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Azrael

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Real Identity: Jean-Paul Valley
Affiliations The Order of St. Dumas
Appearances (BTAC Comics): The Darker Knight
Skills: Swordsmanship, Unarmed Combat, and Above Average Physical Attributes
Voiced By: Not Applicable

In their youth, Bruce Wayne and Jean-Paul Valley trained together at the Order of St. Dumas. Eventually, Wayne left to continue his training elsewhere. Valley was chosen by the priests to be their champion and gave him the name "Azrael." Decades later, Azrael was tasked with recovering the Shawl of Magdalene after it was stolen by Catwoman. He donned a suit of armor and took the Sword of Sin with him. In Gotham City, before she could escape from Batman yet again, Azrael captured her with a bola and swung away with her. Batman briefly considered he was the mystery stalker from the last few weeks but concluded he was a new player. Batman fired his grapnel line and followed. Azrael activated his Sword of Sin and cut a water tower stand. Batman disengaged his line from the falling tower and quickly fired it off again. In an alley, Azrael tossed Catwoman into a trash can and demanded the Shawl of Magdalene. She couldn't believe he wanted that "rag." He became agitated and pointed his sword at her head then promised he never kids. He mused the loss of eye would get his point across.

Batman threw a Batarang and knocked the Sword of Sin out of Azrael's hand. Batman declared nobody was losing anything, except him and his patience. Azrael quickly leaped forward and socked Batman. Jason Todd observed from the roof up above and remarked Azrael was like a panther. Batman recognized his fighting moves and realized he was Jean-Paul from the Order of St. Dumas. Batman threw out gas balls and his hunch was right. Azrael's mask lacked filters. Azrael grabbed his sword and fled the scene, plowing through a wood fence before his reflexes slowed down further. Later that night, Alfred Pennyworth hailed Batman on comms and informed him he had a visitor at Wayne Manor who requested his presence. Azrael held his flaming sword to Pennyworth's neck. Batman and Azrael retired to the Batcave. Azrael revealed he always suspected he was Bruce Wayne and it was confirmed when they fought earlier that night. He also revealed he always admitted Wayne's defensive skills.

Batman inquired about the costume. Azrael mused "when in Rome" and took off his mask. Jean-Paul explained he chose to wear something imposing while he tracked down Catwoman. Batman thought it was a bit too imposing. He revealed the priests gave him the name "Azrael" and wondered what they would have named Wayne had he stayed. Azrael admitted he wasn't surprised when Wayne left because he always knew he was only interested in learning fighting disciplines and not the Church. Batman teased he was always a late sleeper. Azrael guessed he didn't believe in the Shawl's power either. Batman left it at he would choose a physical over a piece of cloth. Jean-Paul stated Catwoman was going to suffer for stealing it. Batman informed him she was hired to steal it and she told him who the client was. Jean-Paul asked who it was. Batman laid down some ground rules: he had to drop his pursuit of Catwoman and he would be willing to help recover the Shawl. He even offered to make a new armor with Pennyworth that would make him look more ally than enemy. Jean-Paul stated he could be reasonable.

The new armor was fabricated. Batman and Azrael went to the Iceberg Lounge to question the Penguin about the Shawl of Magdalene. Penguin lauded them for being civilized and not delivering so much as a concussion to his staff. He offered them a little Arsenic. Batman cut to the point and demanded the Shawl. Penguin revealed he was just the middleman in the transaction and passed it on to the new and anonymous owner. Azrael knocked Penguin's drink and hat off and demanded a name. Penguin called out to Mr. Wing. A giant white humanoid bird entered the office and grabbed Batman. Penguin introduced him as his new wingman and the last name either of them would hear. Mr. Wing couldn't believe he got to ice Batman and some other loser on his first week of work. He told Penguin he had a bonus coming. Penguin ordered him to just finish them off. Batman gave the code "Sword of Salvation" and in unison, he and Azrael kicked Mr. Wing in the gut. He dropped them. Batman teased Azrael he had to skip evening prayers now and then to learn that move.

Azrael chased after Penguin to the balcony then beat the name of the client out of him. He told Azrael it was Mr. Freeze and he was hiding out at Iceland. Batman ran to the balcony and saw Azrael already beat Penguin to a pulp to get the name of his client. He deemed Penguin would be Catwoman's substitute and take on her suffering. Penguin was tossed off. Batman snagged one his legs with a rope and pulled him up. Azrael left in the meantime. Azrael entered Iceland through the skylight and found the Shawl of Magdalene draped over the corpse of Nora Fries. Mr. Freeze doubted Azrael's sympathy and wouldn't admit the truth that the Shawl didn't work on the dead. Freeze stated it will and it must because he wasn't losing her again. He then froze Azrael with his gun. By the time Batman arrived, Mr. Freeze estimated Azrael had about 60 seconds left. Batman used a sonic pulse Batarang to partially break the ice off him. Batman could barely find a pulse on Azrael. He grabbed the Shawl and placed it on Azrael. It worked and he was saved.

Bruce Wayne and Jean-Paul went to the Church of St. Dumas. Wayne lit a candle to honor the late Nora Fries and pray for Mr. Freeze's recovery. Jean-Paul was surprised by his compassion and mused one might almost call it saintly. Wayne retorted he wouldn't. Jean-Paul placed the Shawl back into its case and stated he owed his life to Wayne and the Shawl. Wayne speculated his resilience played a larger part in his survival but implored him to believe it if it was a comfort. Jean-Paul promised he would not be so impulsive next time. Wayne inquired what he meant. Jean-Paul clarified he would answer the call if he ever needed his help. Wayne told him he would let him know and thanked him.