Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #2 (of 3)
(BIG 'OL SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS ISSUE FIRST)
As one of the 274 Flashpoint tie-ins coming out, Batman was my top pick for best simply for the fact that Azzarello and Risso were doing it. They're the writer/artist team of Batman: Broken City and the absolutely amazing 100 Bullets and so far, these two issues have been just as great.
The premise of the mini is simple: Harvey Dent's kids have been kidnapped by the Joker and Batman must find them before it's too late. Main points of change from regular Batman are the obvious of Thomas Wayne being Batman along with Gordan and Oswald Cobblepot knowing his identity and helping him along his crusade (whether they agree with his methods and frame of mind or not). The first issue, though, was essentially set-up. Cool but set-up.
Issue two starts with Gordan playing cop detective and looking for clues to where Joker is. First stop: Oracle. Better known as Selina Kyle. She finds him the dead body of a pizza delivery boy who fits the Joker's MO. As Gordan follows that lead, Batman follows his own, getting information from a local bar who had an employee eat some of Joker's poisoned pizza. Both leads sent both men to Wayne Manor, where Joker has the kids. As Gordan arrives first, he finds a room with Dent's son gagged and tied on the ground with Joker standing over him, guns pointing. Gordan leaps in, shooting. As the body falls, we see Gordan has made a grave mistake. The body with the gunshot wound to the chest is that of Dent's daughter, dressed up like Joker and strapped on a chair. As her body lays on the ground, Gordan at her side pleading to stay alive, a knife comes around, slicing his throat. As Batman races to the Manor, a video feed is patched through to him of a bloody Gordan trying to reach for his gun. The final image is of Joker. Only different. It's a mask and much more feminine. As Batman bashes in the doors to the manor, he yells at the top of his lungs,
"Damn it! What have you done this time -- Martha!"
We're left with a final page of Martha Wayne Joker, holding the knife and standing over the bloody bodies of two and the scared body of a third.
..... Holy shit. My exact words after I read that. I know Flashpoint allows for all new versions of everyone but I never saw this coming. The Gordan we know wouldn't have leaped in shooting but that's the beauty of it. This isn't the Gordan we know. And Martha not being dead either? Holy shit. My guess is that she went crazy after the death of Bruce (which is the most obvious path) but still. Holy shit. It's a bloody shame that we are gonna go back to Morrison's crappy Batman after this cuz this is a Batman I definitely want more of.