Batman: Night of the Owls (The New 52)
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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2013
This is middle part of the owls story from the comics (as the title shows). If you start with this book, you will be lost. The order to read this in is:
1. Batman: The Court of Owls
2. Batman: Night of the Owls
3. Batman: The City of Owls
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
If you are reading this article, you probably read Scott Snyder's Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) by now. If you haven't, leave this page now and read that book beforehand as recommended ASAP, then come back, because this opening paragraph has spoilers if you haven't yet. If you have read it, then you are caught up and I'm sure you're dying to see what comes next in Snyder's grand scheme of things for Batman and his fight with the Court of Owls, which ended on a cliffhanger in BATMAN #7. Batman is severely hurt and slowly recovering with his discovery of the Court and its Talon assassin, as well finding out the secret of the Talons past and weaknesses. But the Court knows Batman is weak and it means the best time to strike the heart of Gotham while they can, so they send all of their Talon warriors to kill all of Gotham's major figure heads in one fell swoop in one night.

This where the beginning of BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE OWLS story begins, which has Bruce Wayne is getting home and starting to recover from days of torture in the Courts maze, the Talons break into Bruce's home and Alfred puts a distress call to all members of the Bat-family in BATMAN #8 to come to Gotham and help quell the invasion, which carries over in the various tie-ins collected here.

To start with, this event is collected in order of time. The event takes place in certain times in one night, with a clock timer on opening pages of each issue to show the time frame for each member gets attacked. The collection is running order as follows:

ALL STAR WESTERN #9 (takes place in 1880's. More of stand alone Talon issue)
BATWING #9 (begins the nightlong event)
BATGIRL #9
BATMAN #8 (with the backup issue "The Call")
BATMAN & ROBIN #9
NIGHTWING #8
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #9
BATMAN #9
DETECTIVE COMICS #9
BIRDS OF PREY #9
NIGHTWING #9
THE DARK KNIGHT #9
BATMAN ANNUAL #1
CATWOMAN #9
And finally, the backup stories from BATMAN #9-11 "Fall from the House of Wayne".
(Not included is JUSTICE LEAGUE #8, which has the Talons as cameos only.)

[Since it would far too much detail to go into every comic and possible spoilers that go with them, I will stick to the event itself and not so much to the individual characters or issues.]

NIGHT OF THE OWLS is one large, deep near 400-page event that is comparable to DC's own Blackest Night, in that much of the tie-ins are not essential (I'll repeat that: NOT ESSENTIAL) for the main story line of Snyder's Batman fighting the Court of Owls. This book is a compilation of all the tie-ins to the event aside Scott Snyders Batman #8 and #9 which are vital and important and I will not go into Batman issues 8 and 9 because they great, but I will review them properly in BATMAN VOLUME 2: CITY OF OWLS. I want to stick to this book and the tie-ins.

NIGHT OF THE OWLS is to give more scope to what the Court of Owls has on the Bat Universe. The event itself is well drawn and well written for the most part, with the key thing here is made around a good sense of uniformity among the issues collected. There is some overlapping of issues with one another that actually offer the illusion of one ongoing story here. Batman & Robin follows Batman #8 very well, as does Batman #9, Detective Comics #9, and The Dark Knight #9 in a weird way. And even Red Hood #9 flows well with Batgirl #9. This makes the event feel semi-cohesive, where it entertains readers to follow along. DC could of simply went with the quick answer with the tie-ins and not given any uniformity, but it would of made the event a jumbled mess. Thankfully, it's handled well and better so by DC collecting the issues in order of the time frame during the event, as well as collecting pretty much all of the event (aside from Justice League #8). So overall, big kudos there.

Without going too much in character details or spoilers, each issue has a Bat-member fighting off a Talon. Now this can repetitive and predicable, but thankfully, each writer handles their respected tie-ins fairly well and use the event to give more insight on the Talons and even main characters(more so then others). Batgirl fights a lady Talon who actually almost kills her yet saves her life because of certain personal reasons. Jason Todd finds an odd connection to his Talon in that both have died and have come back to life. Detective Comics give more insight on Arkham Asylum and a past Batman rouge gets introduced in the New 52. Catwoman gives us a good look at here complex hero/rouge persona. Nightwing goes over his connection to possibly being the next Talon and his family history, as well as the definition of the name "Grayson". And DARK KNIGHT #9 gives us a look from one of the Talons perspective. All of these issues further the event by giving the Talons more insight by making them more 2-dimensional and/or making the hero give more insight.

