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For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret—their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable. Until they battled the Batman. Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggressors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret—their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable. Until they battled the Batman. Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggressors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just the first part of their conquest. Now they have their sights set on something much bigger: Gotham City. A critical and commercial smash, Batman: The City Of Owls (collecting Batman #8-12 and Batman Annual #1) continues the instant-classic saga of the Dark Knight's battle with Gotham City's oldest and darkest forces from the #1 New York Times best-selling creative team of writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn), plus an array of talented guest contributors!


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For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret—their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable. Until they battled the Batman. Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggressors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret—their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable. Until they battled the Batman. Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggressors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just the first part of their conquest. Now they have their sights set on something much bigger: Gotham City. A critical and commercial smash, Batman: The City Of Owls (collecting Batman #8-12 and Batman Annual #1) continues the instant-classic saga of the Dark Knight's battle with Gotham City's oldest and darkest forces from the #1 New York Times best-selling creative team of writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn), plus an array of talented guest contributors!

30 review for Batman, Volume 2: The City of Owls

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (A-) 83% | Very Good Notes: A Wagnerian opus of fervor and delusion, weaving amongst all its crash and rumble resonant beats of emotive song.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Mixed feelings about this TPB and "conclussion". This is the second volume of New52's Batman, but it's suggested to read in-between the TPB titled "Night of the Owls" Writers: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV Illustrators: Greg Capullo & Rafael Albuquerque HOO! HOO! It was an odd way as DC collected this storyarc, since between the Volume 1 Court of Owls and this second volume The City of Owls, is suggested to read the collected TPB Night of the Owls and I agree in the sense that without readi Mixed feelings about this TPB and "conclussion". This is the second volume of New52's Batman, but it's suggested to read in-between the TPB titled "Night of the Owls" Writers: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV Illustrators: Greg Capullo & Rafael Albuquerque HOO! HOO! It was an odd way as DC collected this storyarc, since between the Volume 1 Court of Owls and this second volume The City of Owls, is suggested to read the collected TPB Night of the Owls and I agree in the sense that without reading all the "tie-ins", you wouldn't gonna feel the real scope of the massive attack of the Talons on Gotham during a single night. However, in that "in-between" TPB are included the issues of Batman #8, #9 and even the Annual #1, but doing that, it's really few what's left to read on this second volume, since you will get the "final fight" against the character who was behind of the scheme, and later you will be reading other stuff not really linked to the main story of "The Court of Owls". So, I wanted to be fair to this TPB pretending that "I didn't know" that I already read 3 issues on the "in-between" TPB, to the process of rating the TPB, since without the duplication factor of issues on both TPBs, I have to admit that those issues are really good. However, I have to admit that the storyarc barely had a real "conclussion" since there were a lot of stuff hanging in the air, that I am not that surprised since I have no doubt that they will bring "The Court of Owls" and related characters again into the comic book title since they proved to be popular new villains.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    How did I miss this one? I could have sworn I read the conclusion to the Court of Owls thing! And I did. Sort of. What I actually read was Batman: The Night of the Owls, which is a crossover collection book. No biggie, right? Wrong! The crossover book doesn't have the actual ending of the story in it! Oh. My. God. Ok, I get what you were telling me about Thomas Wayne now, Sesana. That whole chunk is left out of the crossover, but it still ends with...well, the feeling of an ending, so I thought I'd r How did I miss this one? I could have sworn I read the conclusion to the Court of Owls thing! And I did. Sort of. What I actually read was Batman: The Night of the Owls, which is a crossover collection book. No biggie, right? Wrong! The crossover book doesn't have the actual ending of the story in it! Oh. My. God. Ok, I get what you were telling me about Thomas Wayne now, Sesana. That whole chunk is left out of the crossover, but it still ends with...well, the feeling of an ending, so I thought I'd read the whole thing. So. Yeah, it's pretty important to read this, and not just skip over to Night of the Owls in the hopes that you'll catch all the relevant stuff in this story arc. As far as the whole Court of Owls stuff, I'm still far more impressed with Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family. This wasn't bad, but I still say it was fishy that Batman had no idea all of this Secret Society stuff was going on right under his nose.