Batman and Robin 23.2
Special “Villains Month” Title: Court of Owls 1
James Tynion IV, Jorge Lucas
Forever Evil Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The Villains Month issue of Batman and Robin (actually more of a Talon tie-in) was what I have come to expect from writer James Tynion IV. It’s dark, creepy, and truly evil. Though he is a relative newcomer, he’s starting to pave his own path and step out from the shadow of Scott Snyder. Current stories being told in Red Hood and the Outlaws and Talon are proving that he really is the star that Snyder saw when he brought him on board to do the backup stories in the main Batman title. And though he is still honing his craft and has a few hiccups along the way in a lot of his first stories, there are two undeniable truths that we the fans have learned from him over the last couple of years: He knows how to do short stories in comics and he knows how to write a good villain. So, needless to say, this was a fantastic issue for him to spotlight both of his greatest talents.
The story is told from the point of view of two members of the Court of Owls, a father and daughter. The events of Forever Evil have created an unsafe Gotham City (even for the Owls), so they are retreating and going into hiding until the streets are safe again. But these two are taking it upon themselves to go a step further and ensure that the future belongs to the Court. They are going deep into the catacombs of their lair, recounting tales of Talons past as if they were bedtime stories. Upon entering the inner sanctum, the daughter shows her true colors and savagely murders a would-be betrayer, showing her father that she too has what it takes to save Gotham City from itself. We then get to see their final contingency plan come into play as they come upon the tomb of the deadliest and first Talon, whom they will obviously release onto the world. God help us all.
Completely worth the extra dollar for the awesome cover. And Tynion is a rock star, so if you’re not planning on following his story into the pages of Talon (shame on you), you should probably just pick this issue up for the nice one-and-done storytelling. The only regret I have as a reader is the artwork. It serves its purposes and obviously isn’t so distracting that it ruins the comic, but it’s sad to see such a great script severely lessened by an artist whose work is too dark and too gritty to the point where it’s actually kind of hard to tell what’s going on. Needless to say, you (much like I did) will get over it. The story’s that good.
My Rating: 4.5/5