Jean Paul escapes the fire and meets Batman, who gives him his costume and enough money to find the Order of St. Dumas. Jean-Paul takes his friend Brian with him and they travel to the ice cathedral. When they arrive they are ambushed by a group of men acting on the orders of a mysterious woman and Brian runs away. After disposing of his ambushers Jean-Paul goes to look for Brian but finds instead his replacement, the new Azrael.
For most of this issue the lenses of Jean-Paul's glasses are awash with flames indicating the firey persona that lies beneath the surface of his skin. The conversations between Brian and Jean-Paul are well written and Brian's self depreciating style of humour is entertaining, as is his reaction to thier ambush. When Jean-Paul becomes Azrael and starts performing incredible stunts Brian stares and say's "he's doing it again" as if it were a bad habit. His subsequent attempt to escape and concern for his bottle under line his human frailties and make him that much more interesting. While this is part of a long story line it doesn't feel like a filler and is well executed.
Of particular interest are the panel borders in the Order sequences, while reminiscent of Starman these borders are done in a fashion resembling stained glass windows. The art in Azrael literally oozes quality, the colouring on this book is of a much higher quality than any Bat-book and probably the rest of the book's being published being published by DC.
Cool cover. Demetrious has realised that Jean-Pauls glasses are reflective and has used that to a great extent, the appearence of Azrael's face in the lenses is both symbolic and very cool to look at. Being a #2 you can expect these to be harder to get than #1 so if you don't already have one you'd better get it because besides filling in a gap in your collection it's also a damn good issue.