Tag Archive: Mental Health

Jean-Paul Valley is one of my favorite characters in comics by a long margin. Created in anticipation of the “Knightfall” crossover trilogy that saw him take over as Batman for a year, Azrael became a hated symbol of 90s grimdark. But Jean-Paul is so much more than that. In fact, Jean-Paul was not only a refutation of Dark Age thinking but became an active example of the alternative. Over his ten-year story, Jean Paul became a unique and interesting character, examining concepts as varied as non-violence, childhood abandonment, addiction, toxic masculinity, and elective family.

Jean-Paul is a very special character in my mind, and yet he doesn’t have a lot of fans. So, if you’ll indulge me a bit, I’d like to take you on a tour of Jean-Paul’s world. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll make a few new fans and you’ll walk away with a new character to nerd out over. If not, we can at least make fun of this character’s weird history together. So come with me and let’s take a walk.

With “Knightquest: The Crusade” Jean-Paul truly became the star of his story for the first time. “Knightquest” would see Jean-Paul struggle with his programming and his own morality as he learned what it meant to be the Dark Knight.
Continue reading


Review: Batman Annual #2

Batman Annual 2

Batman Annual #2 takes a moment to stop and consider Gotham City’s most famous institution, Arkham Asylum. Though Scott Snyder is there in spirit and to help with the plotting, the writing falls to one of his students, Marguerite Bennett (should it concern us that the guy with an uncanny knack for writing Batman seems to be collecting younger protégés?).

While many of us (read: I) wish we could be in her shoes, writing an annual is a big responsibility – especially for DC’s biggest name. How does Bennett fare on her first step into madness? Read on to find out.

Continue reading