For Batman, fighting crime is a crusade, but there have been times when Bruce Wayne has been unable to fulfil his duties to Gotham. Other characters have worn the cowl when he’s been unable to, including Jean-Paul Valley. Better known as Azrael, Valley was characterised by his religious fanaticism, part of his conditioning as a member of The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas. With Batman’s help, Azrael was able to overcome the Order’s influence and strike out to find his own place in the world. Azrael a suitable metaphor for religious zealotry as well as for exploring the nature of faith. The Comic Vault is taking a look into his history to understand his motivations.
Growing up in a religious environment leaves a lasting impression, with people using religion as comfort or as justification. Believing in a higher power can provide a positive experience, but it can also become a prison. There are a variety of religious superheroes and Wolfsbane is a character that’s struggled with her faith. As a member of the X-Men, Rahne Sinclair’s mutant powers have conflicted with her religious beliefs. But over time she was able to reconcile who she was with what she believed in.