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Quote1 You have no secrets from me because you have no secrets from God! I am his righteous blade, the last to die, his Angel of Death... I am Azrael! Quote2
Azrael src

Jean-Paul Valley is the wrath of the sacred Order of St. Dumas, working as their protector and personal warrior as the Angel of Death Azrael. Eventually, Jean-Paul joined Batman and his allies on the fight against evil in Gotham City.

Origin

Jean-Paul was born within the Order of St. Dumas to succeed his father Ludovic as the 'angel' Azrael, the order's premier enforcer and protector. He was gestated within a vat, during which time his father installed "The System," an A.I. called Ascalon, within his mind. Like all 'angels' created by the Order, he was given a connection to the "Angel Maker", a corrupted Mother Box stolen by the Order. The mysterious figure known as Mother, though not a member of the Order, was involved in Jean-Paul's creation, specializing in the molding of children into perfect soldiers.

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Jean-Paul at parochial school.

Jean-Paul received his primary education in an isolated all-boys school run by the Order. He gained a reputation for curiosity and was frequently scolded for asking questions about class topics. The priory monks were instructed to be inordinately cruel to train his aggression response, physically punishing his benign behavior until pain and anger caused The System to take over. The Order would then wipe his memory of the punishment so he would continuously be unprepared.[3]

Despite the circumstances of his conception, Jean-Paul's father truly cared for him as a son. Eventually, Ludovic chose to sneak him out of the Order protect him from having to witness or commit the works of Azrael. From then on, Jean-Paul lived an ordinary life into young adulthood. Eventually, Ludovic rejected the Order entirely and enforcers were sent to eliminate him for his treachery. He was mortally wounded and seemingly died bleeding out in Jean-Paul's dormitory. As he passed, he imparted Jean-Paul with the knowledge of his legacy.[4]

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Battle for the Cowl

At his father's request, he travelled to the Alps, where he joined with and trained with the Order of Saint Dumas, tutored by Nomoz. The order shaped him into the avenging angel 'Azrael', the successor to his father's legacy. In this capacity, he eventually encountered Bruce Wayne in his guise as Batman and apparently impressed him; when Bane broke Batman's back, he asked Azrael to serve as Batman in his stead.[4]

This, however, would end poorly. By Jean-Paul's own account, his attempt was an utter failure, and he bloodied Batman's symbol with his weakness. He was excessively brutal and overzealous, and in time Batman reclaimed his mantle.[4]

Batman and Robin Eternal

Eventually, Jean-Paul returned to the service of the Order of Saint Dumas, serving as the Order's "Angel of Death" on the island of Santa Prisca. Azrael served in this capacity by attacking black market technology dealers in order to steal their merchandise and return it to the island. This actions caught the attention of Red Robin and Red Hood, who went to Santa Prisca and located the Order's base of operations in Peña Duro. Soon, Bane joined and helped them infiltrate the former prison, but once inside they were confronted by Azrael.[5] Bane and the others tried to stop Azrael, but using a flaming sword called Murasame and special gauntlets, Azrael subdued Bane. Red Robin and Red Hood managed to find enough information about the Order, Azrael and their connections to Mother, before Red Hood was forced to leave the prison carrying Red Robin with him after the latter tried to reason with Azrael, but was subdued the same way as Bane.

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Azrael battles Agent 37

However, Azrael also learned of his unknown past and something changed in his mind, questioning himself and the Order of Saint Dumas.[6] Later on, when Mother had control over the children on Earth, both Azrael and Agent 37 went after Mother in her Stronghold, but a Jet crash landed which was piloted by Azrael. Telling Agent 37 to join him on taking Mother's life or getting out of his way. Agent 37 then attempted to stop Azrael once he had learned when the Angel of Death would kill Mother for taking his life as a human being away, nothing more than a product produced and sold to the Order of St. Dumas.[7] A fight sparked between the two upon confrontation, but Agent 37 told Azrael that if Azrael killed Mother; he would turn her into a martyr in the end toward all her followers. As Azrael would still follow her teachings, instead of being free from her lessons, which made the Angel of Death stop the battle and ask Agent 37 on how to live a different way. Reforming and by poetic justice Azrael took Mother's lifetime achievement of making children living weapons away before her ultimate demise.[8]

Azrael started fighting crime in Gotham City after the events of Batman & Robin Eternal as a vigilante, but was attacked and beaten into a coma by The Colony, a series of events which gave Bruce Wayne the inspiration needed to create a new team that would train and watch over vigilantes so that such an instance would not occur again.[9] Batman later added Azrael to the team after the apparent death of Red Robin.

Intelligence

 Main article: Detective Comics: Intelligence

At some point during his time with Batman and his team Jean-Paul was visited by a dying Nomoz, his former tutor, who told him that an extremist faction within the Order had staged a coup with the assistance of the A.I. Ascalon as their new Azrael. Batman and Zatanna were attacked by Ascalon soon after who was sent to assassinate a brother of the Order of St. Dumas. Jean-Paul then succumbed to his programming again after Ascalon reactivated it, resulting Azrael attacking Batwing, then fighting both Batwoman and Orphan as he was trapped within his own mind by his programming. After a prolonged fight with the latter, he was knocked out by magic.

