Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Mans Land - Azrael, Batgirl and Leslie Thompkins

I was of course already familiar with Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) and Leslie Thompkins but less so with Azrael.  I don't think I'd ever read anything with Azrael in before.  I had no idea of his background, his mission or anything about him.  In NML he strikes up a friendship with Leslie Thompkins, the doctor, and later, Batgirl.

Leslie's role in NML is that of pacifist and conscience to Bruce and Azrael.  She is fiercely against violence and is so committed to her principles that she even tends a notorious killer, knowing that when he awakes he will most likely kill her and everyone else in the hospital.  When he does wake, and does threaten her, she doesn't fight back - she lies at his feet and declares that she won't fight back, even tho she is terrified and she dearly wants to defend herself to preserve her life.  The pacifist stance does come off a bit heavy handed and forced at times, but it does also allow her to be mentor to those like Azrael, and later Batgirl.

As Batman becomes the Commander of his little clan Azrael and Batgirl find themselves working together and a friendship develops.  It's a bit of an odd friendship, given that the only word Batgirl can say is stop, so Jean-Paul (Azrael) does most of the talking.  Nonetheless, given their similar backgrounds and given the role that violence plays in their lives they have an understanding.  At one point, Azrael asks Batgirl what the plan is and this is what she replies:

Towards the end of the book it is coming up to Christmas and Lesllie gives gifts to both Jean paul and Batgirl.  Note that because of their backgrounds they don't know what Christmas is or what gift giving is about.  Batgirl gets her present first:

Jean Paul is given a harmonica.  Later he tries to play it:

The dance is Batgirl's Christmas gift to him.

All the scans are from Azrael 60 and 61.


Eyz said...

I liked the interaction between those two^^
I almost had forgotten about it!

LissBirds said...

I loved Cass when she was silent, becuase her body language was so expressive. Plus I like the silent-waters-run-deep aspect of it, too.

Plus, I'm also happy to see someone show a correct martial arts kick for a change, using the edge of the foot.

Was this in the trade?

Saranga said...

according to wikipedia it's not in the trade. :(