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Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) Hardcover – May 15, 2012
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“This is one of the best comics of the week.”
—The New York Times
“[Writer Scott Snyder] pulls from the oldest aspects of the Batman myth, combines it with sinister-comic elements from the series’ best period, and gives the whole thing terrific forward-spin by setting up an honest-to-gosh mystery for Batman to solve.”
“Scott Snyder, already the company's greatest asset over the last four weeks, spins a stack of plates immediately…. Too often Batman comics focus heavily on the hero persona … Snyder sets up equal amounts of conflict for both Wayne's public and private personas.”
—Time Out Chicago
“A stunning debut…. Snyder knows these characters, sets up an intriguing mystery, and delivers some action that Capullo realizes stunningly. This is definitely in the top rank of the revamp.
—The Onion AV Club
“Hits all the right notes. I enjoyed the living hell out of this.” – io9
“Bruce Wayne is a badass. The end.”
—IGN, 9.5 Rating
“A+. Incredible tone and enough twists, turns and character appearances to keep us hooked.”
“There's enough here, kept at a high enough level to make it interesting and viable across media and digestible enough for even the most novice DC Universe reader…. Score one for DC and score one for Snyder and Capullo in finding a new fan.”
—Comic Book Resources
Q&A with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
Q: What is it like working on a huge initiative like The New 52?
Scott Snyder: For me it was exciting because we were given the opportunity to work on characters we love with no restrictions. So if the best story meant making changes to a character's history, there was flexibility to do so. With an imitative this big, seeing how many new readers came to the table to read comics after having lapsed, or never having read one at all, was a real thrill.
Q: What would you say defines the characters you are working on?
SS: For Batman, what defines him is his relentless determination, which is both his most heroic quality and his most pathological. For Swamp Thing, I'd say what defines him is his inability to give up his humanity even when he's at his most monstrous.
Q: What stories or creators inspire you most when working on your character?
SS: For Batman, I have my favorites: Dark Knight Returns and Year One, but it's hard to only pick a couple because he's a character who grew up alongside me, where the kinds of stories that were being told about him were becoming more sophisticated and complex right as I was coming of age. And now the fun thing is that I have a five-year-old son and I get to fall in love with some of the tamer versions of Batman all over again.
Q: Do you keep up with any of the other New 52 books? Which ones and why?
SS: My favorite of The New 52 would have to be Animal Man by Jeff Lemire, who is also one of my closest friends. And I'm really excited to be a part of everything happening in Gotham between Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Nightwing, and all the great books in our neighborhood. I particularly like All-Star Western for its interesting mix of old west and gothic horror.
Q: Has social media and increased direct interaction with DC Comics' fans changed your writing/drawing approach at all in regards to The New 52?
SS: It hasn't changed my writing approach; it has made me appreciate how much the fans love these characters. I always knew it, but seeing the responses online through Twitter and Facebook is overwhelming and inspirational. It's like being at a con all the time. I brought my wife to her first con last year and when I asked her what she thought, she said--and I was nervous to hear her response--that she was really moved by how passionate the fans were about these characters, and I feel the same way.
Q: When it comes to writing Batman, are you distinguishing this version from the previous one? Is your approach to the character different than the pre-New 52 Batman?
SS: No, my version of Batman is as different as the version that came before, just like every version is, because the truth is, the only way to write a character as iconic as Batman is to accept that you're going to have to make him your own, almost as if you were writing fan fiction and no one is ever going to read it. If I started thinking of all the amazing versions of the character that have come before, I would be paralyzed.
Q: You and Jeff Lemire tend to Twitter war each other often. How has this affected you when it comes to writing Swamp Thing and its ties to Animal Man?
SS: For me, our Twitter war is fun because while we insult each other online, usually we are texting each other offline, laughing about the whole thing. Jeff is one of the creators who inspire me the most for his sense of story and his dedication to characters.
Q: Greg, what's it like for you to work on the iconic Bat-Family and Batman villains? You even redesigned the Batman Rogues in the very first issue!
Greg Capullo: Well, everyone has probably heard me say by now that I first drew Batman and Robin when I was four years old. My mom has it somewhere. It was crude, but clear who they were, so to be drawing them professionally all these years later is really cool. I can tell you that I'm super excited to be drawing Batman and, though I admit to being a bit jaded, I was never so nervous (except for maybe my first work for Marvel) as when DC asked me to relaunch Batman from issue no. 1. Terrifying, is what it was. Especially being that I was aware of some of the fear out there that I was going to be turning Batman into Spawn, as I'd worked for years on that book. I really felt like an underdog. I was always confident (after the nerves settled) that those fears would be replaced with joy. I mean, I love Batman the same as you. I don't want to mess him up!
