Henri Ducard was one of the teachers of Bruce Wayne before he became Batman. He is often credited in teaching him both detective/investigation skills and how to hunt enemies. Ducard's relationship with Wayne is often shown as strained, due to him being involved in the criminal underworld.
Bruce Wayne approaches Henri Ducard for training in Paris, during his early days traveling the world. Ducard, a knowledgeable detective with excellent man hunting skills, imparted much of his knowledge to the young, keen Bruce.
Later in the series, it is revealed that Ducard is largely amoral, working for criminals as often as he does the law. He deduces Batman's secret identity, but keeps it to himself, thinking as he leaves that Batman continues to exist because true criminals realize that he distracts the people from the greater crimes by his public battle against lesser crimes.
Ducard has also worked with the third Robin, Tim Drake, who went to Paris during his training, as Bruce did. Unlike Bruce, however, Robin only encounters him in passing at the end of his training, in Hong Kong.
Ducard also appears in Batman and Robin (Vol. 2) through flashbacks. The series also reveals he had a son called Morgan, who became Robin's enemy NoBody. Henri appears in Detective Comics #996 and the limited series Batman: The Detective. During both, he is killed or apparently murdered during the stories' events.
In other media
- A version of Ducard appears in Batman Begins played by Liam Neeson. However, the character is later revealed to be Ra's al Ghul, the "Henri Ducard" identity being put on as misdirection.
- A man named "Ducard" is briefly mentioned in the Gotham short "A City Gone Mad: Sirens" as an associate of the Court of Owls. Fans have speculated that this, like Batman Begins, was an alias assumed by the show's version of Ra's al Ghul.
- In the original draft of the 1989 film, there is a large part of the film concentrating on Bruce traveling abroad and training with Ducard. Bruce would discover Ducard to be a criminal. Ducard was dropped from the original Tim Burton film. The draft was written by Sam Hamm, the screenplay writer of the film. Hamm was eventually invited to write for Batman comics where he incorporated his character into the comics.