Now the bad. Although I will give the review 4 stars, I actually am giving this book a 3 ½ star review, because Amazon doesn't allow half stars and I want to explain a few of those reasons. First of all, like I mentioned, this is repetitious and predictable. All of the issues have a Bat-member fighting a Talon and it usually ends with each one of them beating their Talon opponent. Second, beyond the listed issues where some Bat-members change up the way and significance to fighting their Talon, some other members are just more straightforward about it and aren't quite as interesting. Batwing, Batman & Robin, Birds of Prey, and All Star Western are examples of this. Although the following 4 issues are good in their respected rights, they just don't offer quite enough differential meanings compared to the other issues.

Some of the tie-ins are a bit lackluster and are questionable why they are here and how they are affiliated with this event. All Star Western has a Talon appear for 5 or 6 pages of the 22 page issue and the fact it takes place in the 1880s, where you wonder why it even was included in the first place. Catwoman and the Batman Annual feel awkward because the Batman Annual offers no time frame as to when it happens, as if it never took place during the event. And Catwoman makes no reference to the event at all. This does go to show the tie-ins work better in their own character series, as All Star Western for example, may not have anything to do with Night of the Owls event, but it makes perfect sense if you've been reading All Star Western leading up to that point (and as someone who is reading All Star Western, it makes perfect sense it it's own series, but not here).

And finally, the "Fall of the House of Wayne" backups from Batman issues 9-11. I'm glad DC collected as much Snyder material as it can for this book, but I'm highly in question why they included it. These backups leave plot holes because Batman issue 10 and 11 are not included, and they give away major plot points for those same issues. Seriously, the backups included just about give away the endings for Batman issues 10 and 11, so whatever you do, do not read "Fall of the House of Wayne" until you've read BATMAN VOLUME 2: CITY OF OWLS. Repeat: Do not read the backups at the end of the book until Batman volume 2.

And my last flaw is the collection itself. Again, aside from Batman #8 and #9 which are vital...most of the tie-ins, as good as they are, are NOT ESSENTIAL. If you wish to stick to just Scott Snyders main story line of Batman, just pass on this book and pick up volume 2.And even more, if you buy this book, you will still not complete Scott Snyders story arc until issues 10 and 11 collected in BATMAN VOLUME 2: CITY OF OWLS. This is the part that might really make people mad because BATMAN #8, 9, and the Annual are included here in this book and in volume 2, so people who buy this will be forced to buy volume 2 to end the story arc and you are paying money only getting issues 10-12. I wish DC would have put Batman issues 10-12 in this book and upped the price to $34.99 or $39.99. This way, people would be able to get all of the tie-ins and all of Snyders story arc in one book, and if people didn't want the tin-ins, just stick to Batman volume 2. So be careful in how you spend your money.

BATMAN: NIGHT OF THE OWLS is one epic book that adds scope to the Court of Owls, good to great writing and art, pretty much collects all of the Night of the Owls ties-ins, properly puts the order of reading correctly, and for almost 400 pages in a lovely hardcover...this has its strong merits. But it can be repetitive and predicable, the tie-ins are not essential for the cost, some stories are better then others, the backup issues in the very end kill the surprise for BATMAN #11, and your forced to buy BATMAN VOLUME 2: CITY OF OWLS just to get issues #10-12 and finish Snyder's story arc. There is a lot to like here and there is a lot to hate here, as well. So please review everything I mentioned before buying and decide for yourself if it is worth the cost, which is why I give this book a 3 ½ rating considering all details, but I will be nice and round the number to 4 stars. Until then Bat-fans, I'll see you next month for the full review and completion of Snyder's arc in Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52).
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2013
Just an FYI. This states that it collects Batman issues #8-11. This is wrong. The main Batman story stops at a critical point (to avoid spoilers for those that haven't read this) and then follows other characters, followed by a jump to the end after everything has been "resolved". It is a very interesting book, but if you are looking for the actual volumes of Batman immediately following "Court of the Owls" and before "Death of the Family" then do not buy this one. Go and buy "City of the Owls" instead. I purchased this one because it said that it had Batman #8-11. Instead it is #8-9. Very VERY disappointed about that.