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    When someone starts to say, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and—”, I like to jump in an interrupt them, because even when I have nothing intelligent to say, I like to say it. I have nothing particularly intelligent to say here—this is a fine yarn involving Batman, some owls, some backstory on Alfred’s father, solid art, and some good appearances from the extended bat family, but given my intermittent and sporadic reading of Batman over the years, I c When someone starts to say, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and—”, I like to jump in an interrupt them, because even when I have nothing intelligent to say, I like to say it. I have nothing particularly intelligent to say here—this is a fine yarn involving Batman, some owls, some backstory on Alfred’s father, solid art, and some good appearances from the extended bat family, but given my intermittent and sporadic reading of Batman over the years, I can’t properly contextualize this in the pantheon of great Batman tales. (My Batman reading is like most men’s approach to conversations: pay attention to what sounds interesting, ignore everything else, and share uninformed opinions wherever possible.) We’ll call it 3.5 stars and save my lengthier comic diatribes for worlds that I know better (looking at you, Marvel—you know there’s an epic-length Secret Wars screed coming after my recent dissatisfaction with Original Sin and The Black Vortex, so get ready).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I have really enjoyed this story arc about the court of the Owls. It has been fantastic and some of the best story I have read in the new 52 so far. I would love to see this made into a movie. I think it is some great stuff. Batman is back and unstoppable as ever. The owls are still around, but many of them have been gone, but the twist shows up as an Owl. I think it's a well done twist. I hope the owls come back later in the series. This has been a great addition to the Gotham universe. The art I have really enjoyed this story arc about the court of the Owls. It has been fantastic and some of the best story I have read in the new 52 so far. I would love to see this made into a movie. I think it is some great stuff. Batman is back and unstoppable as ever. The owls are still around, but many of them have been gone, but the twist shows up as an Owl. I think it's a well done twist. I hope the owls come back later in the series. This has been a great addition to the Gotham universe. The art and action is well done and there is a real story here. Batman is so isolated. He has a lot of issues. Poor Alfred. He keeps his friend going. I hope the rest of the series is as good.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Batman isn’t known for being chatty, so when he runs into a villain who talks and talks and talks, while smacking Bats around it makes for one long monologue. We’re talking pages and pages. We get it, you’re deluded (view spoiler)[He’s convinced he’s Bruce Wayne’s long lost nutty brother (hide spoiler)] , and crazy. Just shut up long enough to take a punch or a batarang to the noggin! This is the wrap-up (for now) of the Court of Owls storyline, it’s terrific and one of the few bright spots in DC’ Batman isn’t known for being chatty, so when he runs into a villain who talks and talks and talks, while smacking Bats around it makes for one long monologue. We’re talking pages and pages. We get it, you’re deluded (view spoiler)[He’s convinced he’s Bruce Wayne’s long lost nutty brother (hide spoiler)] , and crazy. Just shut up long enough to take a punch or a batarang to the noggin! This is the wrap-up (for now) of the Court of Owls storyline, it’s terrific and one of the few bright spots in DC’s New 52 venture. Also included here is Mr. Freeze’s backstory, which will make more sense if you read Red Hood and the Outlaws, Volume 2. There’s an issue devoted to Alfred’s Daddy’s involvement with the Owls and one of those issues that shows how Batman impacts an ordinary Gothamite. Alfred’s “lucky penny” quip shouldn’t be missed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    The Court of Owls is striking all over Gotham and their first target is Wayne Manor! Can an injured Bruce Wayne and Alfred fight them off and mobilize the rest of the Bat-Family? And what is Bruce Wayne's connection to the Court? The Court of Owls storyline comes to a conclusion in this volume. Batman dons a suit of armor and kicks some undead ass as he figures out who is leading the Court of Owls in it's assault on Gotham. (view spoiler)[I liked that Lincoln Marsh was revealed as the head of the The Court of Owls is striking all over Gotham and their first target is Wayne Manor! Can an injured Bruce Wayne and Alfred fight them off and mobilize the rest of the Bat-Family? And what is Bruce Wayne's connection to the Court? The Court of Owls storyline comes to a conclusion in this volume. Batman dons a suit of armor and kicks some undead ass as he figures out who is leading the Court of Owls in it's assault on Gotham. (view spoiler)[I liked that Lincoln Marsh was revealed as the head of the Court and he may or may not be Batman's long lost brother, Thomas Wayne Jr, who appeared in one tale pre-Crisis, only he was an older bad seed brother in that depiction. Owlman's ambiguous end leaves the door open for more Court of Owls intrigue down the line. (hide spoiler)] That's about all there is to it. Snyder crafts a pretty creepy Batman tale and Capullo's art is up to the task. The only gripe I have is that it felt like a ton of stuff was missing, probably because I've only read the Scott Snyder Bat-title in the New 52 and not all the ancillary bat-stuff. Four stars. Snyder is shaping up to be the best bat-writer in decades.