By: Adam Basciano
This review would have been posted weeks ago, but I was at a loss for words. In the case of this issue that’s not a good thing. The issue starts with Batman arriving on the scene, immediately attending to both of the Joker’s young captives. Enter Martha, berating Thomas saying that his mistakes have led to all of this. If blaming him for her psychotic actions wasn’t enough, she’s beating him over the head with a hammer while doing it. Think “The Marriage Ref” on crack, and you’ll get the picture. The book continues with a series of flashbacks pertaining to Bruce’s death and Martha’s descent into madness. Back in the present, Joker Martha tries to flee the scene but Batman is right behind her. The two argue, and Martha tells her husband that she wishes for a world where he doesn’t exist. So Thomas tells Martha that he has a chance to fix the world so that Bruce lives, but the two of them die. Martha appears happy at the thought, and asks if Bruce becomes a doctor in this different world. When Thomas tells her their son takes on the identity of Batman, she snaps, runs away, and eventually falls down a hole in the ground to her death.
This issue was by far one of the most boring and predictable comic books I’ve read…ever. I know I criticized the book’s previous issues for not giving us any background info on what happened to Bruce or Martha, but by the time it’s presented, the reader can easily piece it together based on the first two issues. This last issue just feels unfinished. The fate of the child hostages and Jim Gordon are left hanging with no resolution. Rather then deal with a central aspect of the plot, Azzarello insists on forcing a tender moment between the match made in hell. So we are treated to Thomas and Martha sharing a kiss on the grounds of Wayne Manor. I’d imagine the twisted lullaby would sound something like this; “Thomas and Martha sitting in a tree , K.I.S.S.I.N.G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Bruce with a bullet in his chest.” I don’t know about you, but given all the bad blood between these two over the last few issues, that lovey dovey moment seemed incredibly awkward to me. In spite of all this, the biggest faux pas of this issue, and the entire mini series was its lack of connection to the main Flashpoint series. In three issues, there were two throw away references to Flashpoint. Considering that virtually every other Flashpoint tie in mini series went out of their way to touch on the events of Flashpoint, Batman: Knight of Vengeance is a complete and utter failure in my eyes. Congratulations Mr. Azzarello. Along with Tony Daniel’s “See No Evil” you have created one of the most pointless Batman stories since Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin.”
Lackluster writing didn’t stop Eduardo Risso from turning in his best work of the series. His Joker looked great in this issue. The trademark smile was very Heath Ledger inspired. I thought the use of black and white mixed with the slightest touch of colour for the flashback scenes was very appropriate. It gave off a very “Sin City” vibe. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fantastic cover by Dave Johnson. The cover exudes emotion, haunting imagery, and perfectly encapsulates the Batman mythos of the Flashpoint Universe. Sadly not even Picasso could save this issue from being the most underwhelming, uninteresting, and the most pointless book in the entire Flashpoint line. A more appropriate title for this book would be “Flashpoint: Batman – Waste Of Time & Money.”
Overall Grade: 3/10