The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas
|The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas|
|First appearance||Batman: Sword of Azrael #1|
|Created by||Dennis O'Neil|
|Type of organization||Religious warrior sect|
The Order of Saint Dumas first appeared in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1 and were created by Dennis O'Neil.
Fictional team history
The Order of Saint Dumas was originally a part of the Knights Templar, a group of warrior-monks that were formed during the Crusades originally to protect pilgrims journeying to the Holy Land, and who grew quite powerful before being disbanded. The members of the Order had a falling out with the other Templars and formed their own group, named for their leader Dumas ("who nobody else has ever accused of being a Saint"). The centuries-old villain Ra's al Ghul once had "an adventure" with Dumas, and Ra's later described the founder of the Order as "...[a] vicious man, an insane fanatic." The Order eventually stole Ra's al Ghul's Wheel of Plagues which contains a record of biological weapons. Ra's al Ghul himself also took their precious battle armor called the Suit of Sorrows to pass as a family heirloom.
The Order of Saint Dumas enriched itself during the Crusades and then went into hiding. It devoted itself to the teachings of Dumas. The order's first champion was an Asian man named Stephen Forrest Lee, the assassin known to Mark Shaw as Dumas. The failure of this champion splintered the Order of Saint Dumas.
The main branch retreated and the violent splinter elements created a new champion called Azrael, a hereditary title given to the splinter order's near-superhuman enforcer and assassin. Members of the splinter order enlarged the organization's power by killing their enemies, hoarding knowledge and kidnapping some of the greatest thinkers in the world. The order also spread disinformation to ensure that the theories of the kidnapped geniuses would look so silly that nobody would miss them or examine their research. A recent Azrael named Jean-Paul Valley eventually destroyed the splinter group.
In Detective Comics #842, it is revealed that there is another splinter faction called the Order of Purity.
A new champion
- Brother Rollo - Head of the Order of St. Dumas.
- Brother Umberto
- Brother Zoo - A member of the Order of St. Dumas who created the genetically-altered beasts in their possession.
- Daniel Maris
- Jean-Paul Valley
- Ludovic Valley - The father of Jean-Paul Valley who was his predecessor in the Azrael mantle.
- Michael Lane
- Nomoz - A dwarf who was created by the Order of St. Dumas.
- Sister Lilhy
- Gray Abbott - scientist who creates the Azraels
In other media
The Order of St. Dumas appears in Season 2 of Gotham. They are depicted as a religious sect founded by the patron saint of the Dumas family centuries earlier. When Caleb Dumas is falsely accused for sexual assault by Celestine Wayne, Jonathan Wayne used a knife to cut off Caleb's right hand. Afterwards, the Dumas family is discredited for their role in the founding of the city where most of them took refuge with the Order of St. Dumas in Europe while the remaining ones in Gotham City had their last names changed to Galavan. Centuries later, the Order of St. Dumas begins to enact their elaborate plan to atone for the actions of the Wayne family, and destroy and rebuild Gotham. They pull strings so that Caleb's descendant Theo Galavan (James Frain) becomes the mayor of Gotham City. Upon gaining public trust, Galavan carries out the plan by framing Oswald Cobblepot for his crimes, obtaining the knife used on Caleb Dumas and giving it to an elite member named Father Creel (Ron Rifkin), and kidnapping Bruce Wayne so that the Order of St. Dumas members can sacrifice Wayne. Before Father Creel can sacrifice the boy using the same knife that was used on Caleb Dumas, James Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot and Cobblepot's gang, interrupt the ceremony and save Wayne. During a confrontation, all of the members of the Order of St. Dumas that were present were killed in the ensuing battle. Later in the season, Galavan is resurrected by Hugo Strange (B.D. Wong) as the villain Azrael.
- The Sacred Order of St. Dumas is mentioned in Batman: Arkham City. It had long wanted to be the guiding force against crime and corruption in Gotham City. When news came that Batman was rumored to be currently in Arkham City, the Order of St. Dumas jumped at the opportunity. Sending Azrael out to earn Batman's trust, the Order provided the Dark Knight with a cryptic message that would come true 9 months later.
- The Sacred Order of St. Dumas is mentioned in Batman: Arkham Knight. On the night of Scarecrow's revenge amongst all the chaos caused by him and Arkham Knight, the Order of St. Dumas finally decided to make their move. They sent Azrael to trick Batman and kill him so that they could take his place. Growing suspicious of Azrael and the Order's motives, Batman discovered the truth of their motives when the Order has planted a microchip in his brain to influence his actions. This leads to a confrontation at Oracle's Clock Tower with two different outcomes:
- If Azrael chooses to kill Batman, he attacks the hero with the Sword of Sin, but is subdued by Batman and taken to the Gotham City Police Department where he is incarcerated alongside Scarecrow's co-conspirators. Lane reveals himself to be a religious zealot, completely in line with the Order of St. Dumas's creed, claiming evil has flourished under Batman's tenure and he must die so that divine justice can save the city. Azrael develops an animosity toward Deacon Blackfire as both of them consider themselves to be God's rightful representative.
- If Azrael chooses to spare Batman, he enters the elevator to leave the Clock Tower either immediately or after picking up and breaking his own sword (it seemed to have some kind of control over him). Proud, Batman shakes his hand after he enters the elevator telling Lane that he made the right choice. Azrael explains that he only follows the will of God and not the manipulations of man while also stating that the Order of St. Dumas will answer for their crimes.
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