Batman charges Azrael with traking down Nick Scratch, and gives him a new costume. Azrael starts with Scratches old partner and the man who helped develop Scratch's devil faced goons. When he meets the doctor in his old costume a bar full of red necks recognise him and attack him. He swiftly defeated the drunks but is them knocked out by scratches henchmen and the house he is in is set on fire. When he wakes up he escapes from his costume and rescues the people in the house while his costume burns. Changing into his new costume he proceeds to pursue the doctor and Nick Scratch's henchmen.
The writing at times seems inconsistent, with captions switching beetween first and third person instead of the more unique and interesting second person that has become customary in Azrael. The introduction almost seems to indicate that Nick Scrach will be Azrael's major quest for the next year, creating a Fallen Angel type arc that may be what is needed to generate long term interest in the title. The writing on the whole is a bit of a mishmash overall and mainly sub par compared to the majority of recent stories.
The art is less well finished than last issue but the colouring is embellishing far more, and adding much detail in the highly detailed backgrounds but the figures themselves don't seem too well served in the backgrounds. Robinsons use of perspective is more understated here than previously, but he still makes sure to draw the readers eye to the background.
There's a biiiig outcry against the new costume, and I have to agree not because it sucks or because it's not as good as the old one but because it's bound to convince non readers that Azrael is nothing but a gimmick, and that's going to hurt sales in the long term. The costume isn't great, but it's not as bad as it could be, just think we could have got a Byrne revamp or a Liefeld revamp. I can just see JP now, with a Steel G-string and D-cups finally figuring out that the three missing months before No Man's Land were for plastic surgery, says Liefeld in his defence "With that hair he looks just like a woman from behind".
Seriously though this issue didn't seem to reflect the kind of crafting that went into some of the more recent issues, the writing was a bit of a let down, and I've got to ask when Azrael and Oracle are going to at least try to get it on because I really want to see it happen.
It's hard to belive that Azrael's costume was destroyed, I know the properties of Kevlar and it A.) doesn't burn, and B.) doesn't tear, that's why professional motorbike racers use it to pad the knees. So I can only assume that the costume will be back, hopefully when Azrael reveals Nick Scratch as the killer of the senator.