|First appearance||Detective Comics #599 (April 1989)|
|Created by||Sam Hamm (script)
Denys Cowan (art)
|Full name||Henri Ducard|
|Abilities||Skilled martial artist and detective|
Henri Ducard is a fictional character in the Batman comic book universe. Created by Sam Hamm, Ducard's first appearance was in Detective Comics #599 (April 1989), part of the "Blind Justice" story arc. Sam Hamm was the screenwriter of the 1989 Batman film and was asked by Batman comic editor Denny O'Neil to guest write a story arc in Detective Comics, within the arc he created the character of Henri Ducard. The character was later amalgamated with Ra's al Ghul as the main villain in the film Batman Begins, a reboot of the Batman franchise Hamm had helped originate.
Fictional character biography 
In the comics, Bruce Wayne approaches Ducard for training in Paris, during his early days traveling the world. Ducard, a knowledgeable detective with excellent man-hunting skills, imparts much of his knowledge to the young, keen Bruce.
Later in the series, it is revealed that Ducard is largely amoral, working for criminals as often as he does the law. He deduces Batman's secret identity, but keeps it to himself, thinking, as he leaves, that Batman continues to exist because true criminals realize he distracts the people from the greater crimes by his public battle against lesser crimes.
Ducard has also worked with the third Robin, Tim Drake, who went to Paris during his training, as Bruce did. Unlike Bruce, however, Robin only encounters him in passing at the end of his training, in Hong Kong.
Early history 
When his mother, Felicity Strode was contacted by the people who had hired her to kill Ducard years ago, telling her that she would either fulfill her end of the deal or they would kill her son, Morgan stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife. His father saw what he had done and listened to what he had to say, deciding to take Morgan with him and train him to become a killer.
Several years later, a young Bruce Wayne came to France, searching for Henri Ducard to train under. After drawing attention to himself, Morgan was sent to kill him, but was defeated by the American after a long battle. His father was about to kill Wayne himself, but decided to train him instead upon hearing the man's ambitions. They were both trained, constantly competing against each other, causing Morgan to feel a sense of resentment towards Bruce over stealing his father's attention from him.
During the training, all three were constantly tracking a terrorist named Hassan. While Bruce originally assumed it to be a simple capture, and that Interpol would come to retrieve him upon the success of the mission, he was soon proven wrong after Henri shot and killed the man. After Wayne stormed off, Ducard orders Morgan to find him and kill him, since he knows too much about the two. Morgan shoots Bruce with a sniper rifle as he is exiting a taxi, believing to have killed him. As he begins to drive away, he is ambushed and beaten within an inch of his life by Wayne, who drops him through a skylight and onto his father's work table.
After failing to kill Wayne, Morgan's father considered him a disgrace, something he would never get over. Years passed before he ever met Bruce again, going into action after the announcement of Batman Incorporated. He kills the Russian Batman before going to Gotham City in order to start his plan for revenge.
At first, Morgan simply killed criminals, especially those Batman and Robin had earlier stopped. Eventually, though, he confronts Bruce, telling him flatly that he plans to seek revenge on him for disgracing him. He makes good on his words one night as Damian sets out to fight crime on his own. He appears after the boy had finished attacking two muggers, critically injuring one of them. He tries to provoke Damian to kill the man, saying he was as good as dead already due to the severity of the beating. Refusing, Morgan kills the man himself before stunning Damian and attempting to kidnap him. 
Before he can do this, Batman appears. After Batman is stunned by Morgan's sonics, he is hit by a car and knocked unconscious. Morgan takes the two into an abandoned drive-in, tying them up and placing them in a wrecked car. Morgan plays a video on the screen featuring Batman's enemies, commenting on how Batman refuses to kill them despite knowing that they will simply break out and commit crime once again. Morgan is about to kill Batman before he is shot by the Batplane. Running from the hail of rubber bullets, Morgan blows up a tanker of gasoline before escaping in the blast. Later that night, Morgan appears on the Wayne Manor grounds to Damian, convincing him to abandon his role as Robin and join his way of fighting crime.
He takes the boy to an embassy, informing him that the ambassador is part of a human trafficking ring and uses his diplomatic immunity to bypass the law. Both break in to the building, defeating the guards along the way. They corner the corrupt man in his office, Morgan giving Damian a gun and telling him to kill the man to prove his commitment. He pulls the trigger, revealing the gun wasn't loaded and it was simply a test. He takes the man back to his base of operations, injecting him with a truth serum to make him tell them information concerning the people behind the trafficking ring. Once the diplomat has told everything he knows, Morgan begins to lower him into a vat of acid. Robin attempts to stop him, but is beaten. Robin informs Morgan that he'd simply been playing along the whole time; he knew the gun wasn't loaded and had been broadcasting their location to Bruce. With the knowledge that his enemy is listening, Morgan begins to slowly torture Damian, telling Bruce, in detail, everything he does to the boy.
Deciding to kill Damian, Morgan informs Bruce of what he is about to do just as the Batmobile comes crashing through the wall. Batman and NoBody violently attack each other, the former gaining the upper hand by saying his only motivation for all of what he's done is jealousy. Incapacitating him, Bruce dunks his head into the vat of acid, only stopping himself from killing Morgan after remembering Damian's presence. Though beaten, he continues to taunt the two, saying he will eventually return to kill them both. Seeing Damian's look of rage, he taunts him, trying to convince him to finish what his father had started. Unable to control himself any longer, Damian kills him with a strike between the eyes.
In other media 
- Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins merges Henri Ducard with Ra's al Ghul as the film's main antagonist. Ra's uses the alias Ducard, pretending to be subservient to a decoy Ra's al Ghul for the first half of the film, until he reveals that he is in fact Ra's al Ghul himself. He is portrayed by Liam Neeson, while his decoy is played by Ken Watanabe. In The Dark Knight Rises, the younger version of Ra's al Ghul is played by Josh Pence.
Video games 
- Liam Neeson reprised his role as Henri Ducard/Ra's al Ghul in 2005 Batman Begins game, in which he plays a role very similar to that in the film.
- The Liam Neeson portrayal of Henri Ducard appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Password: Swordfish" voiced by Seth Green. In a segment that parodies Batman Begins, he trains Heimlich to save people who are choking on food.
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 41. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8. "In the pages of Detective Comics, Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm took advantage of that year's ongoing writers' strike to write a three-issue story entitled "Blind Justice", which culminated in that title's 600th issue."
- Detective Comics #599
- Detective Comics #600
- Robin #2
- Robin #4
- Robin #5
- Suicide Squad #51
- Suicide Squad #63
- Batman and Robin (vol. 2) #4
- Batman and Robin #2
- Batman and Robin #4
- Batman and Robin #1
- Batman and Robin #5
- Batman and Robin #5
- Batman and Robin #6
- Batman and Robin #7
- "In the beginning" http://media.www.kentnewsnet.com/media/storage/paper867/news/2005/06/15/UndefinedSection/In.The.Beginning-1517277.shtml (accessed 10 January 2010)
See also