ORDER OF PURITY
Membership: Adrian Paratino, Azrael (Abraham Arlington), Azrael (Geoffrey DeCantonna), Azrael (Henri Ducart), Azrael (Michael Lane). Felicidad Gomez, Garrett Day, Leland McCauley
Base of Operations: Gotham City, other sects worldwide
First Appearance: Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1 (May, 2009)
History: (Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1 (fb)) - A splinter faction of the Order of St. Dumas formed the Order of Purity, seeking to bring god’s justice to the world through a less violent approach. They forged the Suit of Sorrows from the armor of fallen Crusaders, and appointed their own Azrael as the instrument of god’s will. Unfortunately the Suit drove the wearer mad, and gave its owner a hubristic view of what god would want.
(Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #2 (fb, BTS), Azrael II #6 (fb)) - The Order told their Azrael DeCantonna they needed him to protect them from their enemies, and set him upon a group of knights that refused to tithe to him. Azrael started hearing voices and became immune to rational thought, but the Order had forged a blade that could end his suffering and protect the Order from him if need be. They killed Azrael, covered uphis atrocities, and appointed Henri Ducart as their new knight. When he went mad they briefly allied themselves with the Order of St. Dumas to send their Azrael after Henri. Dumas' Azrael engaged Henri and bested him in swordplay, but told him he was god's soldier and was loathe to kill him. Henri realized the Order of Purity had turned against him, and committed suicide by leaping off a cliff.
(Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1 (fb)) - The Suit was lost to the Order, and eventually ended up in the hands of Ra’s al Ghul, who gave it to his daughter Talia, who gifted it to Batman.
(Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1-3) - The Order stole the Suit of Sorrows from the Batcave and appointed Abraham Arlington as their new Azrael, but after six weeks he went insane and slew undercover GCPD officer Jimmy Burrows. The Order took care of him, and sought out Michael Lane, a retired GCPD officer who’d undergone training in a secret GCPD program to replace Batman when he died. Lane was a troubled soul, and accepted the position without question. Talia wanted the Suit back, and sent her League of Assasins to retrieve it. They killed Leland McCauley before Azrael defeated him. Talia had a sit-down with Azrael, and informed him that the suit would drive him mad. He confronted the Order, and made them show him his predecessor, who’d been institutionalized. They lied and claimed another faction of the Order improperly trained him. Michael resolved that he would be their knight, even if it meant his death, because he needed to redeem himself for his sins. Azrael confronted Nightwing in the Batcave, and convinced the hero of his innocence n Burrow’s murder. Nightwing knocked him out and brought him back to his apartment. Nightwing left a note on the Suit, saying he was giving him a chance to be a hero, but if he screwed up he’d be taking it back. Ra’s al Ghul had his White Ghost follow Azrael’s every move, and decided to let him keep the suit. He wanted to see if he could overcome the Suit’s madness and become an ultimate weapon. Ra’s held control over the Order, and wanted Azrael to serve him if he proved worthy.
(Azrael II #1) -The Order had Azrael investigate attacks on the Marlowe Mission, and Azrael learned that an assassin was killing people complicit in protecting Father Walter Jankowski, who'd abused the assassin's clients when they were alter boys. Azrael met the killer at Gotham's airport, and let him leave for Dublin because they were both dealing out righteous vengeance.
(Azrael II #2) - The Order had Adrian teach Azrael about their history. Azrael asked him where the helm of the Suit of Sorrows was, and Adrian only knew that it had been lost to the Order. Adrian told him overseas members of the Order were starting to accept him as the new Azrael. Azrael faced the White Ghost, who made him undergo a test of character to see if he was worthy of serving Ra's a Ghul. Adrian met with members who presented him with a blade they said could quell the madness of the Suit of Sorrows.
(Azrael II #5) - Adrian spent time with Azrael's remaining family, and Azrael told Jenny that he chose to work for the Order because vengeance and anger was all he knew.
(Azrael II #6) -Michael went through the history books of the Order of Purity, and became convinced it held secret messages, so he applied the codebreaking skills he learned in the military to the tomes. Adrian was worried about his sanity, and looked at the blade he kept to end Michael's life if he got any insane insights from his studies or turned against the Order. Michael found that every Azrael of the Order of Purity went mad and died, often at the hands of the Order. He determined that the Order were his enemies and out to kill him.
Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza & Frazer Irving.
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