What They Say:
FLASH FACT: The Joker is revealed, and Thomas Wayne will have to figure out whether he can pull the trigger on his lifelong nemesis.
With the look at Thomas Wayne as Batman, I have to say that this miniseries has been a lot of fun to read since it did a solid job of tweaking things enough while still staying true to the core ideas. The second issue threw a surprise at the reader with the revelation that it was Martha Wayne that turned into the Joker and was the one that kidnapped the Dent kids. It certainly explains the even stronger motivation that Thomas has to stop her beyond what she’s doing, but just because of the connection they share is so powerful with what they went through. With Gordon having tracked down the kids and the Joker, the book has brought everything together pretty well for the ending here as the cast is kept small, but there’s still enough to really make it a strong piece as the chips fall.
This issue plays out with two stories, both of which work fantastically well. With Thomas getting into the manor to save the kids, the girl is in really rough shape but he does what he can to slow things down for her. What little she’s able to say though provides echoes to when he and Martha lost Bruce to Joe Chill in the past and it starts a cycle to showing the event itself and how it all unfolded. Watching her descent into madness is pretty well done and it also have something extra to it in that it’s completely believable with how the events would cause her to go this route. The back and forth of it, coming as Thomas himself is coping with it, covers a lot in just a few pages overall and shows the way her origin story ties to his without it being quite so strong in a way, as it’s more a shared experience than a direct result.
Running that storyline with mixing in scenes from the present just makes it all the better as the Joker has definitely gone off her rocker and has an extra special thing when it comes to kids. So when Thomas is able to start pushing back, saving one of them and trying to get them out, it just sends her into even more of a tizzy. The brutality isn’t exactly over the top from what she displays, but it has its moments and a simpleness that’s appropriate, where she just uses a hammer to go after Thomas and doesn’t exactly pay attention to things when she tries to run off. It hits a lot of the core ideas behind the character, much as we got with Thomas, but it brings in just enough appropriate twists to make it enjoyable and not a retread under different trappings.
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.
The side miniseries to Flashpoint have run the gamut in quality for different reasons, but Knight of Vengeance is one that really won me over. It didn’t grab me hard at first, but it worked well over the course of the three issues and left me very pleased at the end of the second while thoroughly enjoying the third. The characters hit all the right notes and the use of the world setting gave us something that was suitably dark and fun but still found a very human element in the middle of it all. It covered a lot of things and was one of the few areas of the Flashpoint universe that I really wanted to see expanded on to something bigger on its own. I’ve read a lot of alternate takes on Batman over the years and this one definitely ranked as a personal favorite of mine that I’ll want to revisit again.