A dying Ra's al Ghul has sent hired men to locations across the globe that resonate the unique energy needed for resurrections. Batman, with a haunting foresight, has ambushed all their attempts of digging up a Lazarus Pit for their ailing master. Their latest effort is no different as Batman once again defeats them, but this time not before falling into a pool of toxic waste. Batman then returns to Gotham City in preparation for his strike at the next planned dig. Despite his high fever due to the effects of toxic waste and Alfred's plea for him to rest, he angrily sets off the next local; obsessed with finally destroying Ra's. He flies to the Middle East and to the place of the first ever Lazarus Pit. Instead of a squad of henchmen, Batman encounters Talia who has made it her personal mission to succeed for her father's sake. The two discuss ancient text written in a dead Chinese language that Bruce Wayne recently had deciphered. Although experts dismissed the tale contained in the text as pure myth, Batman knew the depictions were too much to be mere coincidence. It was the hidden history of Ra's al Ghul. From here, the graphic novel flashbacks 500 years earlier to the actual birth of Ra's al Ghul and the mysterious prophet who recites the infant's destiny. The child grows up to become the lead physician to the Sultan. Ra's is a man of honor and his relationship with science is second only to his bond with his beloved wife. One day Runce, the Sultan's son, became deathly ill and despite Runce making passes at Ra's wife and even one time forcing a kiss onto her, Ra's offers a possible cure. Ra's puts his theories about poisons and energies within the earth to the test as he digs his first Lazarus Pit. Runce is placed within and rises out cured yet temporarily mad. He goes wild and comes to his senses after beating Ra's and strangling Ra's wife. Ra's is denied that chance to resurrect her. In a move to protect his son, the Sultan blames Ra's for her death and has him imprisoned in a cage with her dead body. Ra's is saved by a man who's mother he had once given herbs to to ease her passing. His name was Huwe the poet and he would become Ra's long time confidant. He and Ra's then seek out Ra's uncle, the great leader of a gang of bandits. Ra's constructs a revenge plot with both of their aid. They succeed in killing the Sultan and his son, as well as ransacking the city. All is not well though as Ra's becomes sick with the same disease that attacked Runce. So Ra's has his first immersion into a Lazarus Pit. Reborn, Ra's razes the statue of the demon deity Bisu and takes the head for himself. He will be the head of the demon. Ages pass and Ra's, his uncle, and Huwe lived many times over with use of the Lazarus Pits. There trio came to an end, though, when Ra's discovered Huwe had written his origin in a language that Ra's had wanted purged from existence. They fight and Ra's kills Huwe while his uncle escapes. The graphic novel returns to present and the aged Ra's comes out of the shadows to claim the Lazarus Pit Talia dug. He and Batman fight to the death. Batman gets impaled with a shovel to the chest. With the friggin' shovel sticking out of his chest, he still refuses to go down without taking Ra's with him. They both fall in the Lazarus Pit, Talia escapes, and a sandstorm buries pit along with the two fighters. In the morning, Batman emerges from the sand heal yet alone.