Say what you will about his ill-fated tenure as Batman, but Jean-Paul Valley always finds his way back into continuity somehow. It was only a few years ago that the original Azrael --- well, the original comic book Azrael, anyway, not the Angel of Death with four heads and a thousand wings whose body is made of billions of eyes and tongues --- returned to the page in Batman and Robin Eternal. And in February, he's making a pretty grand return in the flagship title of DC's Rebirth Era as Detective Comics hits its milestone 950th issue.

He's not alone, either. Aside from the Azrael/Batwing team-up by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez, and Raul Fernandez, the extra-sized issue is going to feature a lead story focusing on Cassandra Cain that sets up the upcoming "League of Shadows" arc from Tynion and Marcio Takara, and a "Top Secret" third story by Tynion, Eddy Barrows, and Eber Ferreira. Check out first look at the three stories below!

Page 1 by Marcio Takara and Dean White:

 

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Page 25 by Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, and Brad Anderson:

 

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Page 35 by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, and Adriano Lucas:

 

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And here's DC's official press release:

 DC Entertainment celebrates a major milestone as DETECTIVE COMICS hits issue #950 this February. From the first appearance of the World’s Greatest Detective until now, the past and present are united in one of the greatest, and longest lasting comic books in history. A love letter to your favorite Caped Crusader, DETECTIVE COMICS #950 is an extra-large issue filled with Batman Family action and will serve as a prologue to an exciting new story arc, “League of Shadows,” which begins late February.

“Issue #950 just has a weight to it, doesn’t it?” current DETECTIVE COMICS writer James Tynion IV exclaims. “It’s a moment where you have to take a step back and think about all of the stories that have been told over almost 80 years. How many characters were created in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS? Not just Batman and Robin, but a whole supporting cast, a world of characters. It was that kind of awe of the legacy of this series that helped us develop the team concept of the current run in the first place, but getting to write a landmark issue like #950 just means the world to me, and to honor that moment, we wanted to do something really special.

Our lead story puts Cassandra Cain in sharp focus, setting the stage for our epic spring storyline, THE LEAGUE OF SHADOWS, with art by the phenomenal Marcio Takara. There are a lot of questions left unanswered about Orphan—her past, her mind and her silence. We're going to start answering them here, and opening up a whole new world of questions that will open up all sorts of new, exciting stories. But that wasn't enough. I wanted to celebrate this landmark with the artists who have defined the Rebirth run of Detective...all in the same single issue, for the first time. We have a Batwing/Azrael story by Alvaro Martinez and Raul Fernandez, which really introduces Jean-Paul Valley into the fold of the series, setting the stage for some tremendous threats emerging from his past...and there’s a third story by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira that’s so secret I can’t even hint at what you might find in it. It is a short that sets the stage for the next year of Batman stories, not just in Detective, but for the entire line.

Trust me, DETECTIVE COMICS #950 is not something you want to miss.”