Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
The threat of the Court of Owls has been looming ever since the New 52 began. Well, the storm finally breaks in Batman #8, as Bruce faces a swarm of Talons in his own home. Not only that, but Bruce gets a glimpse at the scope of the Court of Owls’ plan for Gotham city, and in a rare display of self-awareness and humility, he realizes that he’s going to need help; and he actually asks for it. When’s the last time you’ve seen Batman do that? It’s clear that the Owls are a foe unlike any other he’s faced, and this adrenaline-charged opening to the Court of Owls saga has me excited to see how this will all play out.
DC’s big event may not have heroes battling heroes like Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men event, but what it does have going for it is the threat already feels very dangerous. We’ve seen the Owls tear Batman down into pieces already, so we know what they’re capable of. The tension for this event is high right from the start because of the very lethal threat the Court of Owls have already shown themselves to be. It also feels a little unsettling that the Talons quickly find their way into the Batcave, striking at the very heart of Bruce’s existence. The best part; Batman shows up in some awesome looking Bat-armor. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen until the very end, so we’ll have to wait until next month to see what it can do.
Also, it’s all over far too quickly, mainly because there’s another feature included in this book. It helps flesh out what the plan for the Talons is, and it also shows the call going out to the entire Bat-family to get their rear in gear and help out with the biggest threat Gotham’s faced in some time. That’s all fine and good, but it seems to me it isn’t anything that couldn’t have been included in the main storyline. Why this all had to be a separate feature, I’m not quite sure. It’s also a little jarring to have this part of the story told with a completely different art style. Alfred doesn’t even look the same from one feature to the next; somehow, he gets more hair in the second one, and a fuller mustache. I get that different artists have different takes on the same character, but it doesn’t really work for me when it’s in the same book and, really, is pretty much a part of the same story.
That complaint aside, it’s a thrilling start for this big bat-centric event. The Court of Owls is one of the most threatening, dangerous and enigmatic foes Batman’s faced in some time, and to see them flex their power right at from the start is exciting and a bit harrowing. The storm is loosed, and now it’s time to see how well Batman and his allies will weather that storm, I just hope I can keep up.
Score: 5 of 7
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.