Azrael: Death's Dark Knight (Battle for the Cowl tie-in)

Issue #1

Cover Date: May 2009
Subtitle: Simple Sacrifices
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Artists(s): Frazer Irving
Storyline: After the murder of an undercover cop, Oracle told Nightwing Azrael might be back in business. While Talia sent out a group to reclaim the Suit of Sorrows, the Order of St. Dumas, or rather an off-shoot calling themselves the Order of Purity, chose a new Azrael - Michael Lane. Lane was a former standout athlete, soldier, and police officer. He was also the only surviving Batman replacement from a group the GCPD and military put together to take over in case something happened to the real Batman.
Talia's group attacked the Order when they introduced him to his new suit and weapons.


Issue #2

Cover Date: June 2009
Subtitle: Give and Take
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Artists(s): Frazer Irving
Storyline: Talia spoke to Michael about the suit of sorrows and how it lead its wearer to insanity. She wanted it for her son, the true heir to Batman. She told him he would seek her and beg her to take it from him in time.
Oracle got concrete footage and updated Nightwing that there was an Azrael in Gotham City. The second time that had happened - both when Bruce had fallen.
The Order came clean to Michael about the suit. He visited his institutionalized mother.
Det. Bullock recognized Lane from footage taken from a traffic cam near the church where he'd first worn the suit.
Nightwing encountered Azrael in the Batcave.


Issue #3

Cover Date: July 2009
Subtitle: Why ask Why?
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Artists(s): Frazer Irving
Storyline: Nightwing fought Azrael to a standstill while talking to him about all he knew. He then drugged him and took him home, leaving him a note: "This was a gift from her father to my father. Now I give it to you. Screw up and I'll take it back."
The White Ghost reported to Ra's al Ghul, the Order of Purity's leader.
Lane took up residence in one of the Order's homes and began his new life.


Batman Annual 27

Cover Date: 2009
Subtitle: The Eighth Deadly Sin part one: Casting the First Stone
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Artists(s): J. Calafiore, Mark McKenna
Storyline: Batman (Dick) and Robin (Damian) took a new case - a priest had been killed and a grave marker destroyed. The grave marker was that of an architect in Gotham's beginnings. After one of his descendants was the victim of an attempted kidnapping by Anon the Demon (or a guy in a costume), they used Damian as bait disguised as the kid.
Azrael appeared when the trap was sprung, allowing Anon to escape with Damian. Batman and Azrael worked together. The grave marker was destroyed, but the real prize was the tomb - they found the upset coffin.
Anon prepared his ceremony.


Detective Annual 11

Cover Date: 2009
Subtitle: The Eighth Deadly Sin part two: Original Sin
Writer(s): Fabian Nicieza
Artists(s): Tom Mandrake
Storyline: Batman called in the Question for help. She almost immediately knew he was Nightwing. Azrael was clued in on the ceremony by the Order. He went back in with Robin after the Boy Wonder had escaped.
Another attempt was made on the boy Robin had impersonated. His mother was killed before the Question could get there. Bullock knew she was Montoya. The four heroes freed all the child captives. Azrael was told the eighth sin would come eventually in his body.


notes

  • This takes place after Bruce's death, during Battle for the Cowl.
  • Other mentioned wearers of the Suit of Sorrows: Geoffrey de Cantonna, Abraham Arlington.
  • During Battle for the Cowl, Jason Todd was wearing Michael Lane's Batsuit.
  • The annuals are presented here due to the fact they are printed in the TPB of the main miniseries.
  • The annuals also contain two-page "Lil Gotham Tales" by Derek Friddles and Dustin Nguyen, and the two-part "Darker than Black" by Mandy McMurray and Kelley Jones - a story about Oracle and Looker (from the Outsiders) chasing a would-be vampire.