Sacred Order of Saint Dumas
The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas are a organization that features in DC Comics.
The Sacred Order of Saint Dumas was a secret organization that operated in the world. This ancient order's origins were traced to the Knights Templar until an internal disagreement occured that splintered the organization. A group of these knights fell under the leadership of a warrior by the name of Dumas. Naming their organization for their founder, the ancient Order of Saint Dumas was to had fought in the Crusades. At some point, another schism erupted within the group who had a disagreement with their leaders. At this point, the group was under the command of Cantankerous Bunch who embarked on a campaign of looting and plunder. It was believed that the order had stopped existing by the time of the 15th century. Some theorized that the order split in Switzerland where they put their earnt finances within several banks in order to become rich. (Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #1) Ra's al Ghul claimed to had once had an adventure with its mad fanatical founder Dumas. (Azrael v1 #5) After breaking with the establishment 600 years ago, the Order husbanded the vast wealth acquired from the times of the Crusades. They would use it on what they believed were good causes and began protecting as well as nurturing their members unless they violated their trust. During such moments, they would dispatch their agent known as Azrael to eliminate them. By this point, the members of this organization had been reduced to a small number with fewer than a dozen of them left that were scattered cities around Europe and America. (Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #2) Ra's al Ghul stated that he once attempted to place a spy within the Order around three hundred years ago as he felt that his goals and the Order's would someday clash but this attempt failed. (Azrael v1 #5) After many centuries, the Order perfected the means of creating their Azrael's from female gorilla hosts in order to instill the System within them and making them better half animal hybrid fighters with this being a closely guarded secret. (Azrael v1 #7) It was said that a former Azrael around a hundred years ago attempted to learn their forbidden origin and returned as a raving beast that had to be locked away. (Azrael v1 #7)
A splinter occurred within the organization happened at some point with this group disputing the ways of Dumas spreading their faith through the sword. This faction formed their own branch that became known as the Order of Purity. This faction later decided to create their own champion to defend them and forged the Suit of Sorrows along with the Sword of Sin and Sword of Salvation for them to wield in battle. (Azrael: Death's Dark Knight v1 #1) One member was Carleton LeHah who looted their Swiss accounts and used the money to build an arms business for himself. After learning of this fact, Nomoz decided to dispatch the current Azrael who was Jean-Paul Ludovic Valley. (Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #2)
From their African installation, the Order had studied the Ebola Gulf-A nicknamed the Clench that they referred to as the Apocalypse Filovirus which had infected a person heading towards Gotham City. (Batman: Shadow of the Bat v1 #48)
The order sought to find a new Azrael though the former holder was still alive in Gotham City. (Azrael v1 #1) In order for Jean-Paul Valley to find his own past, Batman provided him with information on the Order's headquarters and money so that he could seek them out for answers. (Azrael v1 #2)
Though seemingly destroyed, a branch of the Order still existed in Asia with Lilhy where she looked to reform it under her rule. She came to have her own agent assume the mantle of Azrael and serve her interests in increasing their wealth. (Azrael: Agent of the Bat v1 #66)
The Order later approached Mark Shaw where they explained their history and their intention to make him the new Azrael. (Manhunter v3 #28) However, Shaw would deny this fate and refuse the attempts by the Order to make him their new champion. (Manhunter v3 #30) The splinter group known as the Order of Purity sought to make their own Azrael and selected Michael Washington Lane for this role. (Azrael: Death's Dark Knight v1 #1)
Following the Flashpoint, a new timeline was created with a different history of events.
