Batman: Sword of Azrael #2

    Batman: Sword of Azrael » Batman: Sword of Azrael #2 - Azrael Does Not Protect released by DC Comics on November 1992.

    Short summary describing this issue.

    Azrael Does Not Protect last edited by jsieczkar82 on 01/24/21 07:17PM View full history

    Batman has a dangerous encounter with the new Azrael, a new and important character making his debut in the Batman mythos with this miniseries, as the demon Biis wages a campaign of death against the Secret Order of Saint Dumas.

    Continued from last issue.

    As the chalet explodes from LeHah's attack, the helicopter containing Bruce and Alfred is sent crashing through the Swiss mountainside from the sheer force of the explosion. Though both men pass out for a few seconds, they survive the event largely unscathed. Bruce fills Alfred in on what happened, and correctly surmises that LeHah was behind the explosion. In the meantime, Nomoz and the university student are also revealed to have survived the explosion - the two had hidden in a small cellar beneath the chalet the moment that Nomoz had heard the suspicious sounds of the helicopter, for there was not supposed to have been any aircraft in the valley. In the meantime, Bruce constructs snowshoes for himself and Alfred with the crashed copter's metal rigging and branches from nearby pine trees, and the two men search for a way out of the valley.

    LeHah, ultimately, is the worst off of the three parties - the explosion had triggered an avalanche on the mountainside, forcing him and Lescault to flee into their own helicopter. As the chopper became airborne, however, a stray stone from the avalanche had struck it, almost guaranteeing the death of the two men. As the helicopter tumbled through the avalanche, however, LeHah claimed to have seen the face outside the helicopter, belonging to "Biis". Moments after he had seen the face, the helicopter became level and still, and remained so for about a kilometer away from the avalance before responding to its damages.

    Now alone in the wilderness of Switzerland, Lescault asks LeHah why the latter is telling him everything he himself had witnessed with his own eyes. LeHah states that he is not necessarily speaking to his partner; instead, he might be speaking to Biis, and indeed, the snow before the two men is blackened with a shadow resembling a demonic face. As Lescault concludes that LeHah has gone insane from the shock of their close escape, LeHah continues to "communicate" with Biis, thanking the entity for saving his life and pledging himself to the entity's services. As "proof" of his worthiness, the arms dealer then kills Lescault and leaves his body in the snow.

    Bruce and Alfred, meanwhile, are still trapped in the valley, and the latter worries that they will not make it to civilization before nightfall. In order to give his friend better protection from the cold, Bruce gives Alfred his own parka, and changes into his Batman garb, complete with battery-operated heating filaments. Seconds later, the snowy ground before them erupts into a column of flame, and an enormous hovercraft emerges, which Batman immediately surmises is full of "people with answers". Nomoz and the university student, the occupants of the hovercraft, spot the Batman attempting to board, and Nomoz demands that he be stopped, over the student's protests.

    The university student dons all the pieces of the Azrael costume his father once wore, and obeys his teacher's wishes, doing battle with the dark knight on the hovercraft's windshield. The two men quickly fall off of the craft, and continue to fight in the snow - once Batman realizes that Azrael will not listen to reason, he quickly begins to dominate the fight. Even Azrael's flaming sword proves no match for Batman, and Nomoz eventually calls a retreat, whisking Azrael away on the hovercraft and leaving the flaming sword behind. Batman and Alfred, unable to follow, choose to investigate the smoking ruins of the chalet, much to Nomoz's pleasure. The cellar beneath the chalet, after all, is stocked with enough explosives to wipe out all evidence of the Order of Saint Dumas - and in his hand is their detonator.

    By now, LeHah has made it back to civilization after a long, hard trek through the subzero Swiss wilderness - a feat whose success he attributes to his "protector" Biis. The deranged arms merchant notes that he had made "purchases", and crafted a costume for himself to tout his support of Azrael's greatest foe: the Demon Lord Biis.

    The Avenging Angel in question, meanwhile, has also made it to civilization with Nomoz, and is given the newest incarnation of the Azrael costume, complete with retractable flaming blades stored in the gauntlets, instead of an unwieldy separate sword. Nomoz goes on to explain that the Order of Saint Dumas has spent the last six centuries secretly using its wealth to establish charitable causes, and that it nurtures and protects its members - unless they defy the Order. LeHah, formerly the Order's treasurer, was such a man, and had looted the Order's Swiss Bank Accounts to build up his arms business. Azrael's father, the previous Azrael, was sent to punish LeHah, and failed in doing so - now his son must pick up where he left off.

    At this time, a naked LeHah, his face painted deathly white in tribute to Lord Biis, speaks to his patron demon, and voices his intent to kill all of the Order's remaining members. According to LeHah, only a few dozen remain, spread out over Europe and the Americas, and once they are all dead, he and Biis will claim all of the Order's wealth for their own. Beneath the chalet in Switzerland, in the meantime, Bruce and Alfred continue to investigate the Order's secret bunker, obviously having avoided being blown to bits - a loose wire on the bomb in the bunker had prevented its detonation. As Alfred prepares food with the scant resources inside the bunker, Batman tinkers with a radio rig tuned to a relay satellite, intending to track the signal to find the rest of the Order's members and get to the bottom of the mystery.

    As dusk approaches, Nomoz and Azrael (the latter now no longer in his costume) leave their quarters, intending to search for LeHah. Nomoz has correctly deduced LeHah's plans, and adds that he had been unable to reach most of the Order's members; the only one he could contact had been a hospitalized man that lives the very city they are currently in. Even as they speak, however, LeHah is planning to assassinate the very same man, having successfully warned all the Order's other members (who are not aware of his betrayal) that their lives are in danger and they are not to contact anyone outside the Order. Many miles away, at the same time, Batman informs Alfred that he had used the radio and his many contacts as Bruce Wayne to track down all of the Order's members, and proceeds to radio for a rescue team to retrieve the two of them.

    Nomoz and Azrael arrive at the hospital, but they are far too late - LeHah has already stormed in and slaughtered the hospital's staff, as well as the Order member. Nomoz demands that Azrael don his costume, but LeHah is quicker - with several rounds of gunfire, he sends the unarmored warrior flying out of the hospital window and into the streets below.



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