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Azrael (DC) (04 - Jean-Paul Valley)
Real Name: Jean-Paul Valley
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Powers:
The source of Azrael's abilities is a post-hypnotic training regimen known as The System. The details of The System are never fully explained, but it is understood that training begins before birth and includes genetic modification, prenatal electric shock, and the use of gorillas as surrogates mothers. The end result is a human being who is inhumanly strong and fast and has a raging split personality triggered by the donning of the Azrael costume. The split personality is apparently coached to believe it is an actual Biblical angel of vengeance. His weapons include wrist mounted swords which ignite flames and can also be launched from the gauntlets. Azrael also dons a bullet- and flame-proof armor.

It is implied towards the middle of the series that all Azraels have been imparted with some form of The System, but that the training and genetic tampering have been updated and changed significantly in the Order's 500 year history. The System also somehow separates an Azrael's civilian identity from his powers, in that they are only super strong or super fast while in costume. However, towards the end of his life Jean-Paul was able to manifest these abilities while in his normal personality.

Azrael is also an expert with computers. When he was first introduced in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1, it was revealed that Jean-Paul was studying computer programming in college.

Bio:
Jean-Paul Valley, a university student in Gotham City, is unaware that he is the latest in a line of assassin-enforcers for "The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas", a sinister secret society, and had received training and mental conditioning to prepare him for his role since before he was born. He is a test tube baby, and his genes have been spliced with those of animals. For most of his life, he has been brainwashed with "The System", a deep level of psychological conditioning. Valley only learns of this upon the death of his father, who was also his predecessor, at which time his conditioning is activated and he is called upon to take up the mantle of Azrael. When he is sent by the Order to kill a weapons dealer, he crosses paths with Batman. He is shown the error of his ways and he decides to fight with Batman against the criminals of Gotham, rejecting his "birthright" and seeking Batman's help in breaking his conditioning to forge his own destiny.

Valley plays a pivotal role in the "Knightfall" story arc (1992 - 1994), in which he stands in as Batman after Bruce Wayne is defeated and paralyzed at the hands of Bane. Against Bruce Wayne's orders, Valley fights and defeats Bane. His performance as Batman is influenced by his Azrael conditioning; he grows increasingly violent, allowing the criminal Abattoir to fall to his death, thereby also allowing one of Abattoir's still-living victims to die. Valley also refuses to recognize Robin as his partner. After he recovers, Wayne is forced to fight the technologically-enhanced Valley to reclaim his identity. After a prolonged battle on Gotham Bridge, when Azrael using the Azbat suit barely defeated Nightwing, he is defeated when Wayne tricks him into removing his armor, forcing him to finally realize that Wayne is the true Batman. Valley, disgraced, leaves Gotham and becomes Azrael once more.

The subsequent Azrael series, chronicling Valley's battles against the Order of St. Dumas, ran for 100 issues between 1995 and 2003. Starting with issue #47, it was retitled Azrael: Agent of the Bat in an attempt to boost sales by tying the series in with the rest of the Batman mythos, including Azrael as part of the team of Batman, Robin, and the new Batgirl (Cassandra Cain). He also changes his costume considerably for a time (see costumes), although this ploy ultimately fails. Azrael returns to his original costume and battles supposed hallucinations that are supposed to represent both his father and the creator of the order that spawned him, St. Dumas.

Toward the end of the series, Azrael is plagued by apparently supernatural occurrences, which sometimes seem to be miracles.

Azrael is seemingly killed in the series' final issue, shot with two specially-coated bullets while battling archenemies Nicholas Scratch and Carlton Lehah. However, his body is never recovered.

Notes:


First Appearance: Batman: Sword of Azrael (1992) #1

Other Identities:
Batman (DC)(Post Crisis)(02 - Jean-Paul Valley)

Favorite Characters:
Azrael (DC) (04 - Jean-Paul Valley) is a favorite character of 28 users

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Azrael (1995)
Azrael Plus (1996)
Azrael: Agent of the Bat (1998)
Azrael/Ash (1997)
Batman (1940)
Batman [GER] (1997)
Batman [GER] (2001)
Batman And Superman: World's Finest (1999)
Batman Black and White (1996)
Batman by Doug Moench & Kelley Jones (2014)
Batman Secret Files (1997)
Batman Special (1997)
Batman: Arkham Asylum Special (2009)
Batman: Contagion (1996)
Batman: Dark Knight Gallery (1996)
Batman: Gotham Knights (2000)
Batman: Knightfall (1993)
Batman: Legacy (1996)
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (1989)
Batman: No Man's Land (1999)
Batman: No Man's Land Gallery (1999)
Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files (1999)
Batman: Officer Down (2001)
Batman: Prodigal (1997)
Batman: Shadow of the Bat (1992)
Batman: Sword of Azrael (1992)
Batman: The Chalice (1999)
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (2009)
Batman/Demon (1996)
Birds of Prey (1999)
Blackest Night (2009)
Catwoman (1993)
Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland (2011)
Danny Fingeroth's Write Now! (2002)
DC Comics Presents: Young Justice (2010)
DC One Million Omnibus (2013)
Detective Comics (1937)
Joker: Last Laugh (2001)
Legends of the DC Universe 3-D Gallery (1998)
Manhunter (2004)
Nightwing (1996)
Richard Dragon (2004)
Robin (1993)
Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2000 (2000)
Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2001-2002 (2002)
Secret Origins 80-Page Giant (1998)
Showcase '93 (1993)
Showcase '94 (1994)
The Batman Chronicles Gallery (1997)
The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
Who's Who In The DC Universe Update 1993 (1992)
Young Justice 80-Page Giant (1999)

Group Affiliation(s):
Black Lantern Corps
Order of St. Dumas

Famous Quotes: - Add a Famous Quote
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