Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s already been a year since DC announced that they were revamping their entire library. The New 52 has been rolling out (with some already cancelled, and some new books showing up), and for the most part it’s been a success for the publisher, breathing new life into the comic book world. And if you are like me, and have a limited budget, you probably didn’t splurge on all the issues, waiting for the collected trades to hit the shelves. So, to my delight, I was finally able to read up on one of the most talked about books, Scott Snyder’s Batman.
Volume 1 collects issues 1-6. With a nice wraparound cover over the hardback book, it definitely looks great. The artwork inside by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion pops out, while maintaining that dark Batman feel that everyone loves. And the story itself, well, it was great. I don’t think I would have liked waiting for the monthly issues to come out, as some were fillers to the greater story. But as a whole, reading them through, it really brought a very fresh and new adventure for the caped crusader.
Very possibly the best foe given to Batman since, well, The Joker, The Court of Owls is not just one villain, but a secret group. Kind of reminds me of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and the League of Assassins. The Owls have existed for centuries, rising up when they feel the need in order to maintain their grip on Gotham. Thought to be nothing but a fairy tale, one that Batman investigated several times before only to find nothing, they stuck to the shadows even more than Batman himself. And in these first issues, we see Batman’s pride lead him near death, as the Owls get the best of him through one of their trained assassins. Unlike the Joker, who really uses tricks, but in reality can never go one on one with Batman, the owl’s assassin is as quick, as skilled, and doesn’t hold back. He’s not interested in becoming part of a never ending circle of encounters with the bat. He’s an owl, and he preys on bats. He wants one thing and one thing only, what his masters want. They want Batman dead. And they come very close to achieving it.
What is it about humans, that we are so filled with pride? One could say that we men are worst. Don’t tell us how to do our job. Don’t try to give us advice, we know everything. Batman was acting this way. When given advice by Nightwing, or Alfred, he puffed up his chest, and proceeded not to heed the warnings. Had he listened, had he taken the time to take a step back from the pedestal he was standing on, he would have been able to see what was awaiting him, and be better prepared for it. Boy, I’m sure I’m not the only one who falls into this as well. Proverbs 15:22 reminds us to always take a step back and look for advice “Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
This was a refreshing read, as for the most part I had fallen away from the big two, for lack of originality and good writing. If you are like me, and were wondering if the hype is worth spending your hard earned money, do yourself a favor, pick up this trade. Definitely worth the read.
6 out of 7