By: Adam Basciano
“A “Night of the Owls” tie-in! Batman takes the fight to the Court of Owls and discovers the identity of the organization’s evil mastermind! The Court of Owls epic building for the past year comes to its stunning conclusion as Batman brings to light the mad machinations of the mysterious organization.” (DC Comics)
In a story that has been building for as long as this one, with each issue seemingly getting better than the last, there’s always a slight worry that the end will fall short of all the build up. No such problem occurs here as this finale is absolutely jaw dropping! Just when you think you’ve had every plot twist imaginable in this story, Scott Snyder throws another curveball your way. No way could I have ever imagined that Lincoln March was the cause of most of the chaos that’s gone down in Gotham City lately, let alone the fact that he’s Bruce Wayne’s long-lost disgruntled younger brother; Thomas Wayne Jr. Snyder clearly sets this up as a modern-day version of the classic brother vs brother battle. He makes no bones about it either, as he has Lincoln/Thomas mention several historic fraternal fights during the altercation. Not only was this reveal shocking, the back story of the long-lost Wayne was plausible, all the while leaving readers second guessing its validity. As Batman suggests, could all this info have been fed to Lincoln so he would execute the Court of Owl’s plans? It’s left unresolved, largely up to the reader to draw their own conclusions. That’s very Chris Nolan/Inception of you Mr Snyder. There’s also a wonderful emotional exchange between Bruce and Dick that repairs their as of late, fractured relationship. It’s one of the most emotionally riveting exchanges between characters I’ve ever read in a Batman comic book.
Since the start of his time on the Batman book I’ve been warming up to Greg Capullo’s art. At this point in his run, his art is hotter than Megan Fox in the “Transformers” movies. Ok, so the art doesn’t look nearly as good as Megan Fox does, but the art is still exceptionally strong. The fight scenes between Batman and Lincoln/Thomas are full of high energy, hard-hitting moments. The aspect of the fight that saw the two combatants fighting on top of an airplane wing felt more suited for Superman but I actually enjoyed it, as Capullo sold the idea that Batman was out of his element and almost at his wit’s end. Capullo has mastered the art of drawing Batman crouching in the shadows all menacing looking. There’s also a great image to end the story, a close-up of Bruce Wayne’s eye and we see Gotham City with the bat-signal lighting the sky in the reflection. What an absolutely beautiful shot. Two complaints with the art. While I like the look of Bruce Wayne with some stubble, it looked weird and out-of-place on Batman. The covers for the last two issues of such a fantastic story were somewhat lackluster for my taste. Still, these are minor complaints and didn’t detract from the art as a whole.
I said at the start of this story that it had the potential to be a Batman classic. Having read it, I think it will be and may already be a classic Batman story. Reading this story in single issue format and in a complete single sitting, I can tell you that reading the completed story at once is all the more satisfying. Next up on my Batman reading list…..”Death in the Family”….
Overall Grade: 10/10