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    "You can't hide forever, Bruce! That's what Waynes always try to do, but it's no use! So go on, and . . . . open up???" -- a squad of would-be assassins, chasing Bruce Wayne into a Batcave vault "Get the hell out of my house." -- Bruce Wayne re-appearing in Batman battle armor Solid follow-up to Vol. 1: The Court of Owls, with the first-half of this edition basically an extended action and chase sequence between Batman and numerous Talons, the deadly soldiers of Gotham's secret evil society, who s "You can't hide forever, Bruce! That's what Waynes always try to do, but it's no use! So go on, and . . . . open up???" -- a squad of would-be assassins, chasing Bruce Wayne into a Batcave vault "Get the hell out of my house." -- Bruce Wayne re-appearing in Batman battle armor Solid follow-up to Vol. 1: The Court of Owls, with the first-half of this edition basically an extended action and chase sequence between Batman and numerous Talons, the deadly soldiers of Gotham's secret evil society, who stage an ambush on stately Wayne Manor and then the Batcave. Though I'm making it sound like just a standard storyline, it is actually very well executed by the assembled DC writers and illustrators (in fact, they make it look almost too easy) - the fight scenes are appropriately crunchy, the tempo is kept at a breakneck pace, and the level of suspense is consistent throughout. The latter half is a collection of short stories, each focusing on a different peripheral character: butler Alfred Pennyworth's father (also a longtime servant to the Wayne family, he is penning a letter to his then-young son), the super-villain Mr. Freeze (who is finally given some interesting and explanatory back-story), and - my favorite of the bunch - the streetwise and tech-savvy Gotham City electrical engineer Harper Row. Ms. Row is just a great addition to the unofficial but expanding 'Bat' family.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    This made me feel extremely schizophrenic because I’m a big fan of Scott Snyder, and I really like the way that he writes Batman. However, the story engages in something that I despise in comics in that it tries to overlay some kind of secret history onto a well-known character. The set-up here is that an ancient secret society known as the Court of Owls has been lurking in shadows of Gotham City for centuries and that they’ve gone public with a series of attacks against influential citizens lik This made me feel extremely schizophrenic because I’m a big fan of Scott Snyder, and I really like the way that he writes Batman. However, the story engages in something that I despise in comics in that it tries to overlay some kind of secret history onto a well-known character. The set-up here is that an ancient secret society known as the Court of Owls has been lurking in shadows of Gotham City for centuries and that they’ve gone public with a series of attacks against influential citizens like Bruce Wayne by their army of henchmen called the Talons. As Batman and his allies fight to stop the Talons' murder campaign, Bruce learns some potentially disturbing news about his parents. There’s a lot to like in this collection. When the Talons attack Wayne Manor, Bruce has to fight them off with a combination of bat weapons and artifacts from the cave along with a little help from Alfred. It was a great combination of the newly 52-revamped Batman with the established character bits to make a fun and exciting sequence. Another non-Owl related story shows how Batman has secretly wired Gotham so that he can control the security cameras on the streets and keep himself from being recorded. That was a very slick idea that shows just how well Snyder understands what makes Batman work. However, the whole notion that there has been a powerful secret group manipulating Gotham makes Bruce look kinda stupid since he never discovered it in all his years of batmanning. Plus, trying to manufacture some drama out of hinting at conspiracies involving Bruce’s parents and Alfred’s father is the kind of stunt crap that nearly killed comics in the ‘90s. Frankly, I expect more from Scott Snyder during a Batman reboot. My favorite part in this was an interlude where Mr. Freeze breaks out of Arkham, and we get a revamped origin story for him that feels very much like the Freeze that we know, but Snyder puts a wicked twist on this new version of the character that makes you look at him in a whole new light. That’s what a retcon like 52 should hopefully do, and I think Snyder is the perfect guy to be writing Batman during this phase. I’d just like to see him working on more things like that and less trying to make it seem like Gotham City is just one vast conspiracy that has fooled Batman for years.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    The latter half of the Court of Owls story. This collection is a bit scattered with a Mr. Freeze origin story right in the middle of the Court of Owls story. Snyder manages to insert a cool twist in the latter half of the story that references some very old Batman comics. In the end, Snyder and Capullo deliver some great new characters to Batman's mythos and rogues gallery. If I were to read this now, I'd get the whole collection in Batman: The Court of Owls Saga. The latter half of the Court of Owls story. This collection is a bit scattered with a Mr. Freeze origin story right in the middle of the Court of Owls story. Snyder manages to insert a cool twist in the latter half of the story that references some very old Batman comics. In the end, Snyder and Capullo deliver some great new characters to Batman's mythos and rogues gallery. If I were to read this now, I'd get the whole collection in Batman: The Court of Owls Saga.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donovan

