azrael: jean paul valley

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Batgirl and Azrael Gift Exchange from Azrael 61 2000-02

Cassandra Cain and Jean-Paul Valley team up during No Man’s Land and have some of their best panels ever IMO.

Jean-Paul is sweet and innocent and kind of awkward while Cassandra is quiet (she never says a word), enigmatic and somber.

Their interaction is great and other writers of Cass should have noticed that less is more regarding Cass talking. She communicates really well if she’s drawn right with body language, facial expressions and hand gestures. Of course a few words every now and then would be needed for her own title but lots of dialog isn’t needed in most cases. She has a powerful presence with few or no words.

And Azrael was spot on and played off Cass nicely. His line about talking too much was great as was his line “she smells good already!” So funny but his lines are believable and heartfelt.

What a great combo and so alike: both with terrible, horrible upbringings who are super deadly with almost super human abilities. Yet Jean-Paul is unsure and naive without his mask and Cassandra has varying degrees of language and reading abilities.

I’m sure New52 will never bring back Jean-Paul since he has ascended into Heaven (or something).

But please, please bring back Cass and do her right! :)

Headcanon: Cassandra brings out the angel Azrael gave her to put it on top of the tree every Christmas at the manor after his death. Nobody says a word against it.