If you didn’t know Brian Azzarello could spin a yarn before reading Batman Knight of Vengeance, you do now. Issue 2 of this 3 part series blew issue 1 out of the water. While this is not my favorite of the Flashpoint tie-in series… it took a big leap in the standings after this issue.

In this issue, there is mystery, the introduction of more characters from the DCU and The Joker. Now, all three of those topics are directly related in one way or another. The best thing about this installment of the Knight of Vengeance story; Jim Gordon.

Jim Gordon, is not the Commissioner of the GCPD in the Flashpoint. He is the head of Dr. Thomas Wayne’s private police force, patrolling the criminal game reserve that is Gotham City. Oh, and he’s Thomas Wayne’s best friend, BFF’s if you will. Also, Gordon doesn’t have kids in the Flashpoint, so for now it appears Barbara Gordon does not exist.

So the Flashpoint has a Batman, a Joker, a Jim Gordon, even an Oswald Cobblepot, but what about Catwoman? Selina Kyle finally makes her Flashpoint debut, but it’s not filled with feline claws or cat burglary. No, there is now rooftop hopping to be had by the lovely Miss Kyle. She is the Flashpoint Batman’s Oracle, only instead of being a paraplegic, she is a full on quadriplegic; and I think just like in the regular DC Universe, The Joker had a hand in this development.

Speaking of the Joker, Jim and Selina are working together to track the villainous clown and Harvey Dent’s kidnapped children. I will say this about the Flashpoint Joker… the DCU Joker could learn a thing or two about brutality from this incarnation. I mean really, you have a pizza deliver driver drowning after his eyes have been removed and put into his pocket. That’s right, Joker went ahead a de-eyeballed this poor fella and tossed him into the river. That’s not diabolical, that’s down right psychotic. Even for a psychotic clown.

***SPOILER TERRITORY*** If you haven’t read the book, stop here and come back later.

The way this book ends is pretty heartbreaking. Not only is Jim Gordon not able to save both of Dent’s children, he actually accidentally murders one in a trap placed by the Joker. If that’s not bad enough, as he is trying to apply pressure to the gunshot wound to her chest, the Joker comes from out of nowhere and slices Gordon’s throat wide open. Then to make matters worse, as he lies there bleeding out desperately reaching for his gun before he dies; the Joker is filming the whole ordeal. I’m guessing the streaming video was being sent to Batman, but it is not very clear.

So Jim Gordon is dead, Harvey Dent’s daughter has been killed and the Batman wasn’t able to make it in time to save either of them. How can things possibly be worse? Martha Wayne.

“But Martha Wayne is Thomas Wayne’s dead wife.” says anonymous Fanboy #1.

Wrong, wrong wrong wrong. Martha Wayne is the Flashpoint’s FRAKIN’ Joker. And you know what, it makes total sense. I can’t wait to see how Brian Azzarello concludes Knights of Vengeance next month, but as a book I was on the fence about after issue 1; I’m all in. You should be too.