NML Crossing

NML Crossing, Episode 065 – Azrael: Agent of the Bat #53

NML Crossing, Episode Sixty-Five

Azrael: Agent of the Bat #53 (June, 1999)
“Jellybean Deathtrap”
Writer – Denny O’Neil
Pencils – Roger Robinson
Inks – James Pascoe
Colors  Rob Ro & Alex Bleyaert
Letters – Ken Bruzenak
Edits – L.A. Williams & Mike Carlin
Cover Price: $2.25

In which our titular hero is given his orders to ixnay the Nick Scratch hunt, and instead focus his attention on taking down… the Joker? What could possibly go wrong?

The Bada-Bin!

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2 thoughts on “NML Crossing, Episode 065 – Azrael: Agent of the Bat #53

  • So the first major appearance of the Joker in No Man’s Land is in a book that doesn’t matter to the overall story. This had to be another attempt to boost sales on Azrael.

    The thing I was most surprised by was the lack of continuity in the appearance if the Joker’s henchmen. Totally different design for the henchmen here as compared to the henchmen who accompanied him at Sarge’s house.

    Seeing Azrael be confused as to who he is, Azrael or Jean Paul, and then being asked if he was Batman was comical to me. He’s not sure who he is but at least he knows he ain’t Batman.

    These Azrael issues feel like they were written to take place alongside the main story but not interact with the main story. I almost feel like after the whole storyline was plotted out at the “Bat-Summit” of writers, artists and editors, Denny went home and said to himself “Now how can I shoehorn Azrael into this story without changing the story?” This feels like it was written years later as a “and this is what Azrael was doing during NoMan’sLand”. Just like the 1999 “Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths Special” was ment to tie in with the original Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.

  • 1) In regards to the question of if the Joke is sane or insane – I think he’s very smart and perceptive when he wants to be but ultimately insane in the sociopath sense (although sociopath is now an outdated clinical term, I see. It’s now referred to as antisocial personality disorder, probably with more symptoms or details for that disorder than what used to be attributed to sociopaths, but I didn’t dig into it that deeply). I think he has no morals or sense of right and wrong, and he has no empathy for others, so he doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions (except, maybe, if they hurt him, but he also often doesn’t seem to care about his own well-being).

    2) I don’t remember what episode you asked the question of if Jim knew Barbara was Batgirl by this point. If my memory is correct, I think it’s often implied that he doesn’t know but strongly suspects that Barbara was Batgirl. I think it’s kind of like how a stereotypical Midwestern family handles a delicate topic by mainly avoiding it and only mentioning it in roundabout and subtle (maybe passive agressive) ways.


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