With that said, this is still a good buy if you are interested in stories of Nightwing, Robin, Red Robin, and others as they fight the Talons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
At over 360 pages, this tie-in event covers many of the Bat-titles in the Court of Owls event. The book starts with All-Star Western #9 in which a Talon from the Court of Owls is engaged by Jonah Hex. Following that, in Batwing #9 and Batgirl #9, both Batwing and Batgirl encounter Talons, the assassins of the Court, in their attempts to take down some of Gotham's most powerful people. Following that, Batman #8 starts off the main attack with Alfred's call to the Bat family for stopping the Court of Owls from executing a large list of Gotham's main brokers and leaders, including Bruce Wayne himself! Batman and Robin #9, Nightwing #8, and Red Hood and the Outlaws #9 continue the story by fighting off some of the Talon attackers and the Red hood even has to protect one of Gotham's most cold-hearted villains! Batman #9, Detective Comics #9, Birds of Prey #9, Nightwing #9, and the Dark Knight #9 all take on more Talons as the city is overrun and Bruce is barely able to escape the initial attack and move on to save some of the leaders. The Batman Annual #1 sees the New 52 proper introduction of Mr. Freeze and Catwoman #9 sees more Talon history and, even further, the backup stories from Batman #9-11 brings forth new light on Alfred's family and involvement.

Overall, you get a medley of stories that are connected somewhat by the events of this single night but in no way mesh together like that of a cohesive story. The book starts off on a bad foot with All-Star Western and the lack of a true Court of Owls story, but more of a cameo. Unless you have been reading the All-Star Western storyline, you'll be very confused. It then moves between the events in the Batman title and the little one-off events of all the different characters fighting a unique Talon and the story behind each Talon. Nightwing's story seems the most involved and interesting while ones like the Birds of Prey or Batwing just seem boring. Even the rest are just ho-hum nothing-special stories. On top of that, almost all of them involve a single scene where Alfred is sitting at a computer warning the members of the Bat-family of the events and while all of them got the speech right, Alfred's actual settings are extremely inconsistent. The newly-changed back story to Mr. Freeze is extremely disappointing and the inclusion of the backup stories to Batman #9-11 and not the actual issues leaves more of the story to be had. You basically still have to buy the Batman hardcovers to understand the complete story; even with this supposedly complete book. The art on the majority of the stories here is good with Batman taking the cake and the stories all work okay but only the Batman titles make up the really interesting parts. Overall, if you're already buying the trades, this book is of no use to you. Even the extras like textless covers and Talon concept art isn't worth the price unless you aren't getting the story anywhere else. They should have either included more into this, or just not made this book at all but as it stands, it doesn't quite work as intended.
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27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2013
A tragedy, really. They left out the climax of the story! This wouldn't be so bad if they didn't flash to a time later on than the end, revealing some major plot points! I would definitely recommend buying the separate volumes (Court of Owls and City of Owls) just so you don't lose the cohesion of the story, which is excellent. If, on the other hand, you enjoy stuttering retellings of great stories, like having major plot points left unresolved, and the thought of summing up the climax of the story after the fact with no context makes you giddy, go ahead and get this!

Edit: After a little investigating I figure out what the deal was. Just so everyone knows, this collects the tie-ins for the Night of Owls only. If you want the actual story, go get the Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) and Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52), which I don't think are currently available. Why on earth you'd make all the tie-ins available before the actual story and why you'd call it "Batman Night of the Owls" when it is actually a collection (not even complete, I think it misses a few Nightwings and Old Westerns) of tie-ins is just beyond me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
I bought Court of Owls vol 1 & City of Owls vol 2 and assumed this would fill in some back story with other characters, as it advertises. I also assumed with would primarily be a Batman collection. I was disappointed to find that this collection reads as a cobbled together patchwork of issues from other story lines with very little cohesion throughout. DC should have done a better job describing this collection (what it is isn't bad, but it is not what I thought I was purchasing). And there were only a few actual Batman issues, issues which happen to already be included in hype two titles I mentioned above, so I found myself having to skip forward dozens of pages for fresh content.

Finally, while there were some gems of individual issues in this collection, many of them aren't memorable or high quality, in story or artwork.

