Spoilers for Gotham Season 2 Episode 5: Scarification Ahead!
Tonight's episode of Gotham was fairly momentous. Normally, we'd be writing a few articles just about the debut of a new villain, as Firefly made her first appearance, even donning a full costume for the occasion. But with all the mythology packed into the episode, there's more on our minds about Gotham than ever before.
A key piece of that mythology was the reveal that the Galavan family is really of the Dumas line, and that the Order of St. Dumas is involved in their scheme of revenge against Gotham in general and the Wayne family in particular. Of course, in the comic books, where the Order of St. Dumas goes, typically their chief warrior follows, and that means Azrael could come to Gotham in some form, and very soon. We asked Gotham EP John Stephens about the Order of St. Dumas and their warrior vigilante, and he was surprisingly candid.
"We will be going deeper into the Order of St. Dumas over the next run of episodes, and it will continue to play an evolving role for the rest of the season," Stephens told ComicBook.com exclusively. Of course, there was a second half, and when I asked him about the link between St. Dumas and Azrael, he blew my mind. "And yes, we wouldn’t be telling an Order of St. Dumas story without also intending to tell an Azrael story. Just keep watching.”
Now many people think of Azrael instantly as Jean-Paul Valley, the character that took over for Bruce Wayne as Batman when his back was broken. But that's not the only Azrael in the comics; several have been shown on-panel, with another, Michael Lane, taking up the mantel and being quite big over recent years, even making it into a couple of Batman: Arkham games. We know we're seeing some form of Azrael on Gotham, but what form will that take?
The most likely thing we'll see here are a more general warrior class of St. Dumas followers. They'll be prototypical Azraels, maybe even warriors who are training and competing to be the great champion, rather than a single character. That jives with the comics, where the Order has had larger forces of Azrael-in-training type soldiers (whom the current Azrael then often leads). It also fits in great with what the Order priest tells Theo Galavan at the end of the episode:
"The day of redemption is at hand. Our brothers are crossing the ocean now, warriors unlike this city has ever known," he says. That's a great indication that it'll be a larger force, rather than a single assassin.
The comic book Azraels have also followed different factions of The Order, with the two most famous ones both stemming from splinter groups, each of which broke off from the main group after a major failure by one of the champions. What we could see, then, is the formation or origin story of one of these splinters. Most likely, though, it'll be a version a little closer to the Michael Lane fanatic and a little further from the utter lunacy of Jean-Paul.
Any way you slice it, though, we can exclusively confirm this vigilante warrior will be seen on the small screen, and years before Batman ever makes it to the show. Expect someone with a cross on some chainmail armor, and maybe even a flaming sword or two, in the near future. This is the "Rise of the Villains" season, so don't expect them to be very nice, either. After all, the priest continued, "Gotham will be redeemed in blood, and Bruce Wayne will die."
Are you excited to see Azrael in some form on Gotham this season? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to rate the episode in the box above to tell us what you think, and influence the Comic Book TV Power Rankings!