|“||I am the instrument of God's vengeance. He hath bent me as a bow and unsheathed his sword. No one can escape his wrath.||„|
|~ Azrael after being imprisoned|
|“||Lane is dead. I am Azrael, knight to the Order of St. Dumas!||„|
Michael Lane, or better known as Azrael, is a recurring character in the Batman: Arkham series. He appears as the deuteragonist of the side mission Watcher in the Wings in Batman: Arkham City. He also appears as (either) the deuteragonist or main antagonist of the Most Wanted mission Heir to the Cowl in Batman: Arkham Knight.
Watchers in the Wings
When Bruce Wayne is brought into Arkham City, Azrael watches him from a nearby rooftop. During Batman's time in Arkham City, Azrael studies him closely. Batman encounters him on four points in Arkham City, but everytime he approaches Azrael the latter disappears in a cloud of smoke, leaving a mysterious sign behind. After analyzing all four signs, Batman tracks Azrael down to the church, where Azrael confronts him. Azrael reveals that he has closely watched Batman and has come to deliver a message:
|“||I bring a message. Dark days are coming, Batman. The prophecy is coming true. You are the warrior who will close the gates of hell. You are the one who will save this day and in doing so events will occur that you cannot stop. From the ashes of Arkham, the fires will rage and Gotham will burn. And you, you will burn too.||„|
|~ Azrael's prophecy|
After delivering the prophecy to Batman, Azrael once again disappears in a cloud of smoke and is not seen again for the rest of the game. However, Batman keeps Azrael's prophecy in his database.
Heir to the Cowl
|“||Dark days are here Batman, the prophecy has come true. From the ashes of Arkham City the fires are raging and Gotham is burning. I can see that same fire in your eyes, before this night is through that fire will consume you. Gotham will need a new savior, a new guardian, a new Batman.||„|
|~ Azrael returns|
Nine months later on Halloween, Scarecrow attacks Gotham with a group of supervillains. While trying to defeat them, Batman finds a burning bat symbol on a rooftop and investigates to find out whether it's a message or a threat. Arriving on the roof Batman finds Azrael kneeling near the symbol, who tells him that the prophecy has come true and that Batman will not survive the night. Azrael claims that he has been sent to become Batman's successor and Batman considers it, claiming that Azrael must first prove his worth. He loads a simulation in which Azrael must fight groups of enemies without being hit. After Azrael has passed, Batman tells him to contact him again if Azrael is ready for the next challenge. During the game, Batman must watch out for the burning bat symbols to find Azrael again.
After collecting sufficient data, Batman heads to the clocktower to find out more about Azrael. While analysing the data, Batman finds out that Azrael has been sent by the Order of Saint Dumas, seemingly to learn from Batman to take his place. However, while investigating a microchip that had been implanted into Azrael's brain, Batman realises that Azrael's true mission is to gain Batman's trust and then kill him as Batman's refusal to take life prevents criminals from facing true divine justice. Turning around, Batman sees that Azrael has entered the clock tower. Batman appeals to Azrael, claiming that he has been manipulated by the Order and that he can choose not to follow their orders. It is up to the player whether Azrael realises that he has been brainwashed and sets out to get revenge on the Order or whether he tries to kill Batman and is defeated and arrested at the GCPD.
- If Azrael ends up being imprisoned in the cells of GCPD after the player chose to let him try to kill Batman, he would later start arguing with Deacon Blackfire (if Blackfire was arrested as well) who also claimed to be a voice of God.
- His armor seems to be based off a Knight Templar.
- Some fans compare Azrael's look in Knight to an assassin from Assassin's Creed.
- At the beginning of Arkham City, while playing as Bruce Wayne, Azrael could be seen on a rooftop nearby, watching Bruce as he was incarcerated into Arkham City.
- That could imply that Azrael was aware that Bruce Wayne was Batman, which could explain why he never got involved. This would explain why he was not surprised when Batman's identity was revealed in Knight.
- If arrested, Azrael will lose his "cape" without any explanation.
- The separate pieces design of Azrae's "cape" appears to have been inspired by the DC animated film The Batman Vs Dracula, where the Prince of Darkness wore a cloak that also separated into five pieces (although the pieces of cloth were MUCH longer).
- The reason Azrael doesn't have an Evidence case is because the Sword of Sin was kept by Batman. *He lacked the engraver from Arkham City.
- If Azrael chooses to abandon the Order, he retains his belief in God and vows to only ever carry out His will.
- Azrael is the only super hero that is not a playable character in Arkham City.
- Azrael's Suit of Sorrows granted him the strength and reflexes of everyone who wore it before him. This numbered in hundreds and included the likes of Batman, at least in the comics. *Despite his suit's capabilities, Batman defeated him with relative ease, even when the former had his back turned to Azrael, which could mean that the suit is not truly mystical in the game's continuity.
- In Arkham City, Azrael will catch Batarangs thrown to him, which would give you the Catch! achievement in Arkham City.
- Inside the Church Medical Center, there was an image of a white Azrael on a window.
- If you looked closely at his symbol outside the Church, some of the words would say ("Well thank you ...ie to tell you the truth it's a sacrifice. I was close to give up many times and nearly broke up with Amanda over it as well. I ...ate that in each. I would take ... as holiday when our production and activity levels would be high.")
- If you looked closely at the church wall right next to the symbol, one could make out the outlining of Scarecrow. This subtly implies who will be responsible for the prophecy to occur 1 year later.
- Close inspection of the other side of the church the final symbol was on, would reveal a stained glass window that showed what appears to be a white version of Azrael.
- Azrael's prophecy referred to the events of Arkham City and foreshadowed the events of Arkham Knight. The "gates of Hell" referred to Arkham City, "this day" referred to Ra's al Ghul's plan, "events will occur" referred to Scarecrow's return, "the Ashes of Arkham" referred to the Arkham Knight, "fires will rage" referred to the Fear Gas that Scarecrow has, "Gotham will burn" referred to Gotham being completely abandoned because of the threat of the Fear Gas, and "you will burn too" referred to either Batman's supposed death, or the revelation of his identity to the world, leading to the Knightfall Protocol.
Azrael's side mission is the only side mission included on the main game that has multiple outcomes.
- In the comics, the original Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, was in fact trained by Batman to be his replacement in case of an emergency and donned the cowl for a time while Bruce Wayne was recovering after he had his spine broken by Bane during the events of the Knightfall Storyline. Azrael's appearance and side mission also foreshadowed the Knightfall Protocol if completed before the end of the main story.
- The Batsuit used by Jean-Paul was available as DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins. However, it was only available for PS3 users.
- The name Azrael is taken from the Angel of Death.
- Azrael had several gadgets that Batman used, but it was unknown how he aquired them. The Freeze Blast was an example.
- Azrael and Batgirl are the only characters in Arkham Knight to never have extra costumes.
In Knight, the chainmail he wears allows players to see through his character model.