Hey, were you at all worried that, when it returns on February 29, Gotham won’t continue to be completely bonkers? Let me happily assure you that this is definitely not going to be the case, as this first look at the arrival of Batman’s eventual work acquaintance proves. Spoiler warning!

We all knew Azrael was coming, because the Order of St. Dumas has spent all season making a play for Gotham City. (Trying to explain what’s happened would take way too long, just know robed monks literally visited a handjob parlor to murder people as part of their ancient ritual to take over Gotham.) Anyways, now we know what Azrael looks like on the show, as well as who will play the character...

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A few things to note here…

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1) Azrael’s outfit is outstanding. It’s absolutely the finest costume in the show so far, no question. Well done!

2) Yes, that is James Frain, who has been playing the recently deceased character Theo Galavan, rocking the outfit. It seems likely he’s been returned to life (undeath?) by Dr. Hugo Strange, who received Galavan’s corpse in the mid-season finale, and who notably also possesses the corpse of Fish Mooney. (Fish Mooney is also coming back this season.)

3) In the comics, Azrael was originally a hero who moonlighted as Batman while Batman was busy recovering from a slight case of broken back. Azrael actually ends up being too brutal as Batman, causing Bruce to ask for his resignation (i.e. to punch him in the face). In the recent Arkham series of Batman video games as well as the New 52 comic universe, Azrael is more enigmatic—he’s a warrior who fights for the Order of St. Dumas, but is not necessarily heroic or evil.

I bring this all up because, if Theo Galavan is in the suit and alive enough to know who he is, chances are this Azrael is going to be 100 percent evil. In Gotham, the Order of St. Dumas exists solely to take over Gotham City and kill Bruce Wayne, because one of Bruce’s ancestors effectively stole the gal pal of one of Theo’s ancestors a few hundred years ago. (I am not kidding). Of course, that doesn’t mean that this Azrael couldn’t actually get more heroic over time, but I don’t suspect that’s likely. Theo was very evil during his reign, murdering bunches of people and pimping out his niece—it’s hard to see him getting a chance at redemption. But it’s Gotham. Who the hell knows what’s going to happen?

I sure don’t. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Fish Mooney could also wear an Azrael suit before the season is over. Or maybe the equally dead Jerome Kerr could be a third Azrael! Or hell, maybe Galavan gets decapitated and Dr. Hugo Strange grafts Fish Mooney and Jerome’s heads onto Galavan’s body! It sounds insane, but this is exactly why I love Gotham, despite the fact it is an unassailably terrible show. Maybe we won’t get Jerfishrael (#jerfishrael), but we’re still going to get something else absolutely insane.

[Comic Book Resources]


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.