|First appearance||Batman: Sword of Azrael #1|
|Created by||Jean-Paul Valley:|
|Team affiliations||The Order of St. Dumas|
The Order of Purity
|Abilities||The chief suit piece of Azrael, the arcane Suit of Sorrows, grants various abilities dependent on the continuity:
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 (August 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.
Main article: Jean-Paul Valley
Jean-Paul Valley was introduced as the original Azrael in the 1992 four-issue miniseries Batman: Sword of Azrael. 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.
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.
A number of other characters besides Valley and Lane have assumed the identity of Azrael in the DC Universe:
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.
Main article: Lego Batman
Main article: Batman: Arkham
The Michael Washington Lane incarnation of Azrael appears in the Batman Arkham series, voiced by Khary Payton:
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.