Batman: Knight of Vengeance Review
A few months ago, I'd been quite occupied with Marvel's crossover event, Fear Itself, and so paid little to no attention to DC's Flashpoint. Unseen forces have however led me to an article listing Batman: Knight of Vengeance, a tie-in to the latter, as one of the best comic book series the writer had read up to the date of the article, along those lines; okay, I forgot where I read the article, so sue me. One thing's for sure: despite that I've not actually covered everything pertinent to the Flashpoint event, it was certainly deserving of the recommendation
Batman: Knight of Vengeance #1
Thomas Wayne, manager of Wayne Casino and Gotham Security, the Dark Knight in the grittier corners of the city. A world where his son had never emerged alive from Crime Alley that fateful night, Thomas Wayne took on the role of Batman. What sets him apart from Bruce's Batman is that the good doctor holds no misgivings toward taking one's life, regardless of his or her moral inclinations. Public-wise, he doesn't seem to have a way with women unlike the debonair billionaire that his son should be. You will also come across familiar characters associated with the Dark Knight like Jim Gordon, seemingly the only one who knows who Batman is; Harvey Dent, hammering on both Jim and Wayne with the kidnapping of his twin children by the Joker; Oswald Cobblepot, an assistant to Wayne in the place of Alfred Pennyworth instead of a mob boss; references to Batman's notorious rogues such as Hush, Scarecrow and Ivy, allegedly dead in the hands of the vigilante; and a glimpse back at the past as to what happened that fateful night while Batman took on Killer Croc.
Batman: Knight of Vengeance #2
Jim Gordon meets up with Selina, the Oracle of this timeline (in keeping with the fact that the commissioner never married and had never brought Barbara Gordon into existence), in order to obtain a lead on the Joker's whereabouts from the former, confined to her wheelchair and still remaining an attraction to her feline acquaintances. Meanwhile, Batman undertook his end of the investigation by interrogating the city's shifty folk, including Bullock. The effect the vigilante had on everyone sufficed to cause the detective to pee himself. While his son, should he be alive in this timeline, would strive toward preserving a life, Thomas Wayne maintained a ruthlessness in his undertakings, neglecting the responsibilities his title as a doctor should bind him to, as he did not for a moment's hesitation question putting a man out of his Joker toxin-induced misery.
Jim Gordon's efforts to track down the Joker led him to Wayne Manor, where he succeeded in finding both the kidnapped twins and the villain, though not in a way he would have expected. The issue concluded with the revealing of the Joker's identity: Martha Wayne.
Batman: Knight of Vengeance #3
In the concluding issue, Batman confronts his wife, the Joker, casting a brighter light over the events that had come to pass since their son's death, their ways of coping with it. While one decided to beat the living hell out of the gunman, a rite of passage somehow leading up to the vigilante he is in this timeline, the other decided to go mad and carve herself a Cheshire grin. Both eventually attempted to come to terms with each other and Bruce's demise, blood bleeding down Batman's face as if he's crying blood, the Joker rendered a little saner, though nothing could change the fact it was a confrontation from which only one would survive.
Thomas Wayne makes a good Batman, if less merciful. A series depicting the disturbing irony of two parents, representing the opposite sides of the moral spectrum while sharing a passionate love for their deceased son to the extent of giving up their own lives in exchange for Bruce's, who would most probably have done the same thing, I give it my fullest recommendation and I suppose you don't need prior knowledge of the Flashpoint event to appreciate it.
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