All in all, I'm returning this collection: I hope more care is taken in describing the contents of DC collections.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
1 star is not the fault of Amazon, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, any creators involved in the story arc - everything they did in this book is stellar. I bought this in a local comic shop, but I shop on Amazon constantly so I felt that I needed to warn this community. Honestly, first of all, buy this anyway because its a great story. I share my disappointment with everyone else who has addressed the omitted issues (Batman #10 & #11), but if that was the only thing, I could honestly live with it. What earns my 1 star is on the publishing page of the book itself (again, it is correctly labeled in this Amazon listing no fault on them) where it reads, "Originally published in single magazine form in Batman 8-11 etc. etc.". That would be great if it were true, but the HC outright leaves out #10 and #11 and leaves you hanging on a back story about Alfred. This was either a major error in publishing or editing (or bad planning because if this book actually included 8-11 and the Mr. Freeze annual, City of Owls Vol. 2 would essentially be redundant). This is a terrific story though and the tie-ins are crucial IMO. If I just bought Court Vol. 1 and City Vol. 2, I definitely would have missed out on some great bat-family moments. I would give this a 5 star review if it included the last two books. I would give it 4 if the book was properly labeled on the publishing page.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
Having just finished reading my copy of this said book I must say that I am pleasantly surprised. I didn't really care at first how grand everything felt, given the multiple character arcs and timelines, but after a while I grew to appreciate the overall scale that was presented to me. This reminds me a lot of "Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps Wars" as you're given a bit from every major player in Gotham City but for the most part these stories aren't essential to the story that Scott Snyder started. Another plus, the book presents everything chronologically so readers aren't forced to play that fun game of "What goes where...?".

As the product does require you to read through a lot of different writers and artists you'll undoubtedly find a favorite or two and wish that the focus would be spent more on these arcs but the book does a good job of spreading the love around. While I praise this aspect I will say it is kind of annoying due to the fact that many of the arcs start up and we are treated to one or two issues before the proverbial rug is pulled beneath our feet. It's not the worst thing since it allows us to see just how many people are affected by this event but I would like to know how some of the arcs finish up, given that not all of them end squeaky clean. I should add that I do not follow all of these series. There were a few of these series that I was pretty lost out on given the small innuendos and references but it doesn't stop you from keeping up with general plot of each issue.

The first review on this item really says it all, and with a minimal amount of spoilers too, so there's really not much to follow up on that hasn't been said. I will point out that, yes there is part of Scott Snyder's work in book but not the complete arc. That is the one thing I have found most people have asked about so I'd like to just highlight that you'll get into the story and then at the end you may be like "Wait, where's the main story...?". Not the right book if you didn't know, that would be "City of Owls" which is released in March. If all you're interested in is Scott Snyder's main story then avoid this book. Think of this book as all those tie-ins they typically associate with a big DC event, only more of an appetizer sampler as not all of the stories get the full finish.

Again, I was pretty well surprised after finishing this. I knew that I wasn't going to get the whole main story but it was a nice touch to see as much of Snyder's writing as there was. So, as long as you go into this book knowing what you're getting it's a pretty good time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2013
A number of reviews have said this book is inessential to the sequence that begins with "Court of Owls." Correct, but I'd go further. Although there's some fun stuff here, it's a real momentum killer, filled with repetitive, finally dull, iterations of the same basic action sequence, and containing a couple of issues that overlap with the essential "City of Owls." If you desperately need a Batman fix, there are pleasures amid the dross - but save this until after you've read the pure Snyder stuff. Snyder is a novelist; if you read his books in sequence, from "Court of Owls" to "City of Owls" to "Batman: Death of the Family" (to say nothing of the unconnected but still essential "Black Mirror"), you'll find this thrilling. If you interject "Night of the Owls" between "Court" and "City," you'll find the series intermittently brilliant, hindered by a fatuous middle section. If you're interested in Batman, you should read the three Snyder volumes - he can be a great writer, and, if he doesn't change the terms of the Batman universe like Neal Adams, Alan Moore, Loeb, and Grant Morrison did/have, he belongs in this exalted company nonetheless. In fact, he might be the only one of this group who can write a mystery that's mysterious and a horror story that's horrifying - and he really gets Batman. In short - you won't regret this book, probably. Just don't read it in sequence, or you'll dilute the effect of Snyder's almost perfect graphic novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2013
The product itself is subpar because it mixes essential/background stories with mere fluff and removes them from the actual storyline, which is told in Batman Vol 1 and Vol 2, subtitled the Court of Owls and City of Owls. Night of Owls should be your third purchase after these two, and only if you really want to see what other characters after being briefly mentioned in the real storyline. I wouldn't recommend it to trade paperback readers or casual fans, and dislike that it was advertised as being an integral part of the storyline, which it was not.

As a single story, this trade is disjointed and bounces from character to character and really doesn't work as a whole story because of the nature of the weekly publishing of comic books and tie-ins.
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