It was held that Saint Dumas who founded the Order had died during the Crusades but a succession of leaders bore his name to continue leading their ranking. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15)
At Gotham, the Order of Dumas was re-developing the Church of Saint Elijah the Thunderer. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #5) They were also engaged in operations at Santa Prisca where an Angel of Death had eliminated ten black marketers operating on the prison island. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #9) They were engaged in dealings with the mysterious Mother and handed over Project: Ichthys over at Prague. With Mothers aid, they created Project: Azrael with a designer human whose real identity was Jean-Paul Valley. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #10)
A group within the Order believed that a failure of previous Azrael's was due to a weakness in their living wearers. As a result, they built an AI housed in armour with this being known as the Ascalon with a council member secretly teaching it. Eventually, the Ascalon was activated and this faction sought to eliminate the old guard for not believing strictly with the Gray Abbott and Dumas being believed dead. (Detective Comics v1 #958)
It was claimed that the Order was a myth and regarded in the same way as the Illuminati. (Azrael: Agent of the Bat v1 #66) They were not a traditional church with them performing technological miracles, healing of the sick and feeding the poor. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #9) The Order believed that a time would come when they would cleanse the world of sinners to ensure that only the righteous would survive. (Azrael v1 #16) They were regarded as the most powerful and ruthless organization in the world. (Azrael v1 #23) Its adherents sought to know the Secret God and accomplished this by understanding everything around them. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15) Certain members of the Order were provided the golden crested Medallion of St. Dumas. (Detective Comics v1 #866)
Membership within the Order of Saint Dumas was hereditary whereby the fathers passed on their duties to their sons allowing them to maintain a secret existence for six hundred years. (Azrael v1 #3) Adherents sometimes sought to commune with the Order's founder namely Saint Dumas himself. This involved eating ashes whereupon they beat themselves before speaking with a sculpture that had the head of Dumas. The head seemingly spoke to the adherent and after a period of communion they rested for several hours before emerging from their deep sleep. (Azrael v1 #2) It was said that their leader was the only person to had seen the face of the All and these individuals took on the name of Saint Dumas. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15) Simple mentioning of the System was deemed a grave sin by the Order. (Azrael v1 #3) According to Saint Dumas himself, they considered angels to be inferior to humans and were slaves to mankind. (Azrael v1 #7) In olden times, the Order had many enemies with Saint Dumas decreeing that they should always be prepared to flee and survive. (Azrael v1 #5) By the modern day, it was described as being the richest organization in the world. (Azrael v1 #6)
They were an organization of vast resources and wealth with dozens of willing servants. (Azrael v1 #22) Parts of the organization did not believe in having children but instead brainwashed people into their ranks who died burning from remote devices if they betrayed the Order. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15) One branch within the Holy Order were the Acolytes of Arms that served as their security force with them using weapons such as machine guns as only the organization's avenging angels were allowed the use of bladed weapons. (Azrael v1 #3)
A prime agent of the Order took on the masked identity of Azrael that was used to enforce their will and eliminate those members of their ranks that had broken their rules. A strict rule was that Azrael did not protect but rather avenged. (Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #2) An Azrael was said to be trained from birth with it being deemed that no ordinary man no matter how skilled being able to conduct such sacred duties. (Azrael v1 #1) It was in fact held as being a hereditary position passed from father to son for six centuries. (Azrael v1 #2) In reality, the birthing of an Azrael did not involve a human mother for centuries with instead the process being conducted in animals like engineered monkeys. (Azrael v1 #7) When using human women, the new born children were taken and the Order terminated the mothers. (Azrael: Agent of the Bat v1 #66) The rules stated that the mothers were allowed to see their child before they were killed. (Azrael: Agent of the Bat v1 #67) Those that adopted the mantle were required to wear the ritual garb and it was said that once they wore the mask that the warrior became more than human as they became the avenging angel Azrael. (Azrael v1 #2)
The archives of the Order of Saint Dumas state that no man charged with the duties of an Azrael must ever learn the secrets of their birth. (Azrael v1 #7)
They sought to bring themselves closer to the Aeon Teleos. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #10)
One of their headquarters was the Die Eiskathedrale (English: Ice Cathedral) served as one of the bases for the Order of Saint Dumas. (Azrael v1 #2) At Mobari in North Africa, they had a location that was used as a ground for instilling the System into Azrael. (Azrael v1 #5) A holy place for the Order was the Secret City of Gnosis that contained cloaking technology to hide it from others and served as a site of knowledge that was barred from intruders. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15)
