Greetings Gothamites! As the return of Gotham nears, there is news of yet another villain waiting to reign terror on the crime-ridden city and the good men and women of the GCPD protecting it. Although this villain’s name is not specifically mentioned, his story was being told through the events of the Theo Galavan/Order of St. Dumas story arc. If you haven’t guessed it, we’re talking about Azrael. While we thought the Order died with Theo Galavan, it turns out they did not. They are just waiting to rise again. Executive Producer John Stephens said, “They don’t just go away. They stick around! They’re very stubborn.” There has not been any specific information given on the character but Stephens said fans will know it is Azrael. “In many respects, Azrael will have many of the hallmarks and traits that we know from the comics,” he said. “But it will have a brand-new twist upon that character; the way we’re going to bring that character into being on our show will be different than anything we’ve seen in the comics.”
Azrael is a title given to a certain member who is trained from birth to make sure the secret code of the Order is maintained. The name is passed down from father to son going back many generations. According to comic lore, Azrael is taken by Jean-Paul Valley after learning of the Order through his dying father. He encounters Batman in Switzerland and even though Batman beats him, he saves the Dark Knight from LeHah. Valley goes back to Gotham City to train under robin and even takes up the role of Batman after Bane breaks Bruce Wayne’s back. He defeats bane but begins to have a mental breakdown. When Bruce Wayne heals, he defeats Valley again to reclaim the title of Batman. There was another Azrael, Michael Lane, a troubled military veteran and GCPD officer who was selected to train as a successor to Batman. He confesses to having a hand in the death of Batman to the Order of Purity who take him in, giving him the Azrael moniker.
It remains to be seen who Azrael is in Gotham but it’s exciting news to hear nonetheless. Stephens went on to add, “It will be identifiable as Azrael in all respects, just a version of him we’ve not seen before, which is the point of doing these! How can we do the character with a fresh twist?” When asked about Azrael’s famous sword, all Stephens said was, “That, I have to say, wait and see.” I am a traditionalist but I believe in adaptation as well as long as it’s done the right way and does not completely alter the character or story. The team behind Gotham has done an amazing job of keeping the balance between tradition and adaptation. I look forward to seeing Azrael in whatever incarnation he may take on the show.
Gotham returns Monday, February 29 on FOX at 8pm. Check your local listings.