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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
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.
Jean-Paul is the son of the previous Azrael cloned by the Order of St. Dumas at his father's request to be the next Azrael as his successor. His father installed "The System" a A.I. called Ascalon within his fetal state raised in a VAT. His father then saw what the order was going to do, resulting in action to take the young Jean-Paul with him, protecting his son while hiding him away from the Order as a family. But the Order sent their enforcers to eliminate his father for such an action and kidnap him to be raised by "Mother" as one of her children; whom would shape the young Jean-Paul into a living weapon, before being broken by the Order to be used as their Angel of Death; Azrael.
Batman and Robin Eternal
Jean-Paul was created by a woman known as "Mother", who was in charge of a massive operation with the Order of St. Dumas. Mother created the "Project Azrael" and sent Jean-Paul to serve as the Order's "Angel of Death" on the island of Santa Prisca. Azrael served for the Order, 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. 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.
However, Azrael also learned of his unknown past and something changed in his mind, questioning himself and the Order of Saint Dumas. 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. 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.
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 which gave Bruce Wayne the inspiration needed to create a new team that would train vigilantes so that such an instance would not occur again. Batman later added Azrael to the team after the apparent death of Red Robin.
Main article: Detective Comics: Intelligence
At some point during his time with Batman and his team Jean-Paul was visited by a dying Nomoz (a member of the Order) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Physiology: Having been created in a labortory as a living weapon, Jean-Paul Valley has enhanced physiology as a result.
- "Wrath of God": Proclaimed as the "Wrath of God", Jean-Paul possesses an empathetic-related ability to invokes awe and visions in the mind of his victims by touching them.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): A highly trained assassin, Jean-Paul is expert hand-to-hand combatant and is considered a nearly perfect warrior.
- Swordsmanship: Jean-Paul is an expert swordsman.
- Acrobatics
- Intimidation
- Suit of Sorrows: An advanced piece of armor that harbors an AI that identifies the weak points in enemies.
- 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.
- Azrael was created by Dennis O'Neil and Joe Quesada, first appearing in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Azrael first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Batman & Robin Eternal #9 by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder.
- 75 Appearances of Jean-Paul Valley (Prime Earth)
- 54 Images featuring Jean-Paul Valley (Prime Earth)
- 6 Quotations by or about Jean-Paul Valley (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jean-Paul Valley (Prime Earth)
|Batman Family member |
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This character is or was 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 both interstellar and domestic threats.
|Outsiders member |
This character is or was primarily a member of the super-hero team known as the Outsiders, in any of its various incarnations. They are a black ops team dedicated to fighting evil and taking the fall in public opinion that bigger groups like the Justice League cannot, started by Batman to avoid being crippled by public relations needs. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Outsiders members" category.