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How Ra's Al Ghul From Batman Begins Should Really Look

Batman's rogues gallery has no shortage of interesting figures. The Joker, with little doubt, reigns supreme among them as the most well-known of Batman's archenemies. However, this does little to diminish the value of the Dark Knight's other villains. The Joker's chaos may act as a direct foil to Batman's discipline and reason, but other villains easily do the same for different aspects of Batman's character. The Riddler challenges his intelligence, Bane undermines his physical and mental fortitude, and Scarecrow plays into his fears. But among the villains, few draw Batman's methods into question as deeply as Ra's al Ghul — at least, that's the case when it comes to Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy.

In the comics, the shadowy character is a pretty standard megalomaniac apart from the immortality he gains from bathing in the Lazarus Pit. His motivation generally surrounds reducing the world population to prevent ecological disaster, and Bats' primary personal connection comes in the form of his relationship with al Ghul's daughter, Talia, and their son, Damien. In "Batman Begins," however, al Ghul (Liam Neeson) is Batman's mentor — the man who teaches him everything he knows about martial arts, stealth, and instilling fear in opponents. Then, of course, he turns into roughly the same villain from the comics.

But the differences between the comic book character and the version of him in the films do not end there. It's not uncommon for film adaptations to alter a character's visual design as well as their origins and motivations. This is how Ra's al Ghul from "Batman Begins" should really look if he were portrayed more closely to the comics' version.

Ra's should be a bit more regal than the films present him

The first thing you'll notice when comparing the movie Ra's al Ghul to his comic book predecessor is that the comic book version is a lot more ... royal. While the film keeps his stylish, graying goatee, there are major discrepancies in regard to the rest of his design. In the comics, he wears finer clothing that is more reminiscent of European royalty. He often pairs his regal shirts and trousers with a long green cloak to reflect his connection to the emerald ooze of the Lazarus Pit.

When it comes to "Batman Begins," however, al Ghul has gone full ninja emo, sporting all black in most of his scenes. Whether he is wearing simple cloth garb or the armor of the League of Shadows, shades of black are his go-to. His hair is also much shorter, resembling a military crew cut as opposed to the luxurious locks sported by his comic book counterpart.

Still, none of this makes the movie al Ghul an inherently bad design. While the film version of the character dresses in a more humble manner, this reflects the fact that for the majority of the movie, he is hiding his true identity and training Bruce under the name of Henri Ducard. The false al Ghul he appoints to impersonate him dresses similarly to the true comic book version. Therefore, it's unfair to say that Liam Neeson's design is boring in comparison to the original because it was created to reflect the story.