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Detective 657 (March 1993) sees the introduction of another new villain, Cypher, by Chuck Dixon, Mike Netzer and Scott Hanna.  But there is a lot of misdirection in this story, and Cypher is kept to the side for much of the tale.

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And though it is far from clear how this is being done (in this issue, at least), Cypher seems to have the ability to make people kill themselves.  And music is somehow involved.

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Jean-Paul Valley appears in this story, both in his toned-down Azrael garb, as well as in normal clothes, as he has started working security at Wayne Tower.  Azrael had been introduced a few months earlier in the Batman – Sword of Azrael miniseries.

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Azrael and Robin deal with some vicious thieves in this story, believing they are on the trail of the big bad guy, but it’s all a diversion.

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Still, once in battle, Azrael loses it, becoming just as dangerous and deadly as those he is fighting, until Robin calms him down.

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The issue ends with Cypher causing another death.  And the next person on his list is Lucius Fox.

The story concludes next issue.

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