    Scott Snyder ends the Court of Owls story arc with precision and excitement. The fight between Batman and the Owls is absolutely epic. And the mystery and conspiracy surrounding them and their link to the Wayne family is so incredibly written. The backup stories are just okay. Capullo and FCO’s artwork is legendary. Scott Snyder ends the Court of Owls story arc with precision and excitement. The fight between Batman and the Owls is absolutely epic. And the mystery and conspiracy surrounding them and their link to the Wayne family is so incredibly written. The backup stories are just okay. Capullo and FCO’s artwork is legendary.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sana

    wow what a ride, i love batman. so much. like,, a lot. did i mention i love batman? i’d die for him anyways,, fuck this talon ass bitch, die u little fuck. how dare you exist 😤😤😤😤😤

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    Review: Batman, Vol 1: The Court of Owls Because I'm currently addicted to Sherlock, and this Batman has Sherlock's sleuthing skills, I'm going to use Sherlock gifs on my review. Yaay! I've always believed the best way to know the city is to stay close to the ground. To fell the cracks in the sidewalk under your shoes. The strange bright silence of the park under snow. The hissing rain of sparks that come down when the elevated train passes overhead on Third Avenue. The late night ticking Review: Batman, Vol 1: The Court of Owls Because I'm currently addicted to Sherlock, and this Batman has Sherlock's sleuthing skills, I'm going to use Sherlock gifs on my review. Yaay! I've always believed the best way to know the city is to stay close to the ground. To fell the cracks in the sidewalk under your shoes. The strange bright silence of the park under snow. The hissing rain of sparks that come down when the elevated train passes overhead on Third Avenue. The late night ticking of traffic lights. It's only been in the last few weeks that I've come to understand how wrong I've been. I kow now that you can spend your whole life learning Gotham from deep inside and still know nothing at all. REACTION AFTER READING THE BOOK That was really good! I love plot twists, and boy did this have a fucking plot twist. MY REVIEW Scott Snyder... I was going to say brilliant, but I couldn't find a Sherlock gif that says brilliant, so this would have to do. Don't complain. But seriously though, I think Snyder has a good grasp on who Batman is as a character, and he build his story around that, which I think is really fantastic. Let's talk a bit about the story. Like in the Court of Owls, we still see Batman investigating this secret society, which apparently, has been shadowing Gotham for hundreds of years, and has been living and meeting under Batman's nose for a long time. This volume started immediately from where the first volume ended, which was Wayne manor about to be attacked by the creepy owl assassins. I'm bad with names, so don't judge me if I forget those guys name, I'll "try" and remember it next time. So these owl assassins were out to get Bruce/Batman, but Batman wasn't running away. We all know Batman by now, and he isn't the type to just run away and hide in his mansion, right? Of course he won't do that. He was going to fight, and he was going to get revenge, no matter what it fucking takes. That's Batman for you. I can't really provide you with any more details than that, because it would definitely spoil those who have not read volume one yet. All you have to know is that there were a lot of anger, death, and vengeance involved. Like the first one, this is just as brutal, if not more. I thought this book was great, but I'm not going to say it was perfect, because it wasn't. On this volume, there were some parts that I felt could have been left out from the narrative because it really took me out of the story. There was one in the middle involving Mr. Freeze. His story felt a bit unnecessary for me. It could have been removed, and the story would have been just fine. I didn't need him in this volume. I was okay with Batman's feud with the Court of Owls. Yeah, I get the Mr. Freeze has a connection with them, but it wasn't enough of a reason for me to care about reading it. Like I said earlier, this book had a big plot Well it wasn't really a plot twist, not really, but it was a big WTF momen for me, and I almost had a heart attack. Crazy writers. It was something totally, unexpected. I like unexpected, so kudos to you Snyder. Do I have further thoughts about it? Nope. That's it for me. I really loved it. If you haven't read any Batman stories yet, I can recommend reading volume 1 first and then this volume. You don't have to have any prior knowledge of Batman to enjoy this. This is Sherlock and Dr. Who approved! So you better read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Damn...I loved so much first volume of the Court of Owls storyline. Snyder is a good writer, I'm a fan of Greg Capullo's art since his days on X-Force, I understand sometimes DC reboots his comic universe to fix continuity issues and gain new readers (before New 52 I remember Zero Hour event in my nerdy school days), Marvel does that too... but the ending ret-con revelation was really too much for me. :\ Alfred'dad story was the best one of the volume, maybe because Snyder works again with his Am Damn...I loved so much first volume of the Court of Owls storyline. Snyder is a good writer, I'm a fan of Greg Capullo's art since his days on X-Force, I understand sometimes DC reboots his comic universe to fix continuity issues and gain new readers (before New 52 I remember Zero Hour event in my nerdy school days), Marvel does that too... but the ending ret-con revelation was really too much for me. :\ Alfred'dad story was the best one of the volume, maybe because Snyder works again with his American Vampire pard Albuquerque, they make a great teamwork.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mizuki

    Pre-review: Since tomorrow is Father's Day, I want to pimp my Batman Father's Day fanart: (Link: https://www.deviantart.com/darkchildr...) More to come Pre-review: Since tomorrow is Father's Day, I want to pimp my Batman Father's Day fanart: (Link: https://www.deviantart.com/darkchildr...) More to come

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    This second volume of Scott Snyder's Batman run concludes the well-conceived clash between Batman and the Court of Owls, a shadowy cabal who have secretly ruled Gotham for centuries. The story was a bit more disjointed in this one (what was up with the intriguing but totally random Mr. Freeze story in the middle?) but the ideas continue to be great as Snyder goes all out with creating his own Batman mythology, as if it might be his last and only time ever writing a character he's always wanted t This second volume of Scott Snyder's Batman run concludes the well-conceived clash between Batman and the Court of Owls, a shadowy cabal who have secretly ruled Gotham for centuries. The story was a bit more disjointed in this one (what was up with the intriguing but totally random Mr. Freeze story in the middle?) but the ideas continue to be great as Snyder goes all out with creating his own Batman mythology, as if it might be his last and only time ever writing a character he's always wanted to tackle. I applaud him for that. But damn, what I don't applaud him for is falling into that superhero comic trap of constant, non-stop dialogue during fight scenes! The opening attack on Wayne Manor was creative, dangerous, and engaging but damn, some of the other scenes (like the fight with the final Talon) were confusing and the chatter went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on………

