Batman: Sword of Azrael #4

    Batman: Sword of Azrael » Batman: Sword of Azrael #4 - No One Is Innocent released by DC Comics on January 1993.

    Short summary describing this issue.

    No One Is Innocent last edited by jsieczkar82 on 01/24/21 07:18PM View full history

    Azrael. Batman. The demon Biis...their three-way conflict ends in a fiery cataclysm beneath an oil refinery in the Southwestern USA. What emerges are two new allies, separated by a shadow of violence, bound by a shared secret...the identity of the man behind the Dark Knight's mask! The conclusion to this miniseries leads into Batman (1940) #488.

    Continued from last issue.

    Upon seeing Azrael attack their comrade, Harcourt's remaining guards charge the fiery angel, along with their attack dogs. Azrael completely slaughters the guards and the dogs alike with his flaming blades, much to Alfred's horror and Nomoz's approval. As Alfred wonders to himself how a shy, demure university student could suddenly turn into such a fierce killer upon putting on a mask, Azrael spots "Batman" inside Harcourt's greenhouse, in the act of murdering Harcourt himself. A dismayed Alfred immediately realizes that it is not Bruce Wayne inside the Bat-Suit, but Azrael crashes into the greenhouse without hesitation. Alas, the fiery angel is too late, and LeHah, having already successfully murdered Harcourt, escapes with the car that Alfred, Nomoz, and Azrael had ridden to the estate in the first place. Azrael attempts to stop LeHah by jumping onto the speeding car's roof, but is knocked off the car by the low-hanging branch of a tree beside the road.

    As night falls, Azrael awakens from the trance that the costume has placed him in, and is severely reprimanded by Nomoz for allowing LeHah to escape. Alfred protests that the young man had understandably hesitated out of shock from seeing Harcourt's lifeless body, but Nomoz brushes the excuse aside, roaring that Azrael is nether "decent" nor "humane". Azrael himself brings a stop to the discussion, and the three work together to figure out the next place LeHah would have gone with the kidnapped Bruce: an abandoned oil refinery near Houston, Texas - the only piece of property owned by a member of the Order that resides in North America.

    LeHah and Bruce are indeed within the oil refinery in question, the latter still clothed in the Bat-Suit belonging to the former. As LeHah prepares to torture Bruce some more with a red-hot knife, the bound billionaire mocks the deranged arms dealer, attempting to confuse him with questions concerning the "demons" that both of them serve. An enraged LeHah acknowledges that Biis is displeased by his wearing the heraldry of another, but adds that he will seek to please and pacify the Demon Lord with a sacrificial offering: Bruce's life. Bruce's ragtag "rescue party", in the meantime, has arrived just outside of the oil refinery, and as Nomoz commands Azrael to put on his mask and enter the trance once more, Alfred begs the youth to exercise restraint and not massacre everyone in his way like he did at Harcourt's mansion.

    The youth sadly replies that he cannot think while in Azrael's guise; he can only act. A resigned Alfred then asks for the youth's name, to which he replies:

    "I... do not know. I have forgotten. I have forgotten who I am."

    Azrael the dons the last piece of his costume, enters the trance, and tears the refinery's iron-mesh fence apart with his blades. Once inside the grounds, the party discovers a vehicle parked in front of a door - a highly suspicious fact for a supposedly abandoned refinery. The door in question, however, is made of steel too thick for Azrael's blades, and it is protected by an electronic lock whose one weakness is a power outage. As Nomoz prays to Saint Dumas for guidance, a once-again naked LeHah attempts to kill Bruce behind the door's other side, charging toward him with the knife.

    Even with his arms bound, Bruce is able to stop LeHah's charge with a kick. This act of defiance buys him another few seconds, during which a bolt of lightning miraculously strikes the refinery, temporarily shorting out the power. LeHah ignores Bruce's taunting about whether the power outage could be a sign from Biis, picks up the knife, and charges the billionaire once more. Once again, Bruce thwarts his attempt with a kick, and LeHah gives up on the knife, optioning to simply shoot Bruce with his nine-millimeter pistol. Seconds before he pulls the trigger, however, Azrael crashes into the room, both of his blades deployed, and roars to LeHah the same words his father had.

    In the ensuing battle, the little crude oil left within the refinery is set ablaze, trapping LeHah and the still-bound Bruce within a wall of flame. Alfred begs Azrael to save his master, but Nomoz insists that Azrael does not save, and orders the fiery angel to leave both men to burn. To Nomoz's surprise, Azrael indeed walks into the ring of flame to free Bruce, wrapping the weakened billionaire in the fireproof Bat-Suit and carrying him out himself when Bruce begins to lose consciousness. All of the men, save for LeHah, are able to escape the burning refinery right before it explodes.

    Once outside, Nomoz roars to Azrael that the latter has disgraced his mission: he had disobeyed a direct command from his mentor. Azrael, however, takes off his mask and retorts:

    "I am not an angel. I am a man. My name is Jean Paul Valley. That was my father's name, too."



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