Sword of Azrael #2 – Dan Watters, Writer; Nikola Cizmesija, Artist; Marissa Louise, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: The creative team of the Azrael story in Urban Legends returns to give Azrael his first major solo story in a long time, and two issues it seems to be living up to the title’s complex legacy. When we last left off, Jean-Paul Valley had returned to his monastic retreat to try to quiet the violent programming within him. There, he rescued a young woman named Brielle who seems to be hunted by all comers—including the powerful Vengeance, daughter of Bane. While Azrael did battle against Vengeance, Brielle turned out to be far more than she appeared—and turned on the monks giving her refuge. This second issue jacks up the action, with a pitched opening fight against Vengeance. This is a great new rogue for the Bat-family. However, things get particularly interesting once Azrael finds out what his new guest has done—and discovers that she may be like him, a product of twisted programming.
The nature of exactly what was done to Azrael in the past is one of the title’s best mysteries, as it’s always been fascinating but vague. It seems Watters may be going deeper into it than we’ve ever seen, as this issue does a great job of showing us how hard he works to keep his instincts under control. Maybe a little too much of this issue is devoted to him in a room, praying and trying to keep from snapping, but once he decides to go deeper, something fascinating happens. Nikola Cizmesija, a capable artist until now, unleashes his surrealist instincts for several brilliant pages depicting the inner workings of Azrael’s mind. The villain of this series, returning from the prelude, doesn’t make much of an impact yet, but there is so much potential in this comic. Azrael has been around for a very long time, but this is the first time he’s gotten a spotlight series in over a decade. It’s about time.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.