Friday, October 18, 2013

Booknote: Scott Snyder's First Two Volumes of Batman (The New 52)

Scott Snyder, Batman, Vol 1: The Court of Owls. New York: DC Comics, 2012.

Scott Snyder,, Batman, Vol. 2: The City of Owls. New York: DC Comics, 2013.

Warning: There are some minor spoilers in this review. If you prefer to skip the review now, just know that I do recommend this series.

I recently finished reading the first two volumes of Scott Snyder's run on Batman, part of DC's The New 52 series. In Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls and Batman, Vol. 2: The City of Owls, Snyder delivers a solid story that fans will appreciate, and a story that is accessible to new readers as well. In that sense it goes well with the New 52, which is basically DC's reboot of their major franchises to bring in new readers (and eliminate or counter those pesky continuity problems hardcore readers tend to dwell on). Snyder gives us a story that delves deep not only into the Batman legend but also into the history of Gotham City. I personally found fascinating the story of Gotham and the Wayne family in the 19th century and its connection to the current day city.

In the first volume, we begin to learn about the Court of Owls, a secret cabal that controls the city of Gotham from behind the scenes. Are they just a legend? The stuff of nursery rhymes? Batman Seems to think so, yet there is an assassin out there killing some of Gotham's VIPs, and the assassin bears the signs of the court. Dismissive initially, Batman does find that the court exists and that their assassin is a force to be reckoned with. The Dark Knight barely defeats the assassin and escapes, but the threat is not over.

In the second volume, the court sets its sights on Gotham. It turns out that the assassin Batman defeated is only one of many. Batman and his allies now have their hands full. Will they be able to defeat this army of Talons (as the assassins are called) and save Gotham? You will have to read to find out.

Snyder created a story with suspense and depth. This is the kind of story I would say should be made into a film, but I am afraid that Hollywood would mess it up. So enjoy reading it, and do enjoy the excellent artwork by Greg Capullo on pencils and Jonathan Glapion on ink. Their artwork, along with FCO's coloring, bring the suspenseful tale of Gotham's past and present, its secret history, to life. The Wayne family's secrets are also now in the open, but you'll have to read the book to find out what the secrets are. This is a set that I definitely recommend. I recently learned there is a third compilation, and I look forward to reading it soon.

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