Batman #9 Review
- Published on Monday, 14 May 2012 01:00
- Written by Kevin
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Using the armor he created to fight in space, Batman is able to take on an army of Talons. Though he is able to use the various weapons to dispose of a dozen of Talons he soon becomes overpowered by how many Talons are attacking him. Thinking they have taken Batman out all of the Talons are attacked by Batman’s biggest guard dog, the robot T-Rex.
Even with the T-Rex fighting with him, Batman is still being overpowered. Batman tells Alfred to drop the temperature in the Batcave faster so the Talons freeze. At the same time, Batman locks the door so Alfred can’t leave the bunker for his own safety.
Batman finally launches his next plan by using a signal to call all the bats in the cave to attack the Talons. With the Talons distracted Batman takes off his armor and heads over to the Batmobile. He uses the Batmobile to run over the last remaining Talon and leaves the cave.
Driving through one of the Gates of Gotham Bridge, Batman asks Alfred what is going on with the targets on the Court of Owls list. Alfred informs him that while Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and the others have been able to save some of the people on the Court’s list there is already a number of casualties. Batman decides to head to the next two people on the Court’s list, Jeremiah Arkham (see Detective Comics #9 to read this part of the story) and Lincoln March.
Arriving at Lincoln March’s location, Batman finds March pointing a gun and calling out “Bruce Wayne.” He fires the gun much to Batman’s surprise and discovers a dead Talon. Lincoln tells Batman he has to deliver a message to Bruce Wayne. Handing Batman a note Lincoln tells Batman that the city is worth saving.
Alfred contacts Batman to let him know that the Talons in the cave are all contained. Batman says that now he is going to burn the Court of Owls house down. End of issue.
The Good: As things have continued to get worse for Batman as he deals with the Court of the Owls it only gets better for us as the reader. Batman #9 is a fine example of delivering strong action that further builds on the threat the Court of Owls and what state Batman is mentally.
The most impressive aspect of Batman #9 is how Scott Snyder is able to insert a lot of character work during Batman’s battle with the Talons. There is a roller coaster tone to all of the thoughts that run through Bruce Wayne’s head. From showing slight fear when one of the Talons sword pierces his armor to showing how he is always prepared by using the bats in the cave Snyder is able to give us a Bruce that is still in recovery.
The emotions that Bruce displays throughout this issue is what makes this story read much differently from other Batman stories. For once we actually see Bruce’s vulnerabilities during his fights. He is not just hiding behind the cowl anymore. By just showing fear in his eyes for one panel Snyder accomplishes more than what any physical injuries would have. It is one of the first times we see Batman, the hero that is supposed to be prepared for everything thrown at him, look desperate.
At the same time, Snyder makes sure that Batman is not overcome with the desperation he feels and still shows why he is never to be taken lightly. The use of the robotic T-Rex that has been in the cave forever as a trophy and the bats attacking were a great fanboy/fangirl moment for Snyder to throw into the fight.
Adding the slight touch of the Batman mentioning that the Waynes once used owls to kill the bats, which caused the bats to hide in the cave, was a nice way to continue the owl vs. bat theme of this story arc.
Now that the Court has officially attacked him at his home Batman is even more focused on taking the fight to the Court of Owls. That final moment of intensity with Batman after finding a dead Lincoln was the push the character needed. Now we have the added hook for Batman to do something he hasn’t done in his other battles with his Rogues Gallery.
The back-up story involving Alfred’s father was an interesting way to add some depth to the history between the Waynes and the Court of the Owls. Snyder and Tynion IV give the reader a nice tease that there is much more to Bruce’s family history than we ever knew. I look forward to seeing where Snyder and Tynion IV take this back-up and how Alfred’s family gets involved.
While I am not crazy about Greg Capullo’s artwork I do have to give him credit for drawing some great action sequences. With the issue taking place with the majority of the characters wearing masks the strength of Capullo’s artwork is able to shine. There is a good flow from panel to panel with all the action. Though the best moment is when Capullo draws the shocked moment Bruce has when his armor is pierced. It effectively got over the type of threat Bruce is dealing with in that one panel.
The Bad: As much as I liked Batman #9 the one minor problem I had with the issue is the lack of character interaction Batman has with the rest of the Batfamily. With Alfred having called the Batfamily to action getting to see some interaction between Batman and his family would have added more to the conflict of this mini-event. Outside of Alfred and Dick Grayson we have not seen much of a supporting cast for this series. The addition of some dialogue between the Batfamily would have added importance to all the fights going on around Gotham City.
Overall: Batman #9 was another strong issue of the Night of the Owls storyline. Scott Snyder has done an excellent job getting over the threat the Court of the Owls have brought to the entire city of Gotham. With the added motivation he gains in this issue it is going to be fun to see how far Batman will go as he takes the fight to the Court of Owls. The back-up was a nice icing on the cake that expands on the story being told in the main feature.
Kevin started reading comics as a kid when he watched the first episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. After that his parents bought him a few random Spider-Man and Batman comics and he has been hooked ever since. When he is not reading and writing about comics you can find Kevin as the destroyer of worlds, champion of fighting tournaments and ace Madden player on the PS3. You can catch up with Kevin and all his thoughts at the following links: