Azrael was a character who was deleted from the New 52 Universe in 2011. Literally in one case, an image of him that would have appeared in Batwoman was deleted after the series was moved from one universal iteration to another.
In the previous Batman comic books, he was a religious assassin for the Order of St. Dumas, turned vigilante. And got up to stuff.
He took the role of Batman, with a reimagined armour, after Bruce Wayne's back was broken by Bane in the Knightfall story.
The character did then reappear in New 52 continuity in Batman & Robin: Eternal. His design was updated, with his main weapon being his sword rather than gauntlets. His character, however, was essentially the same, working as an enforcer for the Order of St. Dumas. In the comic, he defeated Bane and eventually turned on his handler and the Order to assist Red Hood and Tim Drake.
Then he went away again. Of late, he has been re-emerging with mentions in the current team book Detective Comics. Just without any of the nineties silliness like dressing up as Batman or somesuch.
However in August's Detective Comics #962, a variant cover we first ran on Bleeding Cool yesterday by Rafael Albuquerque may reveal more…
Back in the bat? And those gauntlets too…
UPDATE: Oh and look, here's the main cover as well.
DETECTIVE COMICS #962
Written by JAMES TYNION IV • Art and cover by ALVARO MARTINEZ and RAUL FERNANDEZ
Variant cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
"INTELLIGENCE" finale! Ascalon, the deadly artificial intelligence created by the Order of St. Dumas, is ready to replace Azrael and purify Gotham City…and all that stands in the way of the world's most flawless computer brain is the mind of Batman himself!
On sale AUGUST 9 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T