In the relatively short time he has come to identify himself as Azrael, Jean Paul Valley has sought to come to grips with "The System" , post-hypnotic suggestions implanted by the order of St.Dumas to transform him into it's assassin and avenging angel. As the substitute Batman, Jean-Paul succeeded where Bruce Wayne failed, stopping the venom maddened Bane and a host of Arkham escapees until "The System" and his own personal psychoses drove him over the edge and the Mantle of the Bat was reclaimed by Wayne. Much later, with Batmans help, Azrael embarked on a journey to uncover his true origins, a quest that paired him with the alcoholic ex-psychiatrist Brian Bryan and the renegade Sister Lilhy of the Order of St. Dumas.
Learning that he been seperated from his human mother and sustained with animal fluids in order to be painfully transformed by "The System" into Azrael, Valley ventured to the Order's Ice cathedral to detroy it and the Orders leader, Brother Rollo. In the end, the Cathedral was in ruins and Rollo believed to have perished. With the Order of St.Dumas seemingly fallen, Jean Paul Valley is a knight without a purpose, discoveing for the first time that Azrael's role is now in his hands.
Every Azrael has carried a Flaming sword, including the current one. While in possession of a flaming sword Jean Paul generally does not use it instead he makes his weapon of choice the retractable flaming Bundi Daggers housed in the forearms of his gauntlets. Independantly fueled and made from high tech alloys of the Orders invention they are sharp and immune to ordinary wear.
The costume Azrael curently wears was designed by Nomoz after his failed first tussel with Batman. Incorporating the advanced Order technology that created the silent hovercraft, the universal solvent, and the Azraels themselves, Nomoz crafted a fireproof and bulletproof fabric that resembles a weave of Kevlar and Nomex materials.
Azrael's costume has compartments for storing equipment and
tools including a flashlight, satalite communications gear and medical
equipment, he also has access to equipment from the Batcave. Azrael carries a
mobile phone to allow him to contact Oracle as he was never fully trained as a
detective and often needs information in a hurry.
A computer science post graduate student Jean Paul Valley's computer skills outstrip Tim Drake's and are possibly second only to Oracle's. He has been desribed as having instinctive genius, but is not as smart or canny as Batman and has limited knowledge with which to apply his intelligence.
Jean Pauls training from Batman added to his wide range of fighting techniques imparted by "The System" making him highly skilled as a hand to hand combatant, possibly as skilled as batman but lacking Batman's experiance and finesse.
Being a genetically engineered person with the inclusion of certain
animal DNA in his own, Azrael has been given greater strength than the human
norm, he has been known to hurl large stone alters and steel objects possibly
weighing one or two tonnes, however these powers are only available to Azrael
and not Jean Paul. The costume is a neccessary trigger for "The System" to
impart him with his "Angelic Wrath" giving him his strength and enhanced
reflexes and speed.
While possibly the greatest fighting machine born, Azrael lacks finesse and experiance and this can be exploited by a foe who knows this. Azrael is also a possibly incurable schitzophrenic. Besides maintaining the Jean-Paul identity he had before the system was activated as well as the Azrael identity he has since aquired, he had aquired a third identity as Batman. The Batman identity was distinct as it had Jean Pauls skills, Azraels training and bloodthirst but lacked Jean Pauls compassion. The Batman persona was inextricably linked to the Batman costume and since recognising Azrael as a part of himself the Batman persona has not reasserted itself. Azrael's lack of mental stability is an easily exploitably weakness.
Azrael also has a strong desire for aproval from Batman. This probably stems from his lack of a father figure during childhood, similarly his emotional experiance can make him vulnerable to women as Catwoman, Lilhy and Talia have collectively proved.