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Batman : Sword of Azrael Book Three : Direct Action
Writer : Dennis O'Neil
Penciller : Joe Quesada
Inker : Kevin Nowlan
Colourist : Lovern Kinzierski
Seperations : None
Letterer : Ken Bruzenak
Assistant Editor : Bill Kaplan
Editor : Archie Goodwin

Synopsis :

Batman and Alfred arrive outside the hospital and while Alfred tends to the young man lying on the ground Batman chases Biis before a fight in a stroge room causes Batman to be overwhelmed by ether gas and drugged by Lehah. Alfred tries to stop Batman's abduction but fails. Working with Nomoz and the new Azrael Alfred works out that Biis is killing in a pattern that moves westward. Biis tries to extract control of Bruce Wayne's fortune from Batman with little success before heading to England to murder another member of the Order of St. Dumas. Wearing the cowl of Batman Lehah is about to kill when the new Azrael arrives outside the gates.

Review :

This issue begins with Denny's most obvious parrallel. When the first Azrael was shot out of a window it served to pique Batman's intrest, when the second is shot out of a window it serves to introduce the new Azrael into Batman's world. The fight that eventually follows between Bruce Wayne and Biis furthur confuses the issue of whether Biis exists or not. Denny's new characters, such as Biis, Azrael, and Ra's al ghul are always interesting and skillfully written.

If there is one area where it can be said that Denny's writing can be said to excel, and there are many, it would be his treatment of the supporting characters. This chapter focuses almost exclusively on the supporting characters and shows that they have more to do than wait around for the hero.

Rant :

Joe Quesada's depiction of the fighting sequence in the hospital is truly skillful it's no wonder he's so popular, I have to wonder though whether Denny scripted the appearance of Biis or whether it was Joe's idea. Having reread Sword of Azrael until I can't stand it any more, I have come to the conclusion that Lehah is the most intriguing character in this book, What appeals to me most is the question of whether the Dogma of the Order is true or not. We've seen that angels do exist in the DCU the question is, is there also a demon named Biis?

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