We continue with Azrael’s first outing with the Bat-Family.

Detective Comics #658

Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Michael Netzer
Inks by Luke McDonnell
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by John Costanza
Edited by Scott Peterson and Denny O’Neil

We open with Batman and Robin rushing to save Lucius Fox from being killed by the Man In Glasses, before flashing back 18 hours to the Feds scooping up the collars from the WayneTech break-in.

Two hours later, the feds are seizing WayneTech files, with a warrant from the US Attorney General and the head of the FBI. Fox calls his government contact, who reports that the execs of the other two companies working on Project Echo have died in alleged suicides – and their names match the names of the people killed by the Man In Glasses. Fox calls Bruce, who in turn prepares to handles this as Batman.

“Look, I’m not saying every other corporate executive on this project has been whacked but…”

During all of this, the Muzak system starts piping music into Fox’s office while he tries to take a nap, while at home the Man in Glasses, who now reveals his super-villain identity as “The Cypher”, prepares for a night’s work.

That night, Batman sends Azrael to investigate WayneTech, while Batman & Robin go to watch Lucius – but when they call the house in advance, they discover that Fox has left somewhere – and doesn’t say where. Azrael finds something, but is delayed in being able to report that to Batman due to having to give security the slip.

Once Azrael does, he reports that he’s retrieved the Muzak tape, and broadcasts it to the Bat-computer. Alfred uses it to isolate a subliminal message commanding Fox to a night-time meet.

Azrael saves Lucius Fox.
Seriously – pre-Batman Azrael
is a quipper.

Finally, we return to where we started this issue – at the bridge. Azrael, who had been sent back by Batman, disobeyed orders so he could find out what happened, so he’s in position to save Lucius when he’s coerced to jump. Meanwhile, Robin takes down The Cypher with a kick to the throat, taking away the voice he uses for hypnosis.

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