The DC Chess Collection begins with the Batman chess set, which pits Gotham's greatest heroes against the Joker's villains of Arkham Asylum. Each character is superbly rendered, cast from a specially formulated metallized resin and painted by expert model-makers. Each issue comes complete with an in-depth 16-page magazine providing detail on the character as well as essential chess tips for players of all levels. Continue your collection with Killer Croc (Black Rook) (#30) and Azrael (White Pawn) (#31).
The Jean-Paul Valley version of Azrael belongs to a secret assassin sect called the Order of St. Dumas, conditioned by The System, a process which eradicates fear and provides Valley with nearly superhuman qualities. Valley is recruited as the new Batman after Bruce Wayne suffers his crippling defeat at the hands of Bane. Valley is fastidiously conditioned to mirror Batman’s physique and fighting style, however Valley quickly establishes himself as a more brutal Batman. His decision to allow serial killer Abattoir to fall to his death prevents the rescue of Abattoir’s final victim from a secret torture chamber. Valley applies a series of technological advances to the Batman suit, and ultimately succeeds in defeating Bane. Later, a fully recovered Bruce Wayne reclaims the mantle of Batman by force.