Flashpoint Batman Knight of Vengeance 3 Review
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SPOILER WARNING! Read this issue before reading!
This has to be one of the greatest Elseworlds story in DC’s history.
This is set in the “Flashpoint Universe” (I want to write about the entire crossover, when the last issue comes out August 31), where Thomas and Martha Wayne didn’t die, and Bruce isn’t Batman. Instead, Bruce is killed, and Thomas becomes Batman. The first issue was a really good issue, with a lot of setup, but the shocker at the end of the second issue, that Martha Wayne is The Joker, blew me away.
We start this issue with Thomas helping the kidnapped kids out, and him having flashbacks to the night Bruce was shot. Thomas tries to keep Bruce alive, until help can arrive, but he is not able to save him. It jumps forward a few months, where Thomas is concerned that she isn’t responding to therapy. He tells her that Bruce is gone, and she has to accept it, and move on. We also see how terrible Thomas is, by saying she needs to move on, because he misses her smile. A couple of months after their son is shot dead right in front of them. Real nice.
We then see him tracking down Joe Chill, the man who shot Bruce, and beat him to death. When he returns home, Martha is sitting in a chair, facing away. When she turns, we see that she has cut her face, on her cheeks by the corners of her mouth, so she is always smiling. This image by Eduardo Risso is one of the most disturbing things I have seen in a comic book in a long time. This is one of the most disturbing images I have seen in a comic book in a long time. She is taken away, presumably to Arkham Asylum.
We move back to present times, where Martha is still pounding on Batman with the hammer, while he is protecting the kids. He decides to get her away from the kids, by throwing both of them out of a window. She tells him she wishes he doesn’t exist, which he then explains that he can make that happen, and save Bruce, but she would die also. He asks her for permission to help, and for reassurance that he should help Barry (in Flashpoint) change history back to the way it should be. She agrees, and then asks what Bruce is like when he grows up. He tells her that he “follows in his father’s footsteps”, meaning he becomes Batman. She runs, and I can’t quite figure out if she just falls on accident and dies, or if she knew it was there, and killed herself.
This mini series is actually much better than the main Flashpoint series. It was very well written, but the art is beautiful. I haven’t seen a lot of Eduardo Risso’s work, I think Wednesday Comics is the only thing of his I have read. His version of the Joker is really frightening, which is a cross between Nicholson’s Joker’s make-up, and Heath Ledger’s scarred face Joker, to make a really terrifying character. After reading this mini, I am going to go back and check out 100 Bullets, and will keep my eye out for Risso in the future.