Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO Plascencia
The short of it:
Batman vs. Owlman! The ‘brothers’ fight across Gotham, with Owlman’s suit having a definite technical superiority. What with the flying and secret weapons. He leads Bruce through the air above Gotham as he explains his origin, his mindset, his motivation. There’s near death experiences, explosions, and Batman refusing to die. It’s an epic encounter that only one walks away from (on-panel), and one that leads to decisions made as Bruce Wayne. Not as Batman.
What I liked:
- Snyder leaves the mystery about the reality of Thomas Wayne Jr. fully in tact come the end of the issue. It would have been so easy to have done a hard confirmation or denial, but he left it open. That is more important to me, as a reader, than knowing one way or the other. It means that the story isn’t over yet.
- Batman’s on the wing!
- An issue like this one is enough to show why Greg Capullo is the right choice for this book. Dark and moody? Check. Fluid action? Check. The art in this book is awesome.
- For as much as I enjoyed all the stuff with the Owls, I’m glad it seems to be over for now. It ran it’s course, didn’t feel rushed, and didn’t overstay its welcome. I really don’t say that too often with year long story arcs…then again, not too many books really do year long story arcs these days.
What I didn’t like:
- The fight felt rushed. I mean, yeah, I would have hated it if was a two issue encounter, but it just felt like it raced from start to finish. It was really all over the place (literally) and a few more pages would have been nice.
- As cool as Batman on the plane is, there is no chance he held on. No chance in hell.
- The Jarvis Pennyworth storyline had so much potential and I was digging it, but I feel that the end was just…eh. It was obvious going in that he would be dead by the end, but I was expecting some sort of awesome revelation about the Court and the Wayne’s. Instead…nope. It feels like the entire thing happened just to show us that there was another son born and injured.
- For the amount of beating that Batman takes, I feel they really undersell the damage with the bandages. I was expecting broken bones in casts, not bruises and sprains in bandages.
The mystery really works. Yes, he fully believes himself to be Thomas Wayne Jr., but is he really? Bruce admits that he did have a brother, but that the baby died in its first day of life. Could Thomas really be the lost brother of the Bat? I can’t wait for Snyder to get back to this.
For some reason seeing any former Robin in Batman still feels like a novelty. Bruce and Dick don’t team up nearly often enough.
I wish we could have dropped the back up story in favor of adding those pages to the main story. I mean, I appreciate the twenty-two page story, but sometime I miss the real oversized issue. Then again, I also felt that this chapter of the back up was far and away the weakest.
So I really hope when Thomas Wayne Jr. returns that we find out that he really is the real deal. Sure, this book ends with a lot of “even if he is my brother I don’t care because my brother is dead”, but it’s one thing to say that, another thing to do it. Bruce can be all super stoic to posture, but I’d love to see a writer tackle him actually missing a step because the reality of who is enemy is sets in. I think that would be a great story.
Tags: Batman, DC Comics, Greg Capullo, New 52 (DC Comics), Night of Owls, Reviews, Scott Snyder