Azrael (DC) (04 - Jean-Paul Valley)
Real Name: Jean-Paul Valley
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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.
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.
First Appearance: Batman: Sword of Azrael (1992) #1
Batman (DC)(Post Crisis)(02 - Jean-Paul Valley)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Annual 01 Azrael Plus (1996)
- 'Requiem'Annual 03
- 'The Vampire Bat'#1
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 1: Some say in Fire...'#2
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 2: Some say in Ice...'#3
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 3: The Proposition'#4
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 4: Escape...'#5
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 5: The Abduction'#6
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 6: The Temptation'#7
- 'Fallen Angel, Part 7: The Curse'#8
- 'Azrael at Large- The Silence'#9
- 'Azrael on the Run, Part One: Breakout'#10
- 'Underworld Unleashed: Arena'#11
- 'Azrael Rising, Part One'#12
- 'Azrael Rising, Part Two'#13
- 'Demon Time, Part 1: Returned'#14
- 'Demon Time, Part 2: Revenge'#15
- 'Contagion, Part Five: Azrael, Requiem for an Immortal'#16
- 'Contagion, Part Ten'#17
- 'Angel in Flames, Part 1: A Distant Savior'#18
- 'Angel in Flames, Part 2: The Enemy Around Us'#19
- 'Angel in Flames, Part 3: Save the Innocents'#20
- 'Angel in Flames, Conclusion: A Prayer of Fire'#21
- 'Angel in Hiding, Part 1: Renunciation'#22
- 'Angel in Hiding, Part 2'#23
- 'Angel in Hiding, Part 3'#24
- 'Angel at War: The Fall of Saint Dumas, Part 1'#25
- 'Angel at War: The Fall of Saint Dumas, Part 2'#26
- 'Angel at War, Conclusion: The Fall of Saint Dumas'#27
- 'Angel Insane, Part 1 of 2: Entry'#28
- 'Angel Insane, Part 2 of 2: Exit'#29
- 'Angel Errant, Part 1: The Descent'#30
- 'Angel Errant, Part 2: The Descent'#31
- 'Angel and the Monster Maker, Part 1: Vampire!'#32
- 'Angel and the Monster Maker, Part 2: Werewolf!'#33
- 'Angel and the Monster Maker, Part 3: Epiphany!'#34
- 'Azrael Genesis: Run, Angel, Run'#35
- 'The Angel and the Hitman'#36
- 'Azrael and Bane: If he Screws Up This Time...'#37
- 'Battle With a Bird: Angel and the Bane, Part Two'#38
- 'Angel and the Bane, Part Three: The Meeting'#39
- 'Angel and the Bane, Finale: Finally, to Vanquish'#40
- 'Cataclysm, Part Four: Hour of the Quake'#41
- 'The Angel and the Buccaneers'#42
- 'Welcome to Eden'#43
- 'Angel and the Beast: The Crash'#45
- 'Angel and the Beast: Deathstroke!'#46
- 'Guardian Angel'#1000000
- 'Angel Wings'
#1 Azrael: Agent of the Bat (1998)
- 'The Anger The Terror and The Question'
#47 Azrael/Ash (1997)
- 'Road to No Man's Land: ...A Man of Wealth and Taste...'#48
- 'Road to No Man's Land: Scratching The Surface'#49
- 'Road to No Man's Land: Gotham City Must Die!'#50
- 'No Man's Land: Resurrection'#51
- 'No Man's Land: Miracle Run!'#52
- 'No Man's Land: Devil Down Below'#53
- 'No Man's Land: Jellybean Deathtrap'#54
- 'No Man's Land: Step into the Light'#55
- 'No Man's Land: Misery Dance'#56
- 'No Man's Land: The Night Foretold!'#57
- 'No Man's Land: Scratched Out!'#58
- 'No Man's Land: Day of Judgement: Ghosts'#59
- 'No Man's Land: Azrael: Pilgrim`s Return'#60
- 'No Man's Land: Evacuation'#61
- 'No Man's Land: Presents of Mind'#62
- 'The First Day of the Rest of Your Life'#63
- 'The Quakists'#64
- 'The Witness'#66
- 'New Order'#67
- 'Maternal Instinct'#68
- 'The Pursuit'#70
- 'Prophet, Part One: Cry for Atonement'#71
- 'Prophet, Part Two: Brothers'#72
- 'Prophet, Part Three: Hell & Back'#73
- 'Losses, Part One: Homecoming'#74
- 'Losses, Part Two: Accused'#75
- 'Losses, Part Three: Fallen Angel'#76
- 'There Shall Be A Beginning'#77
- 'Poison Road'#78
- 'The Amazing Adventures of Captain Death'#79
- 'Driven to Extremes'#80
- 'Deadly Faux'#81
- 'Azrael Works'#82
- 'Joker: Last Laugh: The Evil Men Do...'#84
- 'The Sentinel'#86
- 'Lost and Found'#89
- 'Sibling Rivalry'#90
- 'Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Part Fifteen: Confession'#92
- 'New Boss'#93
- 'The Azraelites!'#96
- 'The White Place'#97
- 'Angels in Disguise'#98
- 'Lost & Found'#100
- 'Full Circle!'
