Are we overrating “Night of the Owls?”

HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE RECENTLY RELEASED “BATMAN #10.” SERIOUSLY, WE’RE DISCUSSING THE CONCLUSION OF “NIGHT OF THE OWLS”

I don’t want to really shit on Scott Snyder’s “Batman.” On the whole, its been a rightfully celebrated run on a landmark title. Snyder’s first arc, “The Court of the Owls,” is reaching its conclusion in the pages of his title and for many, this is the first exposure to a Batman monthly.

And that’s where I think the problem is. I can say with confidence that “Batman” is without a doubt one of the most consistent, impressive and well constructed books of the New 52. Its managed an impressively long and in depth storyline and has managed to be both a great entry point for new fans, as well as a great series for longtime readers.

I really think that this is part of why this run has been so critically beloved. The release of today’s issue #10 has received unanimous praise, with IGN giving it a rare 9.5 score. Much of their praise is heaped on the book’s big twist, which is the moment that really prompted me to write all of this.

To get it out of the way, Snyder reintroduces Earth 3’s Owlamn, a classic DC character who has long claimed to be Thomas Wayne Jr. Now, Bruce finds the court destroyed and a man, who once claimed to be mayoral candidate Lincoln March, in the metallic owl costume and claiming to be the long lost brother of Bruce Wayne.

In one way, I really love what Snyder did here (and I’m hardly mentioning what a great job penciller Greg Capullo did in visually setting up the revelation). Reintroducing long lost characters is one of the things that I love about comics because it rewards fans so much and allows for great revelations. Hell, its one of the few high points of “Blackest Night.” That being said, for new readers, the targets of the New 52 relaunch, this is just hopelessly hackneyed twist.

Now, I think that the twist does work both ways, its surprising but well designed and based in the plot rather than coming from nowhere and the conversation that Thomas and Bruce has is great, perfectly meshing with the art. My problem is it seems people are conditioned to be alright with the twist simply because the earlier issues of the series set the bar so high.

Like I said, I liked Batman #10 and I’ve liked the series as a whole. I’m just curious to see what y’all think. Are we giving this series far too much credit based on earlier content or is the twist even more well done than I assumed (it bears mentioning that Snyder has hinted that Thomas may not be telling the truth and that more twists are in store)? Sound off in the comments about issue 10, the mass suicide of the court or the Bat-family titles after Night of the Owls.

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One thought on “Are we overrating “Night of the Owls?”

  1. I actually rewatched the Owlman/Earth-3 episodes of BRAVE AND THE BOLD and started doing a little research on the Crime Syndicate for a thing I was writing and it was actually the first time I caught the Bat/Owl connection (I think Snyder mentioned it on his twitter feed so it was a nice set-up).

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