  17. 5 out of 5

    L. McCoy

    Well that wasn’t bad but disappointing. What’s it about? Pretty much a sequel to Batman Vol 1: Court of Owls. Pros: The story is still interesting. This book is a sequel to one that I gave 5 stars so it pretty much just continues that story. The artwork is very good. The characters are interesting. The action scenes are so damn good. It’s the intense action superhero fans will be looking for. This is a fairly suspenseful comic book. Some surprises in this one. The final issue in this collection is really Well that wasn’t bad but disappointing. What’s it about? Pretty much a sequel to Batman Vol 1: Court of Owls. Pros: The story is still interesting. This book is a sequel to one that I gave 5 stars so it pretty much just continues that story. The artwork is very good. The characters are interesting. The action scenes are so damn good. It’s the intense action superhero fans will be looking for. This is a fairly suspenseful comic book. Some surprises in this one. The final issue in this collection is really good. It’s a standalone story about another person in Gotham (Harper Rowe is her name I think) who’s pretty interesting and the art while different is fricking awesome (Becky Cloonan! I think she could do a decent Batman run herself, both writing and drawing) Cons: After I think it was 2 issues there’s an abrupt interruption in the story for a mediocre Mr. Freeze story, I didn’t like that. This volume has way too much boring monologuing. Hard to believe I could possibly be bored reading the sequel to such a masterpiece but the way these characters yapped... There are some things left hanging. The dialogue is not very well written. The plot convenience is ridiculous. I get that I probably should expect it in a Batman comic but for fuck’s sake, it’s insane. Right in the first scene even. The whole (view spoiler)[ “I’m your brother” (hide spoiler)] thing is poorly executed. Like, it could have been cool if done right but it wasn’t so it seemed kinda cheesy. Overall: Not bad but not really good either. It may have been partially because it’s the volume right after Court of Owls so I guess it could be that compared to that masterpiece this one seemed slightly meh. 3/5

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    The second volume of Snyder's focus on Gotham's being besieged by a "court of owls" that has always been sort of in control of Gotham but is finally asserting itself for Total Domination. It's really good. We also get some backstory on the Pennyworth family and the secrets they've kept from the Wayne family! I like it more than a lot of other Batman stories. Has depth and some pretty great action, but I know things are just warming up. This arc was great, though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    The Owls storyline went out with a whimper for me. This book repeats a few of the issues I read in Batman: The Night of the Owls before getting back into the Batman-centric storyline and tying up the loose ends of the mystery. Aaron sums up the disappointment better than I can. And another art complaint - I didn't like any of the art in the Pennyworth issue, which is one of the central parts of the book. Everyone looks like they're made out of clay. Give me hot Bruce Wayne, or I will revolt!! The Owls storyline went out with a whimper for me. This book repeats a few of the issues I read in Batman: The Night of the Owls before getting back into the Batman-centric storyline and tying up the loose ends of the mystery. Aaron sums up the disappointment better than I can. And another art complaint - I didn't like any of the art in the Pennyworth issue, which is one of the central parts of the book. Everyone looks like they're made out of clay. Give me hot Bruce Wayne, or I will revolt!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    The conclusion of the “Court of Owls” story (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) was just as much silly and occasionally creepy fun as the first part! I tip my hat at Scott Snyder, who managed to get me invested in a story about Batman himself, as where I usually am much more interested in his unhinged and colourful adversaries. After discovering the existence of a secret society that has controlled the city of Gotham from the shadows for centuries – and almost getting bested by this societ The conclusion of the “Court of Owls” story (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) was just as much silly and occasionally creepy fun as the first part! I tip my hat at Scott Snyder, who managed to get me invested in a story about Batman himself, as where I usually am much more interested in his unhinged and colourful adversaries. After discovering the existence of a secret society that has controlled the city of Gotham from the shadows for centuries – and almost getting bested by this society’s formidable assassin – Bruce Wayne is trying to recover from his injuries, but the Court of Owls will not give him time to rest; they unleash all their “preserved” Talons on Wayne Manor. As Bruce and Alfred fight off the attack, the readers are treated to an interesting speculation about the leadership of the Court and their link to the Wayne family. We also get an interesting and moving piece of background on the Pennyworth family, and a Mr. Freeze story to boot! The artwork is dynamic and bright, the character development surprisingly deep (despite the inherent silliness of some plot elements) and the twists and turns kept me on my toes through the end. I love the dark and twisted places where Snyder takes the Batman universe, the ambiguity he likes to integrate into his stories. I can’t wait to see what he does with my beloved Joker!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicolo Yu

    There are two ways to read this story. First, as it is presented, the second story of Batman by Snyder and Capullo; or as part of a larger story, the inter-line Batman crossover, The Night of the Owls. The premise is the same; as retaliation for Batman's (and Bruce Wayne's) actions in the first story arc; the Court of Owls summoned the entire force of their Talon army and unleashed them on Gotham. If one reads it as a Batman story, it's a focused story on the Talons invasion of the Batcave and s There are two ways to read this story. First, as it is presented, the second story of Batman by Snyder and Capullo; or as part of a larger story, the inter-line Batman crossover, The Night of the Owls. The premise is the same; as retaliation for Batman's (and Bruce Wayne's) actions in the first story arc; the Court of Owls summoned the entire force of their Talon army and unleashed them on Gotham. If one reads it as a Batman story, it's a focused story on the Talons invasion of the Batcave and some personal revelations that may be true or not. If one reads the entire crossover, it's a more expansive take on the night the Talons took over Gotham and features the bulk of Batman's supporting cast and their allies. The City of Owls continues Snyder and Capullo's reinvention of the Batman's backstory. It may involve rethinking what the reader knows about Thomas and Martha Wayne and the mysterious circumstances of events that lead to their demise. No spoilers here; if the that piqued your interest, you need to check this out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Excellent conclusion to a fascinating story arc that sees Batman take the fight to the Court after what they did to him. Also reveals a disturbing secret from Bruce's past that has returned to haunt him. Full review here! Excellent conclusion to a fascinating story arc that sees Batman take the fight to the Court after what they did to him. Also reveals a disturbing secret from Bruce's past that has returned to haunt him. Full review here!