The Rogues, Ah, the Rogues. Well, they weren't really redesigns. I guess to some extent they were. But, they were locked up in Arkham. So, it was more like: what ways might a prisoner come up with to maintain his or her persona behind bars? That became the question. Speaking of, how about the Riddler's mohawk? HA! I think some Batman fans actually wanted to lynch me for giving him that! The Joker was the closest I got to a redesign. I'd love to get my hands on him for a story arc!
Q: The New 52 introduces a younger universe of heroes and I think your art very much reflects that. Is this a conscious thought when you're working on the title?
GC: Absolutely. I was given the characters' ages up front. Some complained that I draw Bruce and the family too young. The fact is I'm drawing them exactly as the powers that be want them to appear. As a professional, you want to give the client, in this case DC, what it is they're looking for. However, I listen very closely to the fans. After all, without them, we're nowhere. I've tried to make subtle changes based on what some of them were saying. My hope at the end of the day is that everyone will be pleased, even though that is completely impossible. Still, I'll always try. Now, I'm off to the Bat Cave to draw me some more Batman!
Top Customer Reviews
The story and art are both essential components of comics and graphic novels, and each is discussed in this review.
The story is engaging and very interesting. It starts with a bang, with Batman facing off against several members of his Rogues Gallery, a move which draws in long time readers and for newcomers, firmly establishes Batman as a physical force. After that, the reader is immersed in Bruce Wayne's high society, and just that easily, the dual nature of the main character is established. From there, writer Scott Snyder starts up with his own new plotline, in which he turns the history of Gotham City on its head, creating an all-new threat. The Batman faces a foe who always seems one step ahead, and who is a physical match. The pacing with which Snyder develops his story is fantastic, and readers will be swept along for the ride.
Greg Capullo's artwork is truly beautiful. Capullo captures emotion and action with great ease, and his drawing is truly art. It will sound strange to make this distinction, but while I was absolutely blown away by the Batman scenes, whether action or in conversation, I was somewhat underwhelmed with the out of costume art, specifically the fact that Bruce Wayne looks almost identical to another character in the book, and Wayne's younger wards look so similar as to be drawings of a younger Bruce Wayne. Given the skill with which Capullo draws, I am sure this was intentional, but it was pretty much the only thing about the book which was anything less than spectacular.
By the end of the book, I was excited to read more, and see where else the team of Snyder and Capullo would take the characters. At the end of the day, isn't that the way such a book should be judged?
The set came with Volume One of "The Court of Owls" storyline in the New 52.. Granted, I already OWN The Court of Owls Volume One, and two, and three...but I still couldn't resist this set. I mean, it's not like I'm actually going to open it..
I'm really glad I purchased this because it's impossible to not glance at every time I step in the bedroom. I LOVE my little owl, and of course....THE BATMAN! (I purchased this myself!)
This story revolves around Bruce in his attempt to revitalize Gotham City with the support of an unlikely ally, mayoral candidate Lincoln March. But as Bruce garners more support in his task, his alter ego seems to face increased resistance through a new, more resilient force once thought to be a myth of Gotham.
Snyder is a great writer, and he introduces a great new villain that I would hope to see again at some point and his characterization is always accurate. Batman has always been the victim his own personality, and is really only made interesting through his supporting cast (Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, etc.), but under Snyder's pen, he is slightly less one-dimensional. He has the occasional quip in battle, and he seems smarter and wiser, though also more human (as he is not always prepared for everything). I don't mind that Snyder can be wordy, as his writing is so fluid that it isn't tedious to read.
Capullo's art is good, great at times, even. I like his clean lines and his elegant Batman (he is strong and powerful, but he never looks unrealistically proportioned); his drawing of the Court of Owls has a definite eeriness to it and his overall layouts are great.
However, one issue I have with the pencils is that so many male characters look the same in the face. Often times I could only differentiate Dick Grayson from Bruce Wayne by their relative heights, and in scenes with Bruce and Lincoln March I kept finding myself double checking previous panels to ensure I knew which was which.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a huge Bat man fan. I really enjoyed this comic. It's got a great storyline and great characters. Really great read.Published 3 days ago by Brandon B.
Actually, i think this is one of the best stories in the new 52 about Batman. Gotham city takes his own role as a character. You'll love this.Published 9 days ago by M. Sandoval
A great story, with a great reboot of old characters. Interesting from start to finish! Can't wait to read the next one in the series!Published 14 days ago
Batman has been better represented in the past. I have been reading Batman for 40 years, and I would say he peaked when written by the likes of McFarland and Miller. Read morePublished 16 days ago by P. K. Butler
First off. The mask is a nice thing to go to masquerades with, or just cosplaying. I saw some reviews about the book being torn in some pages, so I checked first. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Z. Lopez
Everything came on time and in great condition. Mask would not make a great mask to wear around but is awesome on display with your collection of comics/ collectibles.Published 22 days ago by Adam Fetrow