What Role Will Azrael Play In Gotham?

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(Photo: DC Entertainment)

Azrael, the vengeful warrior of the Order of St. Dumas, is coming to Gotham. When EP John Stephens confirmed that to us exclusively over a month ago, it was almost unbelievable. Now that we’ve seen the Order in earnest on the series, though, it’s getting easier to figure out just how they might do the story.

There are a few distinct possibilities. Gotham has been known to be both slaves to the comics and also take their liberties. Giving Riddler a split personality origin, for example, while also having him obsessed with riddles before ever turning to crime. Or the very existence of a proto-Joker, who would inspire others including the real deal. So with Azrael, they have several options:

1) Theo Galavan is the Order’s current Azrael

2) Jean Paul Valley’s father is Azrael, working either for the Order or for a splinter group against the ones we’ve seen

3) Someone brand new is Azrael, same as above

Seeing Theo “Galavan” Dumas just absolutely kicking ass in hand-to-hand combat, let alone all the monks we’ve seen handling their business, makes it seem viable that Theo himself will be the Order’s greatest warrior. In the pages of DC Comics, that title has gone to two people, one simply just called the Dumas, and the other Azrael, named for an archangel in various monotheistic beliefs. If Theo is the current Azrael of the Order as we’ve seen it so far, then the worst is yet to come for the citizens of Gotham. It would help to explain his unwavering confidence in all of his planning, as he’d be by far the most well-trained and disciplined fighter we’ve seen on the show so far. If he is Azrael, then it’s safe to assume we’ll see some aspect of that on the show; probably not a full costume, but perhaps some kind of smock with the Templar cross and yes, even a flaming sword. This is probably a “my plans have gone awry, time to rain down vengeance” option, and one saved for the end of the season.

The second option, Jean-Paul Valley’s father, comes straight from the comics. Jean-Paul is the Azrael most fans know, the one that took over for Bruce Wayne as Batman for a time. Introducing his father, who was known to hold the title before his son, would fit the Gotham mold perfectly. The question then is whether he’s for this version/group of The Order of St. Dumas or against it.

If he’s for it, we’ll probably see something close to the scenario with Theo, with Valley being brought in as a last-ditch effort. He could also be brought in as a replacement of sorts for Theo after a failure or issue the Order has with how he’s been running this op, offering a much more hands-on and violent method to their vengeance.

If he’s against it, or working for a splinter group, then he could be the first fully-formed vigilante we’ve seen on the show, and in this universe. It would be difficult to pull off, frankly, without him being too “batman-y,” but it would give us some more inspiration for Bruce. Perhaps he sees someone like this, in some manner of costume, extremely well-trained, and striking fear into his foes, and that drives him toward his own next steps?

As for a brand new Azrael, he could take either of those steps as well. There’s also the remote chance that Michael Lane, or some version of him, could be a part of the story, but I see that more as a secondary tale down the road, rather than being the main version of him in this show.

Whichever way they go, Azrael is coming in some shape or form to Gotham, and the city will never be the same.