  23. 4 out of 5

    RG

    I'm really digging this run of Batman. We get some more background and story with the owls. We get a few minor character background storys with Batman floating around. Cool storytelling and artwork. I really am beginning to love Snyders work.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Selkie ✦ Queen

    I first read and reviewed the hardcover edition The Night of the Owls which included the tie-ins from other crossover titles. I came back to this compact collection next since issues 10 and 11 were not included in Night edition at all which was baffling in itself since those are the issues that ended the second arc of the Owls storyline, and wouldn't it be relevant to include them alongside the tie-ins as well? But I digress. Right off the bat, I was a massive fan of Snyder-Capullo's first volum I first read and reviewed the hardcover edition The Night of the Owls which included the tie-ins from other crossover titles. I came back to this compact collection next since issues 10 and 11 were not included in Night edition at all which was baffling in itself since those are the issues that ended the second arc of the Owls storyline, and wouldn't it be relevant to include them alongside the tie-ins as well? But I digress. Right off the bat, I was a massive fan of Snyder-Capullo's first volume The Court of Owls because I really enjoyed the way they distinguished Gotham City as a character of its own and not just a setting. I pointed out in my review that the collaborative efforts put in and expressed through Synder's prose and Capullo's illustrations have given the city's well-established atmospheric moodiness a new kind of appeal and gravitas that reeled me in completely. I also think that it was an undeniably great set-up in introducing the Court of Owls to the story, making them so creepily ominous that by the first volume alone, the Owls (and the Talons) could already be considered a formidable addition to the rogues gallery. I also believe that The Court of Owls is one of the new-reader-friendly comic books from DC's New 52; even the most casual Batman reader who may only be familiar with the Nolan movies can get into Synder's writing pretty easily, so this is most commendable. That said, the sophomore follow-up The City of Owls leaves much to be desired. I've expressed my problem with the second arc of the Owl storyline in my review of The Night of Owls before and I still stand by it. It may include spoilers so I advise not to read the rest of this review then. But for those who have read it and might share the same complaints, here is a direct quote from my previous review: "The direction of the Owl saga sacking the Gotham City like that was irresponsible and reckless, considering they had operated in the background and subtly at that for decades so I don't really understand why they choose to come to the light after all that hard work. Because they feel Batman is a bigger threat? Perhaps. But the logistics just don't add up. Here is a powerful and historical figure that had been integrated into Gotham City's very foundations and they managed to survive this long because of anonymity. And yet they come out with a force in order to eliminate important people in the city which they could have done easily through the manipulations and control they took pride in. No need for bloodshed, that's what I believe. I think we should all be able to acknowledge how absurd the Owl saga became when Synder decided to play his hand too loosely, essentially undermining the Court's supposedly intimate influence in the process. It had certainly dulled the sharp edge of their intrigue as well." Those are my sentiments pertaining to Synder's creative decision for this second arc. I felt like the first volume had a remarkably solid foundation that the second volume managed to--I won't say 'undo'--but at least made slightly ineffectual by bringing out the Talons in a very public manner (possibly caused by executive meddling for the sake of a crossover event that would sell more issues?) which sort of cheapens the supposed secrecy and intrigue surrounding the Owl as a centuries-old organization. I'm honestly getting worried about DC's marketing style these days with their New 52 especially with the Batman titles. Another example is The Joker: Death of the Family, yet another crossover event with multiple tie-ins. I reviewed that collection as well and will be reviewing the more compact and commendable third volume of Snyder's Batman soon. I guess my qualms are directed at this annoyance because it certainly feels like Snyder has to adjust his artistic choices in storytelling to keep up with whatever DC feels would benefit their sales more which usually entails crossover after crossover and irrelevant tie-ins in the mix. It's starting to seriously irritate me. I take my Batman very seriously that way. Nevertheless, let's get back to this second volume's better strengths such as the additional stories The Fall of the House Wayne and Batman Annual 1. They are supplements that were thoroughly enjoyable. I plan to come back to this review and include other links once I finished reviewing these two stories separately next week. Same goes for issue #12 Ghost in the Machine. I wanted to ensure that I'm not missing anything when I read Batman. Besides, why would I even deprive myself more stellar opportunities to talk about Batman? I didn't mean to make this review some sort of letter that airs out my grievances pertaining to DC's crossover/tie-ins gimmick. I understand that the practice enables them to sell more issues but if the cost would be sacrificing the quality of the stories themselves then I just think they should allow their writers and artists to thrive in their respective titles and stop demanding them to correlate and intersect storylines. Am I overreacting to this or what? I mean, isn't the entire point of the Crisis Saga, that memorable colossal reboot in the eighties, to get rid of the multiple worlds that DC has created over the decades so we're left with a singular plane of reality? So why feel the need to overlap all Batman titles with crossovers when in the grand scheme of things, they actually do not help new readers themselves appreciate the comics medium? I'm relatively new to the game as well and even my patience and love for complex storylines are being tested by DC's insistence to make New 52 Batman more convoluted than it's supposed to be. Whether or not my sentiments are valid, I'm just glad to get them off my chest. Perhaps Synder would have made the second arc stay true to his original vision from the first volume if DC didn't decide to make him expand his storyline in order for other writers to weave their own subplots. I apologize that you have to read through this crap when this was supposed to be a substantial review for The City of Owls but all these things I typed above are the feelings I experienced while reading this particular volume in the first place. Nevertheless, if you take the crossover tie-ins out of the equation and we are left with this volume alone, then it's actually quite satisfactory. Feel free to read the tie-ins in The Night of the Owls yourself for posterity's sake if you want. RECOMMENDED: 8/10 *A gorgeous art style and highly definitive action sequences might be enough to distract you from the questionable aspects of the narrative. Still, a great follow-up. [DO READ MORE ABOUT MY BATMAN REVIEWS IN http://batman-comics-geek.blogspot.com/]

