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|Nyssa al Ghul|
Cover to Batman: Death and the Maidens #3.
Klaus Janson, artist
|First appearance||Detective Comics #783 (August, 2003)|
|Created by||Greg Rucka|
|Alter ego||Nyssa Al Ghul|
|Team affiliations||League of Assassins|
|Notable aliases||Nyssa al Ghul, Nyssa Queen|
|Abilities||Uses her father's Lazarus Pits to restore life and heal wounds; knowledgeable in the study of alchemy; genius rivals that of her father; Master martial artist.|
Nyssa Raatko (Arabic: نيسا رعتكو), also known as Nyssa al Ghul, is a fictional character, a supervillainess in DC Comics. Nyssa Raatko was created by Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson for the Batman series of comic books. She is an enemy of Batman. She is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and the half-sister of Talia al Ghul.
Nyssa made her live appearance as a recurring character on the television series Arrow starting in the second season played by Katrina Law. She was married to Oliver Queen in the Arrowverse. She also appeared in Gotham portrayed by Jaime Murray.
Fictional character biography
In Batman: Death and the Maidens, it is revealed that Ra's al Ghul had a love child born during his travels in Russia in the 18th century named Nyssa. Enamored by the romantic stories that her mother told her about Ra's as a child, Nyssa sets out to find Ra's and eventually locates him at his headquarters in North Africa.
Impressed by her beauty, her warrior skills, and the fact that she was able to locate him, he promotes her to a position similar to that later held by her half-sister, Talia. As a right hand associate, she accompanies him during his adventures. Ra's is so impressed with her abilities, he even allows Nyssa to use his Lazarus Pits. Like her sister Talia, Nyssa eventually becomes disenchanted with Ra's genocidal plans to "cleanse the Earth", and disassociates herself from her father sometime in the early 20th century. Ra's reluctantly approves this, believing that she will return to him and that she or her children will become his future heirs. To his disappointment, Nyssa refuses to give herself or her family to him, causing him to disown her permanently. He does however allow her to keep a Lazarus Pit for herself and, much to his surprise, she finds a way to reuse it, allowing her to survive until modern times.
The Second World War
During World War II, Nyssa and her family are quickly sent to a concentration camp, where Nyssa's entire family dies and she is rendered infertile by very Mengele-style experiments. At one point she begs Ra's for help, but he refuses her, stating that, while he does not agree with Hitler's ideological agenda, his cause could only be aided by the millions who will be exterminated by Hitler's scheme.
Death and the Maidens
Broken by her horrifying experiences during this time, and enraged that Ra's has abandoned her and her family to die at the hands of the Nazis, Nyssa is finally motivated to act when her great-grandson – her last living descendent - is killed. She plots to kill Ra's by befriending, kidnapping, and brainwashing Talia and using her to kill Ra's. To this end, she captures Talia and, using a Lazarus Pit, kills and resurrects her in rapid succession, leaving Talia virtually broken from the trauma of dying again and again in so short a time. Rendered apathetic by her time in the camp, unable to feel anything, Nyssa then attempts to destroy all hope and optimism in the world by assassinating Superman with Kryptonite bullets she steals from the Batcave, hoping that, by uniting the world in one moment of tragedy, she will manage to rouse herself once more.
While Batman is successful in preventing the assassination of Superman, he is unable to stop Ra's from being killed by Nyssa. This in turn is part of a greater plan by Ra's to ensure that his daughters, both initially dissatisfied with his plans, will realize that he is right, and that they would come to accept their destinies as his heirs. Realizing and accepting this, both Nyssa and Talia become the heads of the League of Assassins. Talia disavows her love for Bruce Wayne, and both half-sisters declare Batman to be their enemy, Nyssa promising that she will not fail her father as Batman departs.
The origins of the Lazarus Pit were accidentally discovered by Ra's al Ghul while digging a pit. The Lazarus pit can grant restorative properties that can heal injuries and even grant immortality. Nyssa is in possession of one of the world's last Lazarus Pits, which has granted her longevity and the ability to heal her wounds; she survives The Holocaust thanks to its powers. She also found the ability to use the pit multiple times. She is also extremely wealthy, especially since she assumes control of Ra's' organization and joins forces with Talia. Like her father and half-sister, she knows Batman's secret identity and the location of the Batcave.
