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5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Takes it to the Owls, April 4, 2013
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This review is from: Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52) (Hardcover)
This volume collects issues 8-12 and Batman Annual 1.

Bruce Wayne thought he knew Gotham City. The city he was born in. The city his parents died in. The city he became the Batman in. As the Batman he had to understand his city, know every nook and cranny in order to defeat the criminal element. Bruce felt he had that mastered. He was wrong. Enter the Court of Owls. Bruce dismissed them as just a myth but he was so wrong. They educated him on that and showed him just how much Gotham is their city. But now that the Bat knows of them and has suffered at their hands it's time to take the fight to them.

Let me first start off by saying what a great time it is to be a Batman fan. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo follow up the first volume in heart pounding fashion as they continue to prove they are one of the best writer/artist duos working in comics today. Wow!

Issue eight has Bruce licking his wounds back at Wayne manor with trusty Alfred by his side. They are hit and hit hard by an assault from the Court by their warrior class, the Talon's. It unfolds in great pulse pounding fashion a credit to writer and artist here as both men are forced into hiding in the Batcave. The backup feature follows appropriately here, co-written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, in which Bruce "suits up" to deal with the Talons as Alfred sends a distress call out to the other vigilantes of Gotham and members of the Bat-Family leading into Night of the Owls, a tie-in event that takes place across the various other Bat titles but you get the main story and all that is really important here.

Issue nine is the dark knight triumphant! Batman fights back in such brutality amazingly drawn by Capullo. Bruce had underestimated the Court but regains his confidence and sets out to take them down.

Next is the Annual. It is illustrated by Jason Fabok who is currently killing it on Detective Comics. This is a slight detour from the main story but not too jarring and plus who doesn't love an awesome Mr. Freeze story! Snyder gives good ole' Dr. Fries a New 52 remake that pays tribute to the classic Batman: The Animated Series origin but gives a few twists and surprises that make a satisfying and acceptable new origin. Also, Freeze has a bone to pick with the Court as well.

Issues ten and eleven have Batman hunting down the Court and sticking it to them. A huge revelation is made shaking up the Wayne's origins but I found it to be a fascinating addition to the Wayne mythos as no family is without their shocks and secrets. The main villain does get a little too chatty in the climax and the conclusion with Bruce and Dick drags a bit as well. Minor flaws that took some tension and intrigue out of the end.

The rest of the backups are then featured (9-11) illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque. A fascinating tale from Jarvis Pennyworth to his son Alfred warning him not to come to Gotham because the Wayne's are dangerous to be around.

Issue twelve is a stand alone issue that actually dips in and out, time wise, of the previous eleven issues. It features Harper Row a bit of a punk teenage girl with a good heart. She lives with her gay brother who she has to protect from bullies and is a tomboy as well. She crosses paths with the Batman and gives her life new purpose. The first part is illustrated by Becky Cloonan, the first woman to draw an issue of Batman and a great job she does. The second part is done by Andy Clark who is a guy who has drawn Batman before and does a great job as well.

Great art. Great story. Great Batman. Bring on Joker. Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
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