New Outhouse reviewer ZombieLovePony takes on the Batman centered Flashpoint tie-in!
Credits & Solicit Info:
"I'll open a bottle of champagne, and when we toast success, it won't leak out of any gunshot wounds this time..." - Oswald Cobblepot
Flashpoint: Batman: Knight of Vengeance #2
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Eduardo Risso
The follow up issue to an intriguing and worth reading debut of this Flashpoint Tie-In series, allows the creative team of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso (creators of the critically acclaimed Vertigo crime series, 100 Bullets) to delve deeper into the mythos of Thomas Wayne's tenure as the Knight of Vengeance. While the audience was privy to many of the unique twists upon the traditional Batman lore, the second installment moves away from the personal life of this alternate realty's Batman, and focuses more upon the supporting cast. Even while a strong combination of Azzarello's dark tone of voice and Risso's gritty noir-like artwork is to be commended, it still lacks a certain level of refinement that ultimately makes this title miss the mark on something truly great.
To put it bluntly, the biggest problem with this book is that the entire premise is based around the twist at the end: the identity of the Flashpoint version of the Joker. All the drama in the issue leads and builds up to the protagonists finding the location of two children kidnapped by the psychopathic mass murderer. Jim Gordon, the most unchanged individual in the Flashpoint Universe, takes center stage through most of this comic, trailing leads and gathering clues to find the Joker. Several familiar faces assuming familiar, yet different roles, pop up sporadically throughout the tale, which do little to enrich the plot, but do satisfy a curiosity to discover the fates of certain characters in the Flashpoint-verse. They feel more like nudges and insinuations for the Batman fans to appreciate, while not really expanding upon the narrative. The dialogue is adequate, and moves the story along without becoming bogged down, but none of the characters seem to speak with any true identity, and feel more like objects designed to simply get the reader to the end with as little in between as possible. Azzarello's dialogue for the Joker on the other hand, is wonderfully executed. While he had his hand already with the character in his original graphic novel "Joker," Azzarello really ups the ante and gives the character his all, and delivers some really wonderful moments, arguably the best in Flashpoint thus far. Risso's artwork is well executed all around, and the stylish vibe he portrays certainly gives the comic an extra dimension, though he does sign several of the pages with his "logo," which pulls the reader away from becoming fully immersed within the story.
Without diving into too much of a tirade, Knight of Vengeance #2 is far from a bad comic, but it certainly isn't terrific either. The entire story could have been told with the last 6 or so pages in the comic, while the rest feels like references for fans to notice and react too, without actually advancing the story by doing so. The surprise identity of the Joker at the end is a great hook for sure, but a keen reader of this series can see coming from a mile away.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Review by: ZombieLovePony