Origins 2005 (2005)
- 'Batman Versus Bane'
Batman: Death and the Maidens (2003)
TPB Countdown (2007)
- 'Death and the Maidens'TPB (2nd Printing)
- 'Death and the Maidens'#1
- 'Chapter One'#2
- 'Chapter Two'#3
- 'Chapter Three'#4
- 'Chapter Four'#5
- 'Chapter Five'#6
- 'Chapter Six'#7
- 'Chapter Seven'#8
- 'Chapter Eight'#9
- 'Chapter Nine'
DC Universe: Origins (2009)
TPB Detective Comics (1937)
- 'DC Universe: Origins'
#783 JSA: Classified (2005)
- 'More Perfect Than Perfect'
#6 Robin (1993)
- 'Honor Among Thieves, Part 2'#7
- 'Honor Among Thieves, Part 3'
#148 Villains United (2005)
- 'Robin, Boy Wanted, One: Out Go the Lights'#148 (2nd Printing)
- 'Robin, Boy Wanted, Part One: Out Go the Lights'
League of Assassins (DC)
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