White Ghost desperately attempts to bring Azrael back to sanity after he's become the deranged embodiment of the eighth deadly sin.
This issue was actually pretty rich, both thematically and conceptually. Just the notion of a cult dedicated to worshiping the Seven Deadly Sins who dragoons a new avatar for the secret eighth sin, intolerance (although, wouldn't that still be pride?) is deeply intriguing. I also appreciated the contrast between Azrael and White Ghost's background - - how the flashbacks informed Azrael's own "inquisition" and his final dangerous leap of faith by turning to Ra's al Ghul. I liked the ensemble effort that Bachs, Stanisci and Smith pull off... giving this whole comic a unique visual motif that evokes both urban grit and a ragged crusades-era parchment.
I feel White Ghost's whole re-conversion of Azrael is missing a step. He goes from being this fantastical servant/avatar of the sin cult to their destroyer so quickly, it almost seemed matter-of-fact. The way the two of them proceed to take the cult out so easily (even though they comment on it) emphasizes that even more.
The Verdict - 4/5
I've been a fan of Nicieza's for years and he really never ceases to impress me. This issue of Azrael really gives you some weighted issues to chew on amidst all the crusades-themed superheroics. Actually, the concepts were so rich that the whole thing really feels strong enough to stand on its merits, without any connection to the Bat family or even the DCU.