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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Jun 3, 2020

It's time for another Bat-family episode, this week it's Azrael! We break down the Az-Bat and discuss how religion impacts his outlook on life! Plus we get real about current events - you won't wanna miss it!


  • Intro
    • Talk about last week’s call to action
  • Background (10:35)
    • Jean-Paul Valley created by Denny O’Neill, Joe Quesada, Grant Morrison, and an uncredited Peter Milligan in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 (Oct.1992)
    • Jean-Paul Valley is a computer science student in Gotham City, who discovers his father was an assassin for a secret religious society called The Order of Saint Dumas, and that he is next in line
    • He was sent to kill Carlton LeHah, who had murdered his father, and in so doing crossed paths with Batman - ends up saving Bruce and overriding his conditioning, becoming his own man
    • Joins WayneTech, and after Bruce is paralyzed by Bane, takes over as Batman
    • Operates much more ruthlessly, as a combination of his conditioning and his belief that Bruce is too lenient on criminals - after killing one villain, Bruce realizes Jean-Paul is going too far, rehabilitates himself, and battles Jean-Paul, finally winning after snapping Jean-Paul out of his deluded state
    • Bruce takes pity on him, and gives him money, encouraging him to find out where he came from - discovers he was a test tube baby whose DNA was spliced with animals
    • Works to regain Bruce’s trust, which he does after saving several Senators
    • Later killed while battling his father’s murderer - later revived as part of Black Lantern Corps
    • New 52 - Jean-Paul Valley was cloned by his father as the newest member of the Order of Saint Dumas
    • Sent to battle Bane on Santa Prisca, where he encountered Red Robin (Tim Drake) & Red Hood (Jason Todd) - began to question the Order, and joined the Bat-Family
    • His conditioning returned, and Bruce & the family were forced to battle him - Bruce then created a suit that would allow Jean-Paul to stay in control
    • Became a member of Justice League Odyssey
  • Issues (15:38)
    • Struggles with conditioning - ultimate nature vs nurture argument
    • Extremism as a result of the Order - belief that mercy is weakness (24:35)
  • Break (34:24)
    • Plugs for Parent Quest & Popcorn Psychology, plus Gail Simone
  • Treatment (35:47)
    • In-universe - Create structure within the Bat-family for “controlled complexity”
    • Out of universe - (42:00)
  • Skit (47:49)
  • Ending (53:33)
    • Recommended reading: Batman: Knightfall
    • Next episodes: Northstar, Erica Schultz interview, Raphael
    • Anthony’s appearance on P3
    • Plugs for social


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