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Tag Archive: Nightwing


Review by C.J. Bunce

The third book in the new series of hardcover novels based on Batman stories from DC Comics, following The Killing Joke (reviewed earlier here at borg) and the Harley Quinn story Mad Love (reviewed here) is on its way to your comic book shop and other bookstores.  The Court of Owls is relatively new to Batman and DC Comics.  It’s a storyline that emerged from the New 52, the big DC reboot from seven years ago, created in the pages of Batman comics from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.  Just as DC was re-creating origin stories and restarting some story lines for various characters, The Court of Owls became the latest subversive crime unit, a mix of a secret society like Skull & Bones and the mid-century Mob, infiltrating every part of Gotham City, controlling everything from the police to the banks, business, and the government.  It was an entirely new creation, so Snyder was challenged with establishing a foundation of events no reader had encountered in Batman’s then 72 years, but thenceforth became a part of established Gotham City history and lore.  This is the focus of a new novel edition of the storyline, Batman: The Court of Owls, written by tie-in author Greg Cox.

People are catching fire, human spontaneous combustion style, across Gotham.  As Bruce Wayne aka Batman investigates with Commissioner Gordon, it becomes clear crime scene information is similar to crimes of record from Batman’s past sleuthing.  An element is common among the remains, tying these deaths to a secret society that Batman previously encountered and confronted in the underground Labyrinth lair–The Court of Owls.  The Court of Owls consists of a small but far-reaching group of the wealthy and powerful who meet in secret and wear a sort of Eyes Wide Shut face mask system, and their henchmen, called Talons, also wear masks, and possess unnatural regenerative qualities.  They are fierce and possibly unbeatable.  Enter the missing Joanna Lee, rescued in a shoot-out in Gotham years ago by Batman, she was an art history student studying a historic Gotham sculptor when she vanished.  As Bruce, butler Alfred, and ally Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon piece together the history of the city and this sculptor’s strangely pervasive art, they learn the impossible has happened: This 19th century artist created works depicting future events decades before they happened.  What they have in common opens up a past that was in front of Bruce Wayne all his life.

As a standalone novel, Batman: The Court of Owls is a solid, worthy Batman story, a complete adventure that doesn’t require much prior knowledge from the reader.  It’s not an adaptation of the New 52 story, but incorporates various elements from the original, comic book version of The Court of Owls story, plus elements from related stories, Night of the Owls, City of the Owls, Fall of the Owls, and Scourge of the Owls

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Young Romance one-shot cover

DC Comics went retro for Valentine’s Day this year releasing the first issue of the classic Young Romance comic book title in literally decades, a title that started its own sub-genre more than sixty years ago.  For the new DC Comics New 52 that means six stories in an anthology of young love for the 21st century, superhero-style.  So this adds Young Romance to other long-lost classic titles recently resurrected for the New 52, including All Star Western, Mystery in Space, G.I. Combat and Worlds Finest.  Maybe it’s time for DC Comics to keep those trademarks in order?  No matter, the February 2013 issue of Young Romance does what it needs to, featuring personal glimpses of key characters Catwoman, Batgirl, Aquaman and Mera, Apollo and Midnighter, Nightwing, and Superman and Wonder Woman.

Catwoman and Batman in Young Romance

Young Romance features work by a slate of top DC Comics creators.  The best of these is Ann Nocenti and Emanuela Lupacchino’s look at Catwoman’s first encounter with Batman in “Think it Through,” and Cecil Castellucci and Inaki Miranda’s Victorian ghost story tale of Aquaman and Mera in “The Lighthouse.”  Ray Fawkes and Julius Gopez offer a great looking Batgirl story with “Dreamer.”  “Seoul Brothers” features a story out of the Stormwatch series featuring Apollo and Midnighter written by Peter Milligan with art by Simon Bisley.  The Dick Grayson story “Another Saturday Night” was written by Kyle Higgins with art by Sanford Greene, and the Superman/Wonder Woman story “Truth or Dare” was written by Andy Diggle with art by Robson Rocha.

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