Batman: “The Court of Owls”

Hey everyone this is Kay G. coming at you. I know its been awhile, life got busy lol. Today we are discussing Batman’s “The Court of Owls” written by Scott Snyder.  Snyder does a great job writing for Batman, capturing the real crazy that coincides within him.

The Court of Owls is an ancient conspiracy that has controlled Gotham City for centuries. Hiding out within the architecture, these “owls” are a highly-trained breed of assassins known as Talons. The Talons are controlled by the court and are awakening when the court needs them for service.

Their legend is told by whispers and nursery rhymes that are said many times within the story. The story focuses a lot on Bruce Wayne’s history along with the Gotham itself. It talks about Alan Wayne, Bruce’s great-great grandfather who was Gotham’s elite architect. Alan plays a lead in the story with the court of owls, in the end it’s what saves Batman’s life in more ways than one.  It’s his beautiful designs and structure in the buildings he built that the court hides in, lurking about in the shadows.

In “The Court of Owls” the story of Bruce’s life is threatened in a message, left by the Talon. After the second attempt to Bruce’s life, Batman begins investigating what happened to Alan and more about the court. Batman goes into the sewers where Alan’s body was found; in a catatonic state years ago only to be abducted by the Talon who surprises him.  Batman is trapped in a massive labyrinth for over a week with no food or contact, where he eventually begins to hallucinate. When Batman walks into a room the Talon comes up from behind him and stabs him.  With the court egging on this battle and with Batman being so weak, he almost loses hope and gives up. Beaten to near death, Batman finally finds his wits and strength and fights on.  Batman beats the Talon savagely, and escapes.

Batman going crazy

“Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they’ll send a Talon for your head.”

Batman fighting back

The real shock to this story besides seeing Batman so vulnerable and desperate is when examining the body of the first Talon who tried to kill him, Batman finds out that he was a descended to Dick Grayson (Robin). Back into his cave, when Robin checks in on him, Batman tells Robin that if it wasn’t for him adopting Grayson he could have been made into a Talon too.

This was a very fast past, quick and amazing read by Snyder. Snyder in my opinion is one of the few best Batman writers; he uses captions and narrates the story well enough even if there was no visual work, but the visual is half the fun.  In this story the visual is just as vivid and central to the story. As Batman goes crazy so does the pages, they are turned sideways and upside down so that you feel like you’re going crazy right along with Batman. It was exciting to see Batman lose his cool and calm interior. I’m so used to Batman tough and nobody can break him, well as much as I know that’s not true, this was my first taste into seeing him like this. Part of me even believed that he wouldn’t make it through this, nobody could. Batman pulls through though, but even when you think he’s won and the story is over another Talon is awoken.

This is Kay G. over and out. Thanks for reading. Hope you all pick up a copy and enjoy.

 

 

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2 responses

  1. […] Batman, Vol. 1 (New 52): The Court of Owls […]

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  2. […] into the role, and developing his own rogues gallery. In many ways, I feel the concept of the Court of Owls arc would have had greater impact with Grayson as the […]

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