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Jean-Paul's Batman armor

Batman and his allies couldn't defeat Ascalon without Jean-Paul, Lucas then found a solution as he created a new Batsuit for Jean-Paul. Which harbored a A.I. modeled after Batman. Which would allow access to his abilities like the Suit of Sorrows without being controlled, placed inside the Batsuit built by Batwing, the Azrael program was hailed in check by the Batman A.I. battling the Azrael programming inside enough for Jean-Paul to be in control and combat Ascalon.

The two then fought as Azrael explained that Ascalon was like him once, but he needed to open his mind not to be afraid of what the world held. Ascalon wouldn't heed him and severely bested him for a moment, before taking the life of Nomoz. Resulting in Jean-Paul to enter a frenzied berserk state which surprised both the A.I. inside his mind. Leaping onto Ascalon to unleash a barrage of blows onto the machine, before installing the Batman A.I. at the suggestion of Batwing into Ascalon's processor to eliminate the A.I. Which proved to be futile as Ascalon recovered quickly, displaying that the machine has spread to every device in Gotham. That he knew what this city wanted and harbored within; what was Batman willingly to do. But was contradicted by Zatanna who had the Geonosis Sphere; a Greek artifact which the machine Ascalon didn't know about. Then was given the Geonosis Sphere by Zatanna which gave the A.I. the answers to all its questions, seeing the error of its ways and teleported away from the scene, not before telling Batman that Red Robin lives.

Justice League Odyssey

Months after the collapse of the Colony a new voice entered Azrael's head. This new voice told Azrael to abandon the streets of Gotham and journey into the stars, specifically a place called the Ghost Sector.

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Azrael with fellow hero Cyborg, both seek answers in the Ghost Sector.

Azrael soon discovered that two other heroes were experiencing these strange utterings- Cyborg (Vic Stone) and Starfire (Koriand'r). Convinced that these voices meant something, the trio stole the spacecraft of Brainiac from the Hall of Justice and made their way into space.[10]

The Ghost Sector was a collection of planets which were formerly imprisoned in bottles for unknown reasons by the people of Colu, but were freed by the Justice League. Upon re-entering reality, the worlds of the Ghost Sector became surrounded by a never-ending maelstrom that devastated multiple planets. This, coupled with the lawlessness of many worlds, prompted the Guardians of the Universe to quarantine the whole sector, allowing only members of the Green Lantern Corps in and out.[10]

Immediately after entering the Ghost Sector, the trio were ordered to surrender by Jessica Cruz, one of Earth's Green Lanterns. However when the maelstrom's radiation became too much for the Green Lantern, Starfire hauled her on board. Before any further action could be taken, the ship was attacked by a gigantic space organism which forced the ship to crash land on a nearby planet.[10]

As the group filled Jessica in on what they were doing in the Ghost Sector they were greeted by a new presence- Darkseid, God of Evil and arch-nemesis of the Justice League. Darkseid told the trio that it was he who had lured them to the Ghost Sector. He explained that someone had wanted the knowledge of these worlds hidden because of the Old Gods they worshipped, which was why the Coluans had locked them away in bottles. He then went on to reveal that the Gods that the people worshipped were actually Starfire, Cyborg and Azrael.[10]

Believing Darkseid was trying to deceive the group, Cyborg attacked his old enemy, prompting the others to join the fray. Not wanting a prolonged fight, Darkseid drew the heroes to a shrine in reverence to Starfire in order to prove his statement, and then vanished into the wind. The scene was grim, as countless followers of Starfire lay butchered on the temple floor, although what caused their death remained a mystery.[11]

Roy Harper Cry for Justice
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Powers

  • Enhanced Physiology: Having been created in a laboratory as a living weapon, Jean-Paul Valley has enhanced physiology as a result.[12]
  • Empathy: Calling it the "Wrath of God", Jean is capable of incapacitating an individual via touch by uploading the "Icthys alogorihtm" directly into a victim's brain, causing them to experience awe and visions in the mind.[14]

Abilities

Equipment

  • Suit of Sorrows: An advanced piece of armor that harbors an AI that identifies the weak points in enemies.
    • Flight: The new suit redesigned by Batwing now gives the user the ability to fly through technological means.

Weapons

  • Murasame: A flaming sword crafted within the forge of the secret city of Gnosis.
  • Flaming Battle Gauntlets: Suit of Sorrow's gauntlets produce fire which form into fiery blades.
  • Dagger: A knife on his scabbard-strap.


Related

Footnotes


Batman Allies
Batman Family member
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This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.

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Justice League member
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This character has been a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from the clutches of both interstellar and domestic threats.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Justice League of America members" category.

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Outsiders member
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This character is or was a member of one or more of the teams known as the Outsiders. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.

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