Jean-Paul Valley as Azrael on the cover to Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 (1992), art by Joe Quesada and Kevin Nowlan.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman: Sword of Azrael #1
(October 1992)
Created byJean-Paul Valley:
Michael Lane:
In-story information
Alter ego
  • Jean-Paul Valley Jr.
  • Michael Washington Lane
  • Theo Galavan (Gotham)
Team affiliationsThe Order of St. Dumas
The Order of Purity
PartnershipsJean-Paul Valley:
Sister Lily
Brian Bryan
Batwing II
AbilitiesThe chief suit piece of Azrael, the arcane Suit of Sorrows, grants various abilities dependent on the continuity:
  • Pre-Flashpoint: Suit of Sorrows grants Azrael superhuman attributes, the skills of previous bearers, and the ability to revive the bearer akin to a Lazarus Pit should they die while having the armor on.
  • Post-Flashpoint: Suit of Sorrows possess an advanced artificial intelligence that enables Azrael to strike at the weak point of his targets. The suit itself is also protective, considered bulletproof.

Azrael is an alias used by multiple fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The original version, Jean-Paul Valley, was created by Denny O'Neil, Joe Quesada, and Peter Milligan, and debuted in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 (October 1992). The second character to assume the alias was Michael Washington Lane, in Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1 (May 2009). Both iterations are Christian vigilantes and assassins created by the Order of St. Dumas and/or its derivatives (i.e the Order of Purity), secretive religious organizations seeking to restore justice to Gotham City through religious extremism. They are typically portrayed as antiheroes and reluctant allies of the superhero Batman and the Batman Family, battling forms of manipulations employed by their respective orders, violent tendencies shaped by tragedies in their life, and proving themselves trusted allies to Batman.

In media, the Michael Lane incarnation of Azrael has been featured in the Batman: Arkham series of video games, voiced by Khary Payton, while an original iteration of Azrael, Theo Galavan, appeared in the second season of the television series Gotham, portrayed by James Frain.


Jean-Paul Valley

Main article: Jean-Paul Valley

Jean-Paul Valley was introduced as the original Azrael in the 1992 four-issue miniseries Batman: Sword of Azrael.[3][4]

He later briefly assumed the identity of Batman in the "Knightfall" story arc (1993-1994), after Bruce Wayne was severely injured in a fight with Bane.[5]

Then, he starred in the subsequent Azrael series.

Michael Washington Lane

Main article: Michael Lane (character)

Michael Lane was originally introduced in Batman #665 (June 2007) as the alter-ego of the supervillain Bat-Devil. In Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #1 (May 2009), the character was re-introduced as the current Azrael, as part of Battle for the Cowl, a storyline told in a three-issue miniseries format written by Fabian Nicieza.[6][7]


A number of other characters besides Valley and Lane have assumed the identity of Azrael in the DC Universe:

Other versions

In The Multiversity: The Just, which takes place on the alternate Earth-16 (where the grown sidekicks and children of superheroes live on an Earth free of crime), Damian Wayne, the new Batman, has a variation of Jean Paul's Azrael suit in a glass display in the Batcave.

In other media

See also: Jean-Paul Valley § In other media, and Michael Lane (character) § In other media


An original incarnation of Azrael, Theo Galavan, appears in the second season of Gotham, portrayed by James Frain.[10] He is a billionaire industrialist, heir apparent of the Order of St. Dumas, brother of Tabitha Galavan, uncle of Silver St. Cloud, benefactor of a criminal group called the "Maniax", and later mayor of Gotham City. After being exposed and killed by Oswald Cobblepot and Jim Gordon, Theo is later revived by Hugo Strange, but is rendered insane and amnesiac. Under the belief that he is Azrael, an ancient immortal warrior who vanquished the Order's enemies, Strange gives Theo armor, a mask, and sword and tasks him with killing Gordon, only for Theo to be killed by Cobblepot and Butch Gilzean via an RPG.[11]

Video games


The Jean-Paul Ludovic Valley and Jean-Paul Valley Jr. incarnations of Azrael appear in the Batman: Knightfall audio drama.

Collected editions


  1. ^ Sacks, Jason (October 14, 2014). "Interview: Peter Milligan: Rediscovering Nemo, Feeling X-Statix and More". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014.
  2. ^ Sacks, Jason; Dallas, Keith (2018). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1990s. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-60549-084-7.
  3. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1990s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 255. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Azrael, one of the most important characters of the modern Batman mythos, was dropped right under the noses of an unsuspecting reading populace in the debut issue of Batman: Sword of Azrael by esteemed bat-scribe Denny O'Neil, talented young penciler Joe Quesada, and inker extraordinaire Kevin Nowlan.
  5. ^ Booker, M. Keith, ed. (2014). Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. ABC-CLIO. p. 909. ISBN 9780313397516.
  6. ^ "Batman: Battle for the Cowl - Enter Azrael", IGN, December 18, 2008
  7. ^ "Fabian Nicieza Unleashes Azrael", Comic Book Resources, December 29, 2008
  8. ^ Azrael #4 (May 1995)
  9. ^ Azrael #10 (November 1995)
  10. ^ "Get Ready for Azrael's 'Gotham' Debut with New Synopsis". Comic Book Resources. 2016-04-08. Archived from the original on 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  11. ^ Gotham EP Promises Comics-Accurate Azrael in Second Half of Season 2