Finally I get to read Azrael again, and I thought missing an issue would be no big deal, I was wrong. In the short span of a month, Azrael got a new creative team. Yup, after nine months of okay stories and okay art, we get David Hine and Guillem March on this book, and wow it was good, or at least I liked it.
This book opens with Azrael questioning why the sanctified water spilled on him is burning straight through his mask, he soon believes that God has withdrawn his blessing from him. As this goes on, a man dressed in a suit similar to Azrael's called the Crusader is standing above him coaxing him, and holding a sword over him. He slices at Azrael's neck as a priest cries "Michael!" in the background. We then get a spread of various different people telling him that the Suit of Sorrows is actually God's curse and that everything Azrael believed was a lie. We then cut to an unmasked Azrael waking up to see he is alone, soon finding that many of the saints are dead and drowned. We flash to the Crusader holding the priest to a gate with a seemingly dead body in front of them, but when he awakes and says that something about someone wanting a keeper's name and him not giving it (I'm as lost as you are) he's thrown into the sewers. We then cut back to the crusader opening his hands and saying that he no longer has to follow the rules of the world and allows a swarm of bees to come out of his suit and have them attack the priest, who he calls Father Day. Suddenly Azrael appears and questions how the Crusader will learn the identity of the keeper and they begin to fight, were Azrael's anger allows him to break him sword with the sword of sin. However the Crusader begins to fly and shoot fire to Azrael's surprise and then escapes. As Azrael helps Father Day who says that the Crusader never meant to hurt him, and the two deduce that the Crusader is leading them around with small clues. Then Father asks what are the most holy relics, and tells Azrael the holiest is the cloth which Christ was wrapped in. When Azrael says that, the cloth was a fake, father says that it was purposely done so, because it holds the evidence that Christ didn't die on the cross. When Azrael snaps and threatens to kill him Father convinces him to instead go find the cloth in Somalia. However, we find that the Crusader is already there and threatening a man by threatening to kill his wife, when the he cracks the Crusader smiles. We cut back to father and Azrael who get ready to go to the keeper, and that's the end of Azrael #11.
Now onto the review: I thought this issue was good, the story was interesting and the art complimented it well. I like that the Crusader kills people like saints the same way saints died and overall I like how evil the crusader really is. I think if Hine and March stay on the book this book will last a lot longer. So overall it was better than the last nine issues and though it doesn't really feel like a Batman book, it is fun.
Reviewed by Wes