So when I started reading comic books about 3 years ago I was rather overwhelmed with the sheer selection available to me, I was scared about where to start and as a result I started in the wrong places with many comics. I started with green lantern because this was a character was most intrigued by but I was still very much out of my depth, I also dipped in and out of Batman and Spiderman because those were the characters I knew the most of but again I was out of my depth. This was until DC decided to reboot their universe, this meant that I could get in at the ground floor. Now there is a lot of debate on whether this was a success and as it currently stands Batman has proven a success while Green Lantern has not, but more on the latter later for the moment I’m going to focus on the Dark Knight. Now I listen to podcasts on the train on the way to university and many of those comic book podcasts have universally said that Batman is spectacular and that Scott Snynder is writing the best stories of our generation, now my knowledge of Batman comic books is rather limited but I’m inclined to agree because thinking about Night of the Owls makes me hard, and I think it will make you hard too.
The story of Night of the Owls is a rather interesting one and will turn the Batman universe on its head, this story starts off with a very similar batman scenario were by there is a break out in Gotham but this normality is not to last and the reveals keep coming. The story moves on to a detective story in which Bruce Wayne’s life is threatened, this then leads on to a new enemy known as the Talon attacking him who is the assassin of the court. The first big reveal about the Talons come rather early on when it is revealed that they have existed as long as Gotham has and that Gotham is not Batman’s city, this went completely against what was previously thought about Gotham and Batman (first Batman thing destroyed). The second reveals come a bit further on when it is revealed that the Court of Owls and the Talons have not only existed as long as Gotham but they have also infested every inch of the city. To understand this I have to explain that in the beginning of this book Bruce Wayne revealed a bold plan to rebuild Gotham, the first reason being to make life better for the people of gotham and the second reason is so he can implant mini Batcaves all over gotham to make his life a lot easier. Well this rebuilding project is the reason that the court comes out of hiding and when they do it is revealed that they have been nesting in all of waynes building, the court of the owls has been right under his nose the whole time and he knew nothing about it (second Batman idea destroyed), surprisingly this great reveal leads to a confrontation between batman and the court and as batman lay cold broken and destroyed I couldn’t help but think that maybe this was the end, now I know that would have been really shocking because he does eventually escape and get back to the Batcave and that lead to the most shocking moment oif this whole book for me, Batman was scared of the court. When he got to the Batcave he found Alfred examining a Talon body and what I saw on his face was fear, this is another Batman consistency thrown out because even when Batman was broken by bane he was never scared. The final surprise comes right at the end of the book, because if all that was not enough for Batman to endure, what with all of Gotham and Wayne enterprises under the court’s influence things just couldn’t get worse for Batman, well or so he thought because it is revealed that one of waynes most trusted sidekicks is also a potential Talon, now I’m not going to reveal this because I don’t want to spoil it for you but it’s a shocker. In case you were wondering yes there is a lot going on in this book and when I read the first half of it and I thought of nothing else for the next three days.
The artwork as you would expect is very good, this is the best looking of all of the Batman books and if I had to make one complaint both Bruce and Alfred look too young. This is the only criticism I have and found it very pretty and not overly dark which is something that I have found can plague batman comics. I also noticed that Batman is starting to look a lot more human these days and I’m hoping that the days of him being overly buff are in the past, I hope that this is a deliberate choice that they have made to show that this is a whole new batman.
I liked the way they started this book by showing the whole Bat family, I think that was to show that this event was going to affect them all and would change their whole world, it started with them being jovial to each other it gave the sense that they really did like each other, this was not to last though because for the most crucial parts of this book it is Batman – the one man army – doing what Batman does best which is kicking arse and taking names, this perfectly set you up and Synder has you believing that nothing is going to change in the new 52 but oh my god the real question now is what hasn’t changed for batman and the Bat family.
In conclusion if you like comics or graphic novels and your not reading this book then there is something seriously wrong with you. Like I said I spent days thinking about this book when I could read it and after reading it I went straight online and ordered the Nightwing tie in (which is also suppose to be amazing, expect a review when that comes out) and the batman and robin tie to the story, I may even consider purchasing the Batgirl story once I see what the interwebs are saying bout it. I could talk about this book for another 1000 there just so much to say go out buy, you wont regret it.