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Snyder wraps up the Court of Owls battle with some crazy shit! Almost goes without saying that I devoured and loved the hell out of it. In City of Owls, Batman's defeat of the current Court of Owls assassin, the Talon, leads to the Court deciding to up their game a bit. The end result is the flood of assassins unleashed on Gotham with only the Batfamily to try to protect them. The fight feels suitably crazy and epic, with Batman and Alfred facing off against a mob of Talons in the Batcave while Snyder wraps up the Court of Owls battle with some crazy shit! Almost goes without saying that I devoured and loved the hell out of it. In City of Owls, Batman's defeat of the current Court of Owls assassin, the Talon, leads to the Court deciding to up their game a bit. The end result is the flood of assassins unleashed on Gotham with only the Batfamily to try to protect them. The fight feels suitably crazy and epic, with Batman and Alfred facing off against a mob of Talons in the Batcave while the other Bat allies are trying to hold the rest off from throwing Gotham into chaos. And yet...it just gets crazier. (view spoiler)[I will admit that I in no way expected the twist with Lincoln March that never fully gets resolved. I loved that you never fully get to know if he really is Thomas Wayne Jr or just brainwashed and crazy. (hide spoiler)] And that final showdown...just so fucking cool! I'm incapable of reasoned arguments here so someone who's not totally in love with Batman may see flaws but I just saw glorious Bat vs Owl showdowns and couldn't stop drooling. Holy shit I loved this. And just gotta say...don't you dare kill Harper Row, Snyder. She's adorable and I really wanna see more of her. At this rate, I'm gonna be devouring New 52 Batman in a matter of hours but I can't stop now. Snyder is doing a fantastic job with Batman and I'm so very glad I finally decided to start reading them. Can't wait to see Joker in the next one!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    This is the conclusion of Batman vs. Talon and it is a blockbuster. The side story of Pennyworth is also great. This was an extremely strong start for this New 52 cycle by Snyder and again the artwork was outstanding.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    ***Buddyread with the Shallow Readers! Criteria: Bats. Bats. More Bats. Also, this is a latecomer. So the mystery poo is in action!*** I seriously love this run. I love Snyder. I love what he does with Batman and Bruce Wayne and how he rolls them together so well. I also love what he did with The Court of Owls from beginning to finish(?). Superb. But maybe that's because I'm still a big newbie to the Bats. This volume wraps up this particular encounter with the Court of Owls. There's definitely an ***Buddyread with the Shallow Readers! Criteria: Bats. Bats. More Bats. Also, this is a latecomer. So the mystery poo is in action!*** I seriously love this run. I love Snyder. I love what he does with Batman and Bruce Wayne and how he rolls them together so well. I also love what he did with The Court of Owls from beginning to finish(?). Superb. But maybe that's because I'm still a big newbie to the Bats. This volume wraps up this particular encounter with the Court of Owls. There's definitely an ending here, but it's left in a way that if Snyder (or someone else who hopefully has decent additions to the story line) wanted to revisit this sinister group, it could be easily done. But without giving too much away, here are some highlight points: Lincoln March is SO tastefully and maliciously done. It was a joy to read about him, not only the past that he believes he has, but also the life that Bruce believes he's led. Along with his background, you also get some insight into the demise of Thomas and Martha Wayne (and other super spoilery stuff about the Wayne's). It's all awesome. The group of Talons that were awoken at the end of the last volume are out and ready to play. And they're not only out to attack Bruce. While they're hunting their prey, we get to see some awesome Batcave gadgets, and also get a really small but cool glimpse of the Bat family and how they come together when Gotham needs them most. Did I mention that the Lincoln March story line is fucking awesome? Because I feel like I could go back and read it over again RIGHT NOW. My favorite part of this volume was Mr. Freeze though. I grew up watching the 90s Batman movies. Yes, they're awful and campy and nothing like the Dark Knight trilogy. And until now, whenever Mr. Freeze was mentioned in any capacity, I pictured the Austrian/Californian He-Man Arnold Swartzenhooha. Because of this, I always though Mr. Freeze was a big fucking joke with a terrible life story. But Snyder wiped all of that away for me. And in return he handed me a man who was psychologically demented and consumed by his work, and not in a campy way. His history with Nora is absolutely insane, and the revelations were awesome to read about. Add in his past with his mother, and I can see where his brain derailed. Jarvis Pennyworth's story was more than worthwhile as well. His devotion to the Wayne's is apparent, as is his love for his blood related family. I love that he, like Alfred, has the intelligence level of a man who shouldn't be serving a family for a living. He saw everything, kept notes in his head, and realized more than anyone probably knew. He held secrets that we know were taken to his grave. I love realizing that a person is so much more than they let on. And then we have the ending issue, which I could have done without. It wasn't BAD. It just didn't fit with the emotions that were held within the rest of the volume. Cullen and Harper are likable characters. Alfred is still a gentle soul. And Batman is still a dick when he wears the cowl. Everything was done right, but it just didn't MATTER to me. Oh well. I'm not going to let that ruin this good run. Maybe Harper and Cullen are super important later on. I would be okay with that. Who knows (hint: everyone knows BUT me). Now, it's time to read my second Death of the Family. Let's do this shit.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Creators are either [1] criticised for always sticking to the tried-and-true villains/formulas and not coming up with something fresh, or [2] criticised for coming up with something new and not going with the tried-and-true villains/formulas. Obviously, you can't possibly please everyone. This was overall a very good book, and one that I'm happy to have on my book shelf. The "Court of Owls" was a fantastic concept and was well executed. The ret-con that Snyder came up with will surely have its s Creators are either [1] criticised for always sticking to the tried-and-true villains/formulas and not coming up with something fresh, or [2] criticised for coming up with something new and not going with the tried-and-true villains/formulas. Obviously, you can't possibly please everyone. This was overall a very good book, and one that I'm happy to have on my book shelf. The "Court of Owls" was a fantastic concept and was well executed. The ret-con that Snyder came up with will surely have its supporters and nay-sayers but, as far as I'm concerned, this was one of the best ret-cons I've come across. In this book's opening chapter we're treated to "Iron Bats", basically Batman in an Iron Man armor, and I must admit I winced a little at this. Must Batman ALWAYS be prepared for absolutely anything and everything? Snyder's update of Mr.Freeze's origin was the highlight of the book, followed closely by the showdown between Batman and ******. By the time the "Big Reveal" came up, if you've read enough books (or seen enough movies - heck, this was more of a soap opera plot twist, but never mind) you just know what's coming. Still, Snyder handled it well. Have we seen the last of the Court of Owls? Probably not, but hopefully not for a while. We wouldn't want this excellent storyline diluted by unnecessary follow-ups. A number of artists contributed to this book, and even though the styles varied from one to the next, I felt the quality remained constant.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    The Owl/Talon storyline continues to be crazy. Wow, there are not too many enemies that can give Batman a run for his money, but the Owls definitely can. Continually, I think Gotham can't be more of a deep pit, a literal hellmouth. But the more I read Batman, the worse it gets. The action scenes were awesome, and the whole Owl story is deeply creepy. The point of view of Alfred's father gives an interesting look into the past of Gotham and the Wayne family. I think that there are some repeat sto The Owl/Talon storyline continues to be crazy. Wow, there are not too many enemies that can give Batman a run for his money, but the Owls definitely can. Continually, I think Gotham can't be more of a deep pit, a literal hellmouth. But the more I read Batman, the worse it gets. The action scenes were awesome, and the whole Owl story is deeply creepy. The point of view of Alfred's father gives an interesting look into the past of Gotham and the Wayne family. I think that there are some repeat stories with this and later volumes in the Scott Snyder run of Batman. It didn't bother me though.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Snyder is a great writer, and I like what he does with Batman. I think that maybe this Court of Owls storyline just isn't going to be a favorite of mine. Can't win them all. Possibly the most interesting part was when Snyder broke out a bit of old comic lore (view spoiler)[Bruce's mad brother, Thomas Wayne (hide spoiler)] from a long ago pre-Crisis storyline and made it relevant. Kind of a Morrison sort of move, don't you think? I also liked that the ending was definitive enough to be satisfying Snyder is a great writer, and I like what he does with Batman. I think that maybe this Court of Owls storyline just isn't going to be a favorite of mine. Can't win them all. Possibly the most interesting part was when Snyder broke out a bit of old comic lore (view spoiler)[Bruce's mad brother, Thomas Wayne (hide spoiler)] from a long ago pre-Crisis storyline and made it relevant. Kind of a Morrison sort of move, don't you think? I also liked that the ending was definitive enough to be satisfying and open enough to leave questions and possibilities for future stories.

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