It all comes down to this. It’s the final confrontation between Batman and the Court of Owls. More than that, it’s also a confrontation between Batman and what he thought Gotham City was all about, and what it really is. It’s also a confrontation between Bruce and his past; what he think it is, and what it actually may be. I know that sounds like a lot, but truthfully, for the “epic” conclusion of this Owls event, not a lot happens. A lot is said, and much of it is interesting, but there’s not a whole lot going on. That kind of surprised me. I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but I think it was a bit less monologuing and a bit more epic action. All in all it’s a fine conclusion; it’s just lacking a little something.
What Batman #11 does do very well is bring everything from the Court of Owls event to a satisfying conclusion. All the loose ends are tied up and all the questions are asked, and yet, there are a few strands left dangling that provided enough doubt and enough openness that there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing from the Court again. I especially like how the issue of Bruce’s “brother” was handled, which, if you’re like me, was the biggest question you wanted answered and wanted answered definitively. We get the answers we’re looking for about that in this issue, so well done Scott Snyder for delivering on that in such a way as to bring closure but also keep the door open a crack. And yes, I’m being deliberately vague as much as possible because reading it for yourself is one of the best parts of this issue.
As for the back-up feature, I was never really a fan of that little story told from Jarvis Pennyworth’s point of view. Oh it was interesting at times, but often felt extraneous, and continues to do both of those things here. With all that the Court of Owls undermined through their maze of misdirection and deception mixed with just enough truth to really twist things up, even Alfred is left to question what he really knows about his past and about his father. However, I really liked his conclusion about it all. “I already know everything I need to know about my father.” He goes on to say that Bruce might uncover more facts about what happened, but Alfred already knows the truth. You know, when it comes God and the Bible, people often have all these questions and what ifs and various hypothetical situations, but all of that avoids the real issue. The Bible tells us all we need to know about our Heavenly Father, and all we need to know about our sinful condition and what the solution to that is. It’s all there, very clearly explained for anyone to see in verses like the familiar John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That may not be all we want to know, but it’s all we truly need to know.
What you need to know is Batman #11 is a good conclusion to the whole Court of Owls event. It’s not a great one, but a good one. As whole, I think the Court of Owls will stand as one of the great Batman stories ever told for it certainly took Batman to the extreme edge and unveiled some new things about the character, his past, and the true history of Gotham city.
Score: 5 of 7
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.