Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo
So, I’ve been out of the comic reviewing scene for a bit but I am back now and I’m not gonna let Kurenai take over this shit. So let’s do this! There are bats, owls, and kids trapped in attics. Shit’s getting crazy.
The end of issue #3 saw Batman finding some of the underground bases of the Court of Owls and where the Talon resides. But in the last base, he trips a wire and the base explodes. Of course, Batman escapes to safety but not without his share of injuries. Back at the Batcave, Dick discusses what he knows about Bruce’s investigation with Alfred and goes to see him. But, in classic Bruce fashion, he is out of bed too early and working on his case. Dick confronts Bruce and lets him know that everyone is worried that he may be looking into the case more than he should and that he may be investigating through his emotions and not through the evidence.
Bruce fills Dick in on the fact that even weeks after his parents’ death, young Bruce tried to investigate the Court of Owls and how it could be connected to the death of his parents. He didn’t want to believe at that time that a random thief murdered them in cold blood. In just weeks, Bruce seemed to have gather tons of evidence linking the Owls to his first case. It led him to a place called the Harbor House, which many of the families he suspected who were in on this were known to gather. He found Owl symbols everywhere and decided to investigate a walled-off room. But, he found nothing but an empty room and managed to lock himself in for a weeks before being rescued by Alfred. He spent weeks in a coma and learned his first lesson: “Never let your emotions guide you on a case”.
Bruce sets off to follow a new lead that he discovered while investigating his great-great-grandfather, Alan Wayne’s remains. He was said to have died in the sewers of Gotham City. But, Bruce found that his bones had loads of puncture wounds, which could very well have been caused by throwing knives. While investigating the sewers, he is attacked by Talon and thrown down into a labyrinth run by mysterious figures, presumably the Court of Shadows.
I must say, this is a great way to get back into reading comics. This was always one of my top comics of the New 52 run, and it has proven once again why that is. What I like most about this comic is the world-building. It makes Gotham into a character of its own, filled with dark secrets that even Bruce Wayne, who’s family have built the city themselves from the ground up, isn’t aware of. Slowly, Bruce is figuring out that his family may have not been as powerful as he had once thought. The Court of Owls seem to be pulling the strings from off-stage, controlling everything that goes on.
Bruce still seems to be keeping Dick Grayson at arm’s length when it comes to this investigation. I believe it was in issue #1 where the evidence pointed to him being a part of something suspicious. So, Bruce is trying to figure out what is going on, while keeping Dick as unaware as possible. It shows how professional Bruce is as Batman and how he will not allow anything, even his most trusted partner, get in the way of finding the truth.
Once again, I am blown away by the detail of this comic’s art. The detail put forth into this comic is the right amount that makes everything look real and yet, very stylized. The use and omission of color and the amount of shadow used give it the right setting for a Batman comic. And the details in the facial expressions are not too assaulting that it feels like the characters are being over-expressive. The lines are small but detailed, just enough to give them character, but not too much to overwhelm you. And, Batman just looks freaking awesome in this book.
I’m looking forward to catching up on this comic. From what I’ve heard and read, this is the most interesting arc being told these days. And with the upcoming crossover event involving the Owls, I need to get back in the game. This will be a fun ride.