They were highly advanced in the field of software with various advanced daemons and malwares available to them for cyber-warfare. Certain structures maintained by their organization contained a powerful computer mainframe that controlled security drones with these being called the Gnosis Aionios (Knowledge Eternal). (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #10) The Order believed theory was their reality and sought to solve the information paradox by crafting their own singularity. It was through this means that they crafted Hawking Pools that were quantifiably theoretical. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15)
One of their more sinister creations was Project: Ichthys that was a bio programming algorithm that installed experiences into those infected by the agent. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15) The Order over time became skilled in the arts of genetics and used such a process to breed their Azrael's that were part animal who were born from gorilla mothers. The newborn children were carefully cultivated and given electrical shocks to instill wrath in them as they were indoctrinated with the System. In the past, their methods were noted to had been much cruder. (Azrael v1 #7) Another creation were the dwarflings that were short humans bred for centuries to be able to withstand all weather and hardships. (Azrael v1 #21) These diminutive beings were wholly engineered sentient beings who served the Order. (Detective Comics v1 #959) With their technology, they doubled or even tripled a person's lifespan. (Batman and Robin Eternal v1 #15)
- Saint Dumas :
- Jean-Paul Valley :
- Brother Zoo :
- Sister Lilhy :
- Brother Rollo : a male priest who was unsure about a new Azrael being selected when the former one was still alive. (Azrael v1 #2)
- Gray Abbott : a male cyborg geneticist that tended to the research facility in Moriba, North Africa that instilled the System into an Azrael. (Azrael v1 #7)
- Carleton LeHah : a male member who was the treasurer that fell into madness becoming a renegade that took the identity of the Demon Lord Biis who was a mortal enemy of Dumas and sought to eliminate the other members of the Order. (Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #2)
- Nomoz :
- Ascalon : an artificial intelligence housed in a body that was programmed to replace Azrael. (Detective Comics v1 #958)
- Jean-Paul Valley, Senior. :
- The Order of Saint Dumas was created by Dennis O'Neil and Joe Quesada where it made its first appearance in Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #1 (October 1992).
- In Tangent Comics: Nightwing (1997), the Earth-97 in the Multiverse had the Order of the Saint Dumas as a place of sanctuary founded to protect magic users by Le Comte Vandal Savage of the French court in the early 1400's. The group later splintered by the time of the American Revolution leading to the establishment of Meridian and the dark government agency known as Nightwing.
In other media
- In Gotham, the Dumas family and sect were introduced into the television series second season. It was said that they were an order of knights that operated in the 12th century. The Dumas were a family that were named after their patron saint and were one of the five rich ruling families of Gotham City. They were said to had been responsible for the building of Gotham. This was until one day Caleb Dumas sought a romantic relationship with Celestine Wayne. Her brother Jonathan Wayne caught the two together where Celestine claimed that Caleb forced himself on her. Caleb protested his innocence but the Waynes punished him by cutting off his hand and banishing the family. All traces of them in Gotham were removed with the family going to Europe and formed a religious sect. The family had renamed themselves Galavan where they swore revenge against the Wayne family. For centuries, the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas had sheltered and protected the Galavan family. By the modern day, Theo Galavan and his sister Tabitha Galavan came to Gotham to continue their families revenge. Silver St. Cloud was shown to be related to the Galavan family with her father being Theo Galavans half-brother. They later arrived in Gotham where their monks that were trained to resist pain and began conducting murders as they sought to reclaim the city for the Order. Their plan involved finding and sacrificing the 'Son of Gotham' who was the offspring of their ancestral namely Bruce Wayne.
- In the Arkhamverse, the Order of Saint Dumas appeared a number of times in the shared continuity setting.
- In Batman: Arkham City, the Order was mentioned during a small cameo appearance by Azrael who represented the group and told Batman that he was part of a prophecy involving the sealing of the gates of hell.
- In Batman: Arkham Knight, the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas was mentioned during the appearances of Azrael. It was revealed that they were an ancient order that were 500 years old and had set themselves up as protectors of Gotham City where they battled evil. They felt that the Batman did not demonstrate the necessary lethality in combating evil. At some point, they recruited the mentally unstable former Gotham City Police Department officer Michael Lane where they trained him as Azrael and implanted a bio-chip into his brain along with hidden commands in their sacred language. They intended for Azrael to gain Batman's trust whereupon he was tasked with killing him and replacing him as the city's protector. The option for Azrael was to either attempt to kill Batman whereupon he gets sent to prison or breaks his conditioning to hunt down the Order of St. Dumas.
- Batman: Sword of Azrael v1 #1
- Azrael: Agent of the Bat v1:
- Batman and Robin Eternal v1:
- Detective Comics v1: