"Flashpoint" might not be everyone's cup of tea. With that in mind and the looming relaunch of the entire DC Universe coming up less than thirty days from now, many fans have avoided reading the "Flashpoint" stories.
There's the problem though. "Flashpoint" is changing the world -- nay, the Universe -- as DC Universe readers know it. "Flashpoint" is also a larger story that has some worthwhile tales nestled inside. Some of those stories just seem like misplaced or recently rediscovered "Elseworlds" tales, but that doesn't make them any less enjoyable.
Such is the case with Brian Azzarello's and Eduardo Risso's "Batman Knight of Vengeance." This single issue, taken all by itself, out of context of "Flashpoint" or even forsaking the pair of issues that preceded this, is a solid and rewarding read all by itself.
It's a different spin on the legacy of Batman, with Thomas Wayne wearing the cowl in his quest to stomp out the scum that claimed the life of his beloved son, Bruce. Naturally, wherever there's a Batman, there has to be a Joker. Put the two of them together in the final issue of a story that can truly be finalized and someone's not walking out of it.
Azzarello delivers the story I didn't know I wanted to read in this whole "Flashpoint" flood of comics, but I'm certainly glad I did read it. It's gripping, exciting, and memorable. The art by Eduardo Risso helps the story perform above my expectations, and Trish Mulvihill's colors are perfectly suited to give this story the electrifying brilliance the offbeat world of "Flashpoint" properly deserves.
This issue is deceptively simple in the fact that Azzarello and Risso deliver a story that is quick but full. Batman and Joker know each other intimately, share a history, and are connected forever. Each page, every panel has more to the story than a cursory glance or speedy read will deliver. There's a lot going on in this book even though the story could easily be summarized with the following words: Batman versus Joker, "Flashpoint" ends here. Six words to summarize a story that demands to be read again, art that begs to be stared at and analyzed, and a finale that is as gripping a conclusion as I've seen in anything "Flashpoint" related.