The boys, it seems are back in town. Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance as it’s so wonderfully titled, reunites the winning 100 Bullets team of writer Brian Azzarello, artist extraordinaire Eduardo Risso and comic book cover god Dave Johnson. A winning formula indeed. I’ll preface this review by saying I have no idea what’s going on in Flashpoint, because frankly I couldn’t give a crap about The Flash, but Action Ash braved #1 and let me know the general gist; someone went and messed with DC Universe history so that The Flash never existed and the worlds in a right state. Sort of the Age of Apocalypse with less knobbly collars and more castrations. Anyway, as I have no intention of reading the rest of the crossover I’m just going to treat this as a “What If?” or “Elseworlds”.
“What If Thomas Wayne Became The Batman?” is what this story is essentially, things happened dramatically differently that fateful night in Crime Alley, and Thomas Wayne survived the encounter that otherwise would have forged his son’s destiny as The Bat. Whether Bruce and Martha survived is not clear from this issue, but I suspect it will be important in the story to come. Anyway, what we do get in this issue is a bit of set up with a very different, dangerous new Batman, stalking Killer Croc in Gotham’s sewers leading to a brutal confrontation. This Batman is a bit of a dick, to say the least, very Dark Knight Returns.
But is it any good? In a word, yes, but not thrillingly so. Risso captures moods like few others in the business; his pages are, as ever a delight to behold. I seriously love this guy’s art. And y’know, Azzarello, (although I find him a bit hit and miss) ain’t no slouch either, they set up a decent mystery, throw in some action and it looks pretty, what more do you want? If there’s anything negative to say, it’s that it’s a very brief read, it sort of whips by and you’re left wanting more, but at least you do want more.
Go buy it.
It’s your life.