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The League of Assassins was founded by Ra’s al Ghul (exactly when is unknown) to be “the fang that protects the head”. Members of the League demonstrated willingness to die at a word from Ra’s. They have included some of the most dangerous assassins in the world including Lady Shiva, David Cain, and Merlyn. For much of its current history, any member who failed in an assassination was in turn targeted by the League. Indeed, one of its best-known members, the master-archer Merlyn, was eventually forced to flee from the League, fearing for his life, having failed to assassinate Batman. In more recent years, this policy has apparently relaxed somewhat.
Ebeneezer Darcel, aka Doctor Darrk, was the first known individual assigned to head the League of Assassins by Ra’s al Ghul. Darrk himself was seconded by The Sensei, a martial arts master from Hong Kong. Although many of the League’s leaders over the years have been accomplished martial artists, Darrk himself did not depend on physical prowess, and as an assassin he instead relied upon careful planning and manipulation, ambushes and death traps, as well as a variety of cleverly concealed weapons and poisons. Although the League apparently had an inner circle of elite fighters as well as a large number of warriors trained in the martial arts, the League during Darrk’s tenure as leader reflected his personal methodology. Following a “falling out” with Ra’s (the exact details of which were never made clear) Darrk kidnapped Ra’s daughter, Talia al Ghul. Batman became involved in this matter while attempting to bring the League to justice for a number of recent killings. Although he had connected the League to several assassinations over the years, all previous attempts to investigate had met dead-ends. Batman rescued Talia (the first time the two would meet, laying the foundation for all their future interaction) and Darrk died while trying to kill them.