I have not read a Batman book for many a year now. There are just too many books, too many convoluted stories, too many contradictions - just too much! So I lept at the chance to read a story that gave me one Batman, one finite story and one creative team that has written some of the most shocking stories I have ever read. And speaking of shocking, Batman: Knight of Vengeance #2 has plenty to rock that "lazy days of summer" brain of yours!
The team that spun the comic world on it's ear with their amazing Vertigo run on 100 Bullets, Azzarello and Risso return to tell the tale of a Batman that is far removed from the one we know. Thomas Wayne has taken on the mantle of Batman in the world of Flashpoint, a world that is even more sinister than the original mean streets of Gotham. When the Joker kidnaps Harvey Dent's twins, the duo of Thomas Wayne and Jim Gordon are called in to save the children. While Jim works with his contact Oracle, Thomas works with his fists to pummel information out of the denizens of Gotham. But brute strength will only get you so far, and the more cerebral Gordon learns the hard way not to go up against the Joker alone! The end will assault and shock you more than a Darkseid eyebeam ever did!
Azzarello and Rizzo make an enriching story full of all the characters we know and love, but in a completely different light, one that lays more shadow on their faces than ever before. From Montoya, Bullock, the Penguin, Harvey Dent and a saddening look at Selina Kyle - we are thrust into a world we never knew, but I so wish we had more time in. But the biggest shock of all comes in the final pages of the book! So many horrible things are thrust at you in so few pages, that by the time Batman screams out the true name of the Joker, you are too caught up in the whirlwind to even comprehend it. Yes, keen eyed readers can decipher what will happen by the book's shocking conclusion, but the fun is letting Azzarello gently shove you down into the depths of despair, fighting against it is futile and even though it's horrific - you want to see it anyway! It is a picture perfect way to show just how insane this world and this Joker truly are.
This is the best Flashpoint crossover book on the shelves - hands down! Azzarello and Rizzo rip the brakes off of their high speed horror ride and let you careen into the darkness screaming all the way! Smart, sadistic and thoroughly engaging - this one outshines them all!