In the Batcave, a Lazarus Pit was created by Batman after he learned that the Pits were necessary to maintain the stability of the world. A third seems to exist high in the Himalayas, used by Black Adam to revive Isis. A fourth Lazarus Pit was revealed to exist in the Australian outback; and a fifth in Tibet. In the Arrowverse, Nyssa uses the pit to bring back Sara Lance from the dead.
During "Infinite Crisis", Nyssa and her sister connive to use Talia's membership in Luthor's Secret Society of Super Villains in order to take over the planet. Nyssa tries to recruit Batgirl (as Cassandra Cain) to stand at her side as "The One Who Is All". She attempts to explain why she is working with the villains of the Society to Batgirl:
"Vast stockpiles of food rot, while people starve. Millions die from curable diseases, while drug companies rake in the billions. Our environment chokes on our waste, becoming so toxic that life fails. It's genocide by greed, apathy, and neglect. These are the real crimes. Something must change... The Society's plans are vast. They will succeed. I can't stop them. When the world gets a true taste of violent oppression, and their heroes lie dead and broken – apathy will die. That's when you'll lead my league to sanction key society members. Leaving Talia and I to lead the revolution. A new world will be born, one of peace and equality. Millions of lives will be saved".
Cassandra refuses, and, along with Mr. Freeze, escapes from Nyssa's grasp.
In "One Year Later", Nyssa is seen in Northern Africa, planning an unknown plot with two terrorists. As she gets into her car to leave, it explodes. In the following issue, Lady Shiva reports that Nyssa Raatko is dead where she was probably killed by the League of Assassins.
In other media
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- Nyssa al Ghul appears as a recurring character in the CW series Arrow, portrayed by Katrina Law. First appearing in season two, she is established as having saved Sara Lance's life and later recruited into the League as her lover. She spends much of season two attempting to recruit Sara back to the League, before teaming up with Oliver Queen and allies to take down Deathstroke. In season three, Nyssa is against Oliver when someone (later revealed to be Thea after being drugged by Malcolm) is responsible for Sara's murder and trains Laurel Lance (Sara's sister) to follow in Sara's footsteps. Nyssa and Oliver are later married as part of Ra's al Ghul's scheme to recruit a worthy successor. In the season finale, Nyssa works with Oliver and allies to defeat and kill Ra's, appointing Malcolm Merlyn as a successor. In season four, she opposes Laurel's reckless scheme to resurrect Sara using the Lazarus Pit. She uses a potion that her father gave her in case the Lazarus Pit fell into the wrong hands to destroy it. Malcolm in turn has Nyssa imprisoned in a dungeon. During her time in the prison, Sara travels back in time and visits her. She is delighted to see Sara restored to sanity by John Constantine. Sara tells Nyssa that she wants to help her escape and that she does not want to leave her there, but Nyssa tells Sara that if she loves her she will leave and live her life unburdened by her past. She eventually escapes with the help of Talibah/Mesi Natifah. She also gets revenge on Malcolm for orchestrating Sara's death by taking the League's control to disband, and comforts Quentin Lance after Laurel's death. In the Malcolm-centered comic book spinoff "Dark Archer", Nyssa's mother is revealed to be a woman named Amina Raatko, who takes on the alias of Lourdes and has a son with Malcolm, named Saracon, giving Nyssa a half-brother. In season five, Oliver later recruits her along with Deathstroke, Captain Boomerang and Dark Archer to stop Adrian Chase and free Team Arrow. Nyssa fights Talia al Ghul, defeating her sister. Although Chase commits suicide and triggers C4 bombs which seemingly killing everyone, Deathstroke later reveals that Nyssa survived the explosion and has gone in search of Evelyn Sharp. Nyssa returns to Star City in season 6 after she is confronted by the Thanatos Guild, a group created by Merlyn's legacy. She reveals to Thea that, as Merlyn's daughter, will be invaluable in stopping the Guild. Nyssa helps Team Arrow locate a secret map which reveals the location of three Lazarus Pits. Intent on stopping the Guild from claiming the Pits, Nyssa, Thea and Roy Harper leave the City to search for and destroy them. Nyssa is later seen in season 7 training Mia Smoak, Oliver and Felicity's secret daughter, throughout her childhood.
