DC Animated Universe

The Phoenix in flight.

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"It only comes out at night, like a big boat or a log in the sky."
— Barmaid to Jonah Hex[1]

The Phoenix was a dirigible airship built under the supervision of Ra's al Ghul. It was a steam-powered airship, held aloft by massive hydrogen cells, that was armed with multiple broadside cannons, and also had a rotating turret on the front.


Hoping to stop the destruction of nature by America's railroad industry, Ra's al Ghul built the Phoenix in an underground lair outside Devil's Hole in 1883. For the last part of construction, he was joined by his son, Arkady Duvall. It was Ra's plan to destroy all railroad facilities, stations and bridges in the area, and then advance across the country, ending up in Washington, D.C., where he would order US officials to declare him Master of America.

While the ship would make it's official launch the morning of the celebration of the new railroad, it apparently made several test flights during some nights near the town. The citizens of Devil's Hole began to refer to it as the "sky monster", with the local Sheriff being too afraid to investigate.

Jonah Hex, seeking to arrest Duvall for an unrelated crime, discovered the construction site. He was captured and locked up, but managed to escape when the Phoenix made its maiden voyage. He first threw a lit bomb in the bomb bay to cripple the ship, and later brought it down by turning one of the cannons on the hydrogen cells. As the airship went down, its crew parachuted out and Ra's al Ghul fled with a glider. Hex apprehended Duvall.

A century later, Ra's al Ghul named one of his other planes Phoenix, which he registered under the name "Lazarus" specifically to draw Batman's attention.


Batman: The Animated Series


  1. Altieri, Kevin, Dini, Paul, Timm, Bruce W. (story) & Lansdale, Joe R. (teleplay) & Altieri, Kevin (director) & September 12, 1995). "Showdown". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 4. Episode 2 (airdate). Episode 78 (production). FOX Kids.