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Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #3

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Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #3

Credits

  • Words: Brian Azzarello
  • Art: Eduardo Risso
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 3, 2011

Thomas Wayne's crusade as the knight of vengeance may be coming to an end, but he's got one final case to wrap up before he joins the mysterious Barry Allen, the Flash, in changing the world. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, meanwhile, take one final case to wrap up before they tackle sci-fi-noir with Spaceman. Batman: Knight of Vengeance wraps up before the Flashpoint universe does, and stands out as as a great story, regardless of its event tie-in nature.

In the Flashpoint storyline, we're presented with Batman, a Thomas Wayne that took up the mantle of the bat when his son was killed in that fateful alley by Joe Chill. In Knight of Vengeance, we explore more of Gotham City in the wake of this altered history. Oswald Cobblepot works for Thomas, while Commissioner Gordon and Judge Harvey Dent know what Thomas is up to. This miniseries has followed Thomas trying to save the Dents' children from the Joker. With the end of the previous issue setting up that the Joker is Martha Wayne, the final act focuses nearly exclusively on the shattered marriage that resulted from the murder of Bruce Wayne. Their confrontation provides the basis for the issue, but their origin provides the bulk.

Azzarello and Risso are a great team, and this issue alone exemplifies it. For an issue that's half flashback, there are some very tense moments. The final scene is an instant classic; Thomas' dramatic telling of the origins of the two Batmen features Azzarello using dialogue smartly and effectively, with Risso going from close-up on the former couple to silhouettes in a thunderstorm meters away, letting the dialogue take over the scene. Followed with Martha's realization on what Bruce would be in a world without them, the issue rockets to an ending that doesn't tie up every loose end, but ties up the emotional arc satisfyingly. Beyond Azzarello's drama (and possibly the most cryptic, if unintentional, "Bwahaha" ever rendered in DC Comics), Risso throws in little notes that are integral to the artist but defy logic, such as the Joker and Batman rendered in silhouette, but leaving color to her gloves and giving light to her sad and deformed smile.

While the world will be reset, and Bruce Wayne will be back to being the only Batman, it'd be foolish to ignore Knight of Vengeance. Even if you're not reading the main event, Knight of Vengeance is a great tale that is a rather short but bittersweet.

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