- Law reprises her role in the spin-off series DC's Legends of Tomorrow. The episode "Left Behind" revealed that Nyssa's first meeting with Sara is the result of a Bootstrap paradox as Sara of 2016 becomes marooned in 1958 and rejoins the League until 1960 when the Legends come to the rescue. Before leaving she tells Ra's to send his yet to be born daughter (Nyssa) to Lian Yu in 2008, where Nyssa will meet Sara in 2008. She makes an appearance in "River in Time," where Sara says goodbye to her before she leaves on the Waverider. Sara Lance abandons the league in the Arrowverse and returns back to Starling City.
- Nyssa al Ghul appears as the primary antagonist in the fifth and final season of the Fox crime series Gotham, portrayed by Jaime Murray. She is first introduced under the alias of Theresa Walker, an alleged government official who sends the military unit Delta Force led by Eduardo Dorrance to assist Jim Gordon and the GCPD in opposing Gotham's criminal populace following the city's designation as a No Man's Land. After transforming a mortally wounded Eduardo into the superhuman "Bane" with the help of Hugo Strange, she begins her revenge on Bruce Wayne and Barbara Kean for the death of her father (unaware of his desire to die). While she has Hugo Strange do an experiment for her to control General Wade into initiating Special Order 386 (an order to reduce a city to rubble if it is irretrievably lost), Nyssa goes to the Sirens, killing the female League of Assassins members there. After knocking out Leslie Thompkins, Nyssa introduces herself to Barbara while rubbing her hand on Barbara's newborn child. Afterwards, Nyssa takes Barbara prisoner and decides to raise the child as her own, though Gordon arrives and rescues both of them before she is stabbed by Barbara, though she manages to force the brainwashed Wade into killing himself before fleeing the city on the submarine built by Oswald and Nygma. Ultimately, Nyssa's plan to destroy Gotham fails after Bane is captured.
- Nyssa Raatko is referenced in Batman: Arkham Origins. She is mentioned on Lady Shiva's assassin profile as an associate of Lady Shiva alongside David Cain and Richard Dragon.
- Nyssa Raatko appears in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Jennifer Hale. Like the comics, Nyssa is depicted as Ra's al Ghul's daughter. She leads a rebellious faction of the League of Assassins. She appears in the "Season of Infamy" DLC in the "Shadow War" story. Nyssa is leading a rebellious faction of the League of Assassins. When Batman arrives at a previously-unknown secondary Lazarus pit (separate from the one located in Wonder City) and prepares to blow it up after taking a sample, Nyssa confronts him along with a few of her separatist forces. She takes the detonator and reasons with Batman that each time Ra's al Ghul is resurrected, he becomes less and less of a man, and gives him an ultimatum: deny him the remnants of the Lazarus and she will recall all her forces from Gotham taking the war elsewhere. After detonating the explosive gel that Batman sprayed all over the pit, Nyssa leaves Batman to his own devices. When Batman returns to Elliot Memorial Hospital where Ra's al Ghul is hooked up to a constant supply of Lazarus, Batman can go with one of two choices both of them involving Nyssa:
- Batman can give the Lazarus to Ra's al Ghul at which point Batman is forced to fight Nyssa and her separatists. Not soon after, Ra's al Ghul regains his former strength and remarks that Nyssa is a traitor where he slashes her torso. Batman tries to fight him, but Ra's al Ghul steals one of his smoke bombs and disappears. Batman offers to save Nyssa with the remaining Lazarus, but she refuses. Batman comforts Nyssa in her dying moments and closes her eyes before he leaves.
- Batman can deny Ra's al Ghul and after he takes care of Ra's al Ghul's loyalists, Nyssa arrives to see what her father has ultimately become. As she is about to strike him down, Batman stops her and says that he will take him to the GCPD. Nyssa is sated and lives up to her word, recalling all her forces from Gotham while Batman takes Ra's al Ghul to a special cell and straps him to a gurney.
- Death and The Maidens #8 (May 2004)
- Robin (vol. 4) #148 (May 2006)
- Robin (vol. 4) #149 (June 2006)
- Petski, Denise (October 30, 2018). "'Gotham': Jaime Murray Set For Key Role On Fox's Batman Prequel". Deadline. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- (June 23, 2016), "[voicechasers.com/database/showprod.php?prodid=5589 The Voices of Batman: Arkham Knight (2015, Video Game)]," Voice Chasers. Retrieved December 23, 2016