Thursday, 14 June 2012

Comic Spot: Batman Vol. 1 - The Court of Owls

Produced: DC                                       Issues: 1 to 6
Writer: Scott Snyder                           Artist: Greg Capullo

Following his groundbreaking, critically acclaimed run on DETECTIVE COMICS, writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) begins a new era of The Dark Knight with artist Greg Capullo and a new beginning for BATMAN! In this hardcover collection of the first six issues, a series of brutal murders rocks not only Gotham City to its core but also the Caped Crusader himself when the prime suspect is one of Batman's closest allies – Dick Grayson!

DC has recently 'rebooted' many of their famous series, taking all those known superheroes like Superman, Green Lantern, Flash and of course Batman back to issue #1. A controversial move, but one felt among many as a way to introduce these beloved heroes to a new generation. And I couldn't agree more, because there's nothing more off-putting than picking up Superman #720 and thinking 'What have I missed?' With comic book heroes regularly smashing the Box Office and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises movie just around the corner, I thought I'd review the rebooted Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls.

Now, starting at issue #1 doesn't mean you get Batman from the VERY beginning - what you get instead is a great starting point to join this amazing series. I wouldn't say that no prior knowledge is needed but if you've seen a movie with the Caped Crusader before, especially Christopher Nolan's fantastic take, you'll know more than enough to enjoy and appreciate this graphic novel.

The plot of Batman Vol. 1 revolves around a mysterious new group called 'The Court of Owls' who have appeared with a plan to assassinate Bruce Wayne. As Batman, he investigates and finds they might not be as new as they seem. Scott Synder does an absolutely fantastic job writing for the series, as it has more than enough to cater for new and old fans alike. The opening is perfectly presented as in the first chapter/issue you're introduced to the past, the present and the future of Gotham City as well as the key characters of the series.

What I liked about Batman Vol.1 is the strong presence of Bruce Wayne. The Batman series is as much about him and his family's influence in Gotham as it is the Dark Knight, and this features heavily in this story line. If you've not read a Batman comic book before, you might not know that there's a lot of brilliant detective work in the series and Snyder's Batman lives up to his title of 'World's Greatest Detective'. There's still the superb action scenes that comes from protecting Gotham but there's also some very nice scenes of Sherlock Holmes-esque deduction, which for me is why Batman is easily the best comic book character ever created.

Greg Capullo does an outstanding job with the art and I cannot praise enough his take on the Dark Knight. Many have drawn the Caped Crusader over the years, but Capullo's art is what Batman should be - dark and striking but still comic book. From the expansive architecture of Gotham City, through the dark and disturbing face of the underworld to the faces of the citizens without masks, he really encapsulates what Gotham City is.

My favourite part of all though, is when the pages change layout as you follow a character trapped in a maze - first like a flipback book, top to bottom, then it rotates completely around (upside down). This, coupled with the fantastically strange art, is a very clever device emphasising Batman's slow decent into madness. The art truly shines in Batman Vol. 1 - The Court of Owls and their assassin, The Talon, look stunning and is instantly one of the best enemies of Batman.

I'm more than impressed with the DC's New 52 Batman, and The Night of Owls story line is easily one of the best Batman plots of recent years. From reading the comics individually, I can tell you it only gets better as the series continues. This is a definite read for anyone who's seen a movie, but is yet to enjoy the Dark Knight in his role as the 'Worlds Greatest Detective' in the form he was born in back in 1939.

Find out about Comic Spot or purchase Batman Volume 1 from Amazon.


  1. I can't wait for the new movie!! *-*
    I'm anew gfc follower, btw. :)

  2. Batman VS Superman free movie full movie


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