So when I was younger my favourite superhero was Batman. I mean it’s easy to see why. The guy is an ordinary human who plays in the sandbox with unbreakable aliens and unbeatable warrior princesses. Despite that, he’s cocky in that he knows that what he knows and no one else knows what he knows. Know what I mean? Ha. But as I grew up I started to appreciate other heroes more. That being said, this series made it really difficult for Batman not to be at the top of my list.
‘The City of Owls’ continues the story that began in ‘The Court of Owls’ with Batman waging war on this mysterious enemy that has supposedly existed in Gotham for centuries. The novel starts on the infamous “Night of the Owls” where the Court has sent its immortal Talons to assassinate high ranking members of Gotham’s society, including the Mayor, Commissioner Gordon, Mr Freeze and surprise, surprise; Bruce Wayne. However, despite their surprise at Bruce’s alter-ego, they rally and attempt to take him down. Following some crazy scenes in the Bat-Cave, Batman now tastes blood and he attempts to root out the Court from their hiding place. But when he stumbles upon a scene of theatric murder, it seems that he has once again been duped and there lies another unknown enemy in the dark, this one with a secret that may ruin the Wayne name forever. The last two issues of the novel are one-offs, the former telling the story of Alfred’s father and his run-in with the Talons. The latter introduces us to Harper Row, a young but feisty girl who’s determined to aid the Batman in any way possible.
Okay. I remember thinking to myself when I read ‘The Court of Owls’ that this storyline was something special. Something that we hadn’t seen for a long time. Batman has always had one of, if not the most iconic rogues gallery that any comic book character has had, so for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo to create this new mythos was amazing. I also felt that for the first time, I was reading a novel in which Batman was certainly going up against the unknown. For a character that prides himself on knowing what’s happening in his city, he had the wool pulled over his eyes multiple times. Certainly, the character development for many of the integral players in the story was excellent.
I remember that in the beginning, I wasn’t a massive fan of Greg Capullo’s style, however, I think after reading these two novels my mind is changed. His style, which is distinct, has been exceptional for the story and I really grew to like it. The covers were also excellent and the one that I chose was done by the brilliant Jason Fabok! Overall, this has been one of my favourite novels from the New 52 and I sincerely hope that the series continues this way!
What. The. Hell. This was a twist that came out of nowhere.
Oh, man. Trust me when I say that Batman was epic in this novel. But that being said Lincoln March. You can take a bow.
Story Arc: ★★★★
Character Development: ★★★★