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Azrael #46 : Guardian Angel
Writer : Dennis O'Neil
Penciler : Roger Robinson
Inker : James Pascoe
Colourist : Demetrius Bassoukos
Seperations : Prismacolor
Letterer : Ken Bruzenak
Assistant Editor : Frank Berrios
Editor : Mike Carlin

Synopsis :

Calibax preys on the displaced citizens of Gotham while Deathstroke is relieved of his contractual obligation to terminate him. Lilhy tells Azrael that she plans to rebuild the order and this causes Azrael and Brian to leave her. Jean-Paul and Brian head to Gotham to find Calibax, and Jean-Paul finds the Guardian Angel book and tries to find some way to reconcile his angel side with his avenger side. When they find Calibax Azrael quicckly defeats him.

Review :

Denny furthers the Order of St. Dumas plot and tries to bring about some sense of closure for what is effectively the end of Azrael's current story. Brian's return to something approaching his old self is important as it returns to the feel of the first couple of issues, the duo formula is better than a trio, Lilhy was baggage and she's put to much better use as a villain. Very sparse narration this issue, mostly third person, in fact most of the issue was conducted purely in dialogue, Denny is the master of using conversational dialogue as exposition without it being hackneyed. Overall the developments in this story weren't unexpected, Denny has made sure to make every twist in the story logical and methodical in it's development. To an extent he may have lost the element of surprise in his stories.

The art is good! All of Robinson's figures are properly built and look normal unlike Barry who's massive hair sometimes gave heads an odd shape, the whole book looks good with some wonderful colouring from Demetrious. The colour work while normally using muted tones, instead sometimes accentuates panels with contrasting colours to highlight dertain areas. If the work on this book is compared to work on #32 there is an obvious improvement, it seems Azrael is back on stable ground artistically.

Rant :

The cover was not great it masked a great story, Deathstrokes appearance was not "just forgotten" and Jean-Paul continues to grow up and continue his development. The one thing I was so pleased to see was the Guardian Angel book. Some of the best moments in this comic have been involving that book. I'm not sure if I want him to keep it or give it to some one, but I'm leaning toward keeping it around to keep reminding him of the things he's been through.

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