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Azrael Reading Order (aka Jean-Paul Valley)

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Introduced in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 (October 1992), Azrael is a DC Comics character created by Denny O’Neil, Joe Quesada, and Peter Milligan. When we met Jean-Paul Valley, he was a Gotham University graduate student and his father had just died and made him his successor in the Sacred Order of St. Dumas.

He became their warrior known as the vigilante Azrael. He was not an enemy of Batman and eventually joined him and his allies in their fight to protect Gotham City—he also played a controversial role during the Knightfall event.

We later discovered that Jean-Paul was created by “Mother,’ a villain who worked with the Order of St. Dumas. For a time, Azrael did the dirty work the Order needed him to do, but Nightwing put him on the right path so he could help people. He then started to fight crime.

Azrael is an antihero, a conflicted warrior who fights his violent nature and the twisted sense of justice forced on him by his indoctrination in the Order. Because of that, he had to earn his place in the BatFamily, and he often has to prove he is good enough to keep it.

Azrael Comics Reading Order

Azrael’s story began in the Batman: Sword Of Azrael 4-part miniseries. Then, the character took a central part in the Knightfall event.

  • Azrael Vol. 1: Fallen Angel
    Collects Batman: Sword Of Azrael #1-4, Showcase ’94 #10, And Azrael #1-7. For now, read only the Batman: Sword Of Azrael miniseries.

Azrael is the new Caped Crusader in Batman: Knightfall

The famous Knightfall, when Bane broke Batman’s back! Azrael took over and became Batman for a while. Here is the simplest reading order of the event, the omnibus collection, but there’s a full reading order with a lot more information and reading options.

  • Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 1
    Collects Batman #484-500, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #16-18, Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1, Detective Comics #654-666 and Showcase ’93 #7-8.
  • Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 2: Knightquest
    Collects Batman #501-508, Batman Legends Of The Dark Knight #59-61, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #19-27, Catwoman #6-7 Detective Comics #667-675, Justice League Task Force #5-6, Robin #1-2 And 7, and Showcase ’94 #7.
  • Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 3: KnightsEnd
    Collects Batman #509-510 & #512-515, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #29-30 & #32-35, Detective Comics #676-677 & #679-682, Robin #8-9 & #11-14, Catwoman #12-13, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #62-63, Showcase ’94 #10, Nightwing: Alfred’s Return #1, Batman: Vegeance Of Bane #2.

Azrael Volume 1 – Jean-Paul Valley is Azrael, Agent of the Bat

After Knightfall (after Detective Comics #681), Azrael got his own ongoing solo title. Entirely written by Dennis O’Neil, the series–later renamed Azrael: Agent of the Bat–has not been collected in full yet (but is available in Digital format).

  • Azrael Vol. 1: Fallen Angel
    Collects Batman: Sword Of Azrael #1-4, Showcase ’94 #10, And Azrael #1-7. This time, read Showcase ’94 #10 (if you skipped Knightfall) and Azrael #1-7.
  • Azrael: Agent of the Bat #8-100
    Available on Kindle & comiXology

    • Azrael #15-16 are part of Batman: Contagion.
    • Azrael #40 is part of Batman: Cataclysm.
    • Azrael #47-61 are part of the Baman: No Man’s Land storyline and are collected in:
    • Batman: Road to No Man’s Land Vol. 2
      Collects Detective Comics #727-729, Batman #560-562, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #80-82, The Batman Chronicles #15, Azrael #47-50, Batman: No Man’s Land Secret Files And Origins #1.
    • Batman: No Man’s Land Vol. 1
      Collects Batman: No Man’s Land #1, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #83-86, Batman #563-566, Detective Comics #730-733, Azrael: Agent Of The Bat #51-55, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #117-118, Batman Chronicles #16.
    • Batman: No Man’s Land Vol. 2
      Collects Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #119-121, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #87 And 88, Batman #567 And 568, Detective Comics #734 And 735, Young Justice In No Man’s Land #1, Robin #67, Azrael: Agent Of The Bat #56, Batman Chronicles #17, Nightwing #35-37, Catwoman #72-74.
    • Batman: No Man’s Land Vol. 3
      Collects Batman #569-71, Detective Comics #736-738, Azrael: Agent Of The Bat #58, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #122-124, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #90-92, Robin #68-72, Batman: No Man’s Land Secret Files #1.
    • Batman: No Man’s Land Vol. 4
      Collects Batman Chronicles #18, Batman #572-574, Detective Comics #739-741, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #125-126, Robin #73, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #93-94, Azrael: Agent Of The Bat #59-61, Catwoman #75-77, Nightwing #38-39, Batman: No Man’s Land #0.
    • Between Azrael #74 and #75, Azrael appeared in the Officer Down storyline (in Robin Vol. 2 #86, Birds of Prey #27, and Catwoman Vol. 2 #90).
    • After Azrael #76, Azrael teamed up with Nightwing in Batman: Gotham Knights #14.
    • After Azrael #90, as part of the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive storyline, Azrael made an appearance in Batman: Gotham Knights #30.

Volume 1 of the series ended with Azrael: Agent of the Bat #100, and Jean-Paul Valley disappeared for a while after that for good reasons. But Azrael made a comeback.

Azrael Volume 2 – Michael Lane, the Second Azrael

In 2009, Azrael came back with a new miniseries (taking place within the Battle for the Cowl storyline), then a new short ongoing series. Nevertheless, it was not the original Azrael, but an ex-cop named Michael Washington Lane. Not for long.

The New 52 & Rebirth – Jean-Paul Valley is once again Azrael

During The New 52, Jean-Paul Valley finally reappeared as Azrael. It was in an arc of the Batman & Robin: Eternal series. After some rare and brief cameos, it was his first real apparition and we find him still working as an enforcer for the Order of St. Dumas. That said, he ends up assisting Red Hood and Tim Drake.

Previously published in the following Trade Paperbacks:

When Azrael made his return in the Rebirth era, it was not a reboot of the character, but a follow-up to the Eternal story. He is now part of the Bat-team assembled in the pages of Detective Comics written by James Tynion.

Previously published in the following Trade Paperbacks:

Azrael, Member of the Justice League Odyssey

Azrael in Space. In the aftermath of the now-famous Death Metal event (reading order here), Justice League: No Justice story introduced multiple teams, Azrael joined the Justice League Odyssey with Cyborg, the Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, and Starfire.

Here is the official synopsis of the series: When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz, and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship. But as these wildcard teammates try to stop Despero from slave-trading Coluan refugees, they discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for.

Justice League Odyssey 1 The Ghost Sector

Following the conclusion of the Justice League Odyssey series, Azrael made his discreet come back to Gotham City in the anthology book Batman: Urban Legends before headlining his new miniseries.

Last Updated on May 23, 2024.

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