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Gotham’s Worst Batman Has a Dangerous New Arkham City Mission

Arkham City has a new guardian in the form of Azrael but could his newest crusade make him a better hero or a twisted villain?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Arkham City: Order of the World #2, on sale now from DC Comics.

Whilst Batman: Urban Legends may have Azrael learning about Gotham’s zombie problem, the new series Arkham City: Order of the World shows what happens after that – and he has a new mission. With the devastating A-Day having let loose Arkham Asylum’s inmates all over the city, it’s going to take a lot of effort to round them all up again. With Fear State still ongoing, the crime-fighting forces across the city are spread too thin. So Batman’s worst replacement has taken on the job himself.

Though the city is still filled with plenty of criminals to hunt down, the latest target of Azreal’s crusade is Doctor Double X in Arkham City: The Order of the World #2, by Dan Watters, Dani, Dave Stewart, and Aditya Bidikar. The Silver Age villain has been locked up by a former drug dealer and used to sell a new kind of high. Though Double X is a victim in all this, he’s still an escaped criminal. That means that Azrael will show him the same courtesy he would show any other Gotham villain.

RELATED: Batman: Azrael Just Stumbled Into Gotham’s Latest Conspiracy

In the past, Jean-Paul Valley’s religious fanaticism, under the influence of the Sacred Order of St. Dumas, led him to be a highly unstable and disastrous replacement for Batman after Bane broke his back during Knightfall. Recently, the Dark Knight himself even approached Jean-Paul asking him if he murdered a criminal. Though he didn’t, a part of him wanted to. Despite having gone on a Justice League space odyssey, clearly, the Bat-Family still doesn’t trust the former Batman. He may have come some way since his introduction in the 90s, but they still have reason to doubt him.

As to how Azrael is able to find Doctor Double X, the true answer remains unclear, but it seems to connect in some way to his faith. Though he’s moved away from the ideology that manipulated him in the Sacred Order of St. Dumas, he still feels a strong connection to his faith. However, this connection urges him to seek punishment for those he believes are sinners. That’s seemingly how he discovers the location of Double X. As he prays in one of Gotham’s churches, he seemingly receives a message from God, one that only he can hear. From the outside, it may look like he’s descending into madness, but whatever he heard proves true and leads him exactly to where the escaped Arkham inmate is being held.

When Azrael bursts into the basement where Doctor Double X is being held, his focus lies solely on the supervillain and the punishment he feels compelled to deliver. Even though his kidnapper was using him for his own illicit activities, the former Batman ignores that sin in favor of the one he’s been so fervently pursuing. When he does eventually catch up to the frightened Double X, Azrael brutally beats him until he believes the appropriate earthly punishment has been delivered.

RELATED: Batman: A New 52 Villain Returns to Gotham With a Shocking New Mission

Azrael Arkham City

Azrael’s methods of justice are obviously controversial and somewhat removed from the rest of Gotham’s vigilantes. In this case, Doctor Double X, though an escaped criminal himself, was the victim of this crime. Despite this, Azrael chose to inflict particularly harsh punishment on him and nothing on his abuser.

This combined with the level of distrust Batman and the rest of the Bat-Family have for him still leaves him as an outcast amongst Gotham’s heroes. However, with everyone else having their hands tied by the chaos of Fear State, Azrael’s crusade to round up the escaped Arkham inmates could be an opportunity to prove himself worthy of becoming part of the Bat-Family. He’s already made a lot of progress since his Knightfall days. Even still, he has a long way to go and it looks like his blind devotion could allow him to be swayed from the path of a hero, making him a Bat-Family enemy instead.

KEEP READING: Batman: Gotham’s New Arkham Asylum Is Already Cursed

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