Annual 22 Batman (1997)
- 'Bough Breaks'HC
- 'Batman R.I.P The Deluxe Edition'TPB
- 'Batman R.I.P'#488
- 'The Freedom of Madness!'#491 (2nd Printing)
- 'The Freedom of Madness!'#491 (3rd Printing)
- 'The Freedom of Madness!'#494
- 'Knightfall, Part 5: Night Terrors'#495
- 'Knightfall, Part 7: Strange Bedfellows'#500
- 'Knightfall, Part 19: Dark Angel'#516
- 'Sleeper, Part One: Nightmares'#529
- 'Contagion, Part Six: Tears of Blood'#586
- 'Penguin Dreams'#683
- 'What the Butler Saw'
Batman [GER] (2001)
Batman And Superman: World's Finest (1999)
Batman Black and White (1996)
Batman Secret Files (1997)
Batman Special (1997)
#3#12 Batman: Arkham Asylum Special (2009)
- 'Weg Ins Niemandsland'
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)
#48 Batman: Sword of Azrael (1992)
- 'Contagion, Part One: The Apocalypse Plague'#53
- 'Legacy, Prelude: Hobson's Choice'#93
- 'No Man's Land: Assembly Redux'
Batman: The Chalice (1999)
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (2009)
HC Batman/Demon (1996)
- 'Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? The Deluxe Edition'TPB
- 'Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?'
Birds of Prey (1999)
TPB vol. 03 Blackest Night (2009)
- 'Of Like Minds'#27
- 'Officer Down, Part Three: Armed and Dangerous'#56
- 'Of Like Minds, Part One'
HC Catwoman (1993)
- 'Blackest Night'TPB
- 'Blackest Night'#4
#31 Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland (2011)
- 'Contagion, Part Four: Flesh and Fire'#75
- 'No Man's Land: The Rules'#90
- 'Officer Down, Part Four: Smoking Gun'
HC Danny Fingeroth's Write Now! (2002)
- 'Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland'
Detective Comics (1937)
#657 Joker: Last Laugh (2001)
- 'Null and Void'#658
- 'Deciphered'#658 (2nd Printing)
- 'Knightfall, Part 12: Who Rules the Night'#681
- 'Prodigal, Part Eleven: Knight Without Armor'#739
- 'No Man's Land: Jurisprudence, Part II'#741
- 'No Man's Land: Endgame, Part Three: ...Sleep In Heavenly Peace...'#853
- 'Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? Part 2 of 2'
#2 Legends of the DC Universe 3-D Gallery (1998)
- 'Joker: Last Laugh, Part Two: Siege Mentality'#5
- 'Joker: Last Laugh, Part Five: Mad, Mad World'
Richard Dragon (2004)
#7 Robin (1993)
- 'Out Of The Past Part 1'
#27 Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2000 (2000)
- 'Contagion, Part Three: Natural Born Healer'#86
- 'Officer Down, Part Two: Behind the Lines'
#1 Secret Files & Origins Guide to the DC Universe 2001-2002 (2002)
- 'Guide to the DC Universe 2000'
#2002 Secret Origins 80-Page Giant (1998)
- 'Guide to the DC Universe 2001-2002'
Showcase '93 (1993)
Showcase '94 (1994)
#10 The Batman Chronicles Gallery (1997)
- 'Zero Hour - Black Condor - Azrael'
The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
HC Who's Who In The DC Universe Update 1993 (1992)
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia'HC
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated And Expanded'
#1 Young Justice 80-Page Giant (1999)
- 'Abra Kadabra to Yankee Doodle Dandee'
Black Lantern Corps
Order of St. Dumas
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