Monday, October 15, 2012

Batman: Court of Owls/Scott Snyder

Batman:  The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder (New 52 Batman v. 1); graphic novel; 176 pages

This is my first adventure into DC's New 52, and I have to say I'm a little confused.  The reboot saw dramatic changes in a lot of places in the DC 'verse, but Batman seems to have carried on right from Morrison's run on it a few years ago--Damian is still around (unfortunately), Dick is still Nightwing, Tim is still Red Robin.  Snyder even carried over a couple of the elements introduced in The Black Mirror, his pre-reboot story (the most noticeable are the face-changing electronic mask used by Batman & Co., and the appearance of James Gordon, Jr. in the background at Arkham).  The story here was good, and very, very creepy:  a shadowy secret society controls Gotham, and anyone who looks too closely into its affairs winds up dead by their pet assassin.  So of course, Batman has to investigate.  The climax of this book is creepy and disturbing, and I completely can't wait for the next collection!

I do have to raise a few complaints (all minor):  the art was excellent (the Owls themselves were super creepy), but for some reason, Dick Grayson seems to be drawn as a perpetual teenager, and a tiny one at that.  I get that Batman's a big guy, but Dick's got to be 25 at this point in the story (there have been three other Robins since him--I assume that part's unchanged), and he's his own superhero now.  So why is he drawn a good 18 inches shorter than Bruce in every panel in which they appear?  Unless Bruce is meant to be 7 feel tall, in which case no amount of disguising in the world is going to conceal his identity.  Other (itty bitty) complaints:  the nursery rhyme about the owls was off--the meter didn't fit the verses, and it kept tripping me up; also, Alfred makes a comment about his father telling him Gotham legends--why was Alfred's father, who I assume lived and died in England, telling him stories about Gotham legends? 

Anyway, despite my grousing, this was a fun read.  I'm looking forward to the next installment. 

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