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Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1

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Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Azzarello
  • Art: Eduardo Risso
  • Colors: Patricia Mulvihill
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2011

Months prior to the DC Universe reboot, the universe is already being reimagined in Flashpoint, a story following Barry Allen as he wakes up in what is essentially “not his world.” The world of Flashpoint features just about every DC character you could imagine, all completely twisted in this world with no recollection of "how things should be."

If this sounds a little bit like the story of Wolverine waking up in House of M and being the only one to remember the "proper" universe, it’s because it’s eerily similar, but that doesn’t mean the universe isn’t interesting.

As with any universe-altering event, Flashpoint features numerous tie-ins, but unlike most, they don’t span your favorite books, but are instead their own series. These series are looks into the world of Flashpoint, and tell the stories of each character affected. One of the most interesting changes in Flashpoint is explored by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (of 100 Bullets fame) in this month’s Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1.

Batman: Knight of Vengeance starts not on the rooftops of Gotham, but in the office of this universe’s Batman, with a psychiatrist. The fact that it begins quietly isn’t what makes it unique, or different from the rest of the Batman stories, but how it unfolds. It’s this Batman’s reaction to the evaluation, and the business meeting he has following it, that makes you start to connect the dots that this isn’t the Batman you’ve come to know and love… or fear. This is a different man entirely, in fact, but without risk of spoiling Flashpoint, you’ll have to read the book to find out all the details.

There’s an interesting plot device shown here, where Batman not only fights crime in costume, but seeks to control it out of his attire. This duality is something we’d rarely ever see the Batman of the DC Universe properly attempt, and it’s interesting to see how it will turn out for this Gotham. The issue features a number of Bat-book mainstays, albeit presented in a unique fashion, with the last reveal being one of the creepiest renditions of the character yet (something that isn’t easy to do). Azzarello’s style is a perfect fit for such a unique and grim look at the Batman mythos, a style of reimagining he is fairly experienced with. Risso’s knack for penciling crime books is a perfect fit for this story, with stylized action, and a noir-esque use of shadows: many of the pages feel as if they’re from 100 Bullets, which for a book that revolves so heavily around the criminal underground, isn’t a bad thing.

With a strong beginning, Batman: Knight of Vengeance should be an interesting miniseries, one worth picking up for both fans of Geoff Johns’ Flashpoint, as well as Batman fans. There’s a lot to like here, with the book having a sort of Dark Knight Returns feel, something that is complemented by Risso’s art style. This is a Batman who is not interested in training others to be Batman, but to eliminate crime in Gotham City by whatever means he sees fit, a man broken in ways completely unlike the DC Universe’s Bruce Wayne. It should be an interesting ride to see how far he takes things, and whether they will be in vain as the normal Batman’s crusades often are.

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