What They Say:
FLASH QUESTION: Who is The Joker?
After decades of watching how Bruce Wayne has dealt with the hand that he was given in watching his parents die as a child, there’s plenty of sympathy still to be offered and understanding of how difficult it is. The why of him going the path that he did may be an extreme, but it’s one that is to some degree believable because of it. In the Flashpoint world, what we see is that as bad as the hand he was dealt is, his father has a far worse one dealt him by surviving what happened all those years ago to his family. He’s a very different man overall, but there are similar strands between them that makes it easy to identify Thomas as being like Bruce turned out, albeit with a lot longer run of experience and hardship.
With the middle portion of the miniseries, events from the first continue to unfold as Jim Gordon is working the path to find Dent’s kids before they’re hurt by the Joker. It’s a very personal case for both him and Thomas, but for Jim it has him feeling it even more after Thomas asks him about what he would do if he could change the world. That small kernel has seeded in Thomas’ mind and it’s hard to shake. For Jim, it has him feeling like he’s not doing enough to help Thomas in his quest and that has him going it alone to try and do better. His trip to Oracle is fascinating in how it deviates yet remains the same by placing Selina Kyle in the role and reinforcing that as little of a life Jim had in the main timeline, he has even less of one here. It paints a much starker picture of the relationship that he and Thomas share because of it.
Where the book goes really well, and continues to paint this as a very solid and fun series, is when Jim ends up in Wayne Manor where the Joker has put the kids and manipulated the situation to his advantage as is the usual method. It’s a brutal piece that definitely feels like the kind of thing that would happen to Jim towards the end of his career, be it as a cop or as a head of security. Thomas’ fear over what’s happening when it’s realized is palpable and the end scene itself is very powerful as a great little twist that I most certainly didn’t see coming. With the way the Batman mythos can be twisted and changed in so many ways and yet still be utterly engaging and fascinating after all these years continues to impress me.
This Comixology edition of Batman: Knight of Vengeance contains the main cover as seen with the print edition with no variants or other extras included.
Batman: Knight of Vengeance has definitely been one of my favorite of the Flashpoint series to hit and this issue just cements it all the more. The action is brief but tense and well executed, the artwork is great as it captures the mood well as it uses the familiar with just enough of an off angle to it, and the twists of the characters used gives it the right approach. What I find more and more with this particular book is that it is the type where you find yourself wanting to see much more of it, fleshing it out in a larger sense so we can see how these events unfolded, who was really involved and the nuance of it. It’s definitely one of the few Flashpoint books that I think could sustain its own work in an Elseworlds form.