Batman #10 Review
- Published on Friday, 15 June 2012 05:46
- Written by Kevin
There is a lot to be said about how excellent Scott Snyder’s latest run on Batman has been. Snyder just continues to roll out the best comic DC currently is putting out on the stands. The whole Night of Owls story has been absolutely fascinating as Batman continues his fight against the Court of Owls. With Batman finally deciding to take the fight directly to the Court in the last issue I have high expectations for Batman #10? Can Snyder exceed my expectations for this issue? Let’s find out.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Inker: Jonathan Glapion
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At the most expensive private estates in Gotham City, owned by Joseph and Maria Powers, Batman has cornered Mrs. Powers and reveals that he knows that she and her husband are part of the Court of Owls. (Does this make Batman Beyond’s Derek Powers officially in-continuity?) He angrily asks Mrs. Powers where her husband is, while crushing his Court of Owls mask in her face. She just tells Batman that he better leave the city. Batman walks away saying that if he was her she better enjoy the view.
Gliding through the city, Batman is called by Alfred who informs him that his scare tactic worked as Mrs. Powers is calling her husband. Alfred is able to track it to a blackout zone in around Irvington. That is all Batman needs as it sparks a childhood memory of searching for the Court of Owls at Harbor Manor located on 77 Irvington.
When he arrives at Harbor Manor, Batman breaks down the door and begins his search for the Court. He enters the ballroom to find a large dining room table with various members of the Court of Owls dead.
The next morning, Alfred tells Bruce that he has a meeting to attend to but Bruce is just distracted by the dead Court of Owls members. He says it does not make sense that they would take their lives. Alfred says that Bruce saw the autopsy reports and that even if the Court is bigger than they think he will bring them to justice eventually. Alfred then brings up the subject of Bruce thinking that the Court is responsible for his parents death when he was younger. (Oh crap, is Snyder trying to get fanboys and fangirls to rage about changing Bruce Wayne’s origin?)
Bruce tries to brush this off but Alfred says that when the time comes Bruce will find the answers he is looking for. As Bruce begins to get ready he sees a portrait of his parents which suddenly lights the bulb in his head. Bruce rushes off and tells Alfred to cancel his meeting. (Bruce is like one big kid, in one ear and out the other)
As Batman, Bruce travels to the closed down Willowwood Home for Children that was once a hospital to help kids with mental illness. He opens up a door and declares that he has arrived. As soon as he does he is captured by a net. Out comes the supposedly dead Lincoln March. Lincoln ask Bruce (directly calling him Bruce and not Batman) who is he. Bruce says that he is a puppet that the Court used and that Lincoln March never existed.
“March” says that’s good but he did not answer his question of who Bruce thinks he is. Bruce says he was once a patient of the hospital. “March” says he is getting closer but has yet to answer his question. Bruce then brings up the story “March” once told him about the pin and thinks of his mother, Martha Wayne. “March” says that is very good and reveals that he is the unknown son of the Wayne’s, Thomas Wayne Jr., and the brother Bruce forgot he had.
The now revealed Thomas Wayne Jr. reveals that he was put in the hospital by “their” parents because he was born early and with a condition they hoped the hospital would help overcome. Unfortunately because of their death, that was all by coincidence and not the Court’s doing, Jr. was forgotten in the hospital until the Court found him. He then says that the Court built a suit that is supposed to be superior from the Batman suit and begins to put it on. Bruce thinks he is out of his mind and the two newly revealed brothers charge at one another in a battle of Owl vs. Bat. End of issue
The Good: The time for answers is now and Scott Snyder has begun to do just that. All the while, he continues to leave us as the reader guessing what is going to happen next. Batman #10 is yet another example of Snyder’s complete understanding of Batman’s world. It all leads to a comic that has excellent pacing as the suspense of what the big reveal is at the end continues right until the last page punches you in the face with excitement.
Getting the biggest thing out of the way, I was extremely glad that Scott Snyder revealed that the Court of Owls were not involved in the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. It was not that I was glad that the change did not happen, because I trust Snyder to have done it right and this is a new universe that Batman exists in. Plus, this is comics and origins get updated with tweaks all the time, see Action Comics.
But the reason I was glad it was not change was because Snyder went in a different direction and expanded on the aftermath of this random event. Though we have seen how there has been a domino effect from Thomas and Martha Wayne’s death it never has felt as fully fleshed out as it does in this Court of Owls Saga.
Batman #10 fully fleshes out what effect these deaths had directly as it lead Bruce to begin his amateur investigation as a kid. Bruce mentioning that he learned about the Court as kid, pre-Batman training, shows that there is so much more to the story. There is now this unknown rich history that will be exciting to explore in the future with an Untold Tales of Bruce Wayne-type comic.
Which is how the back-up story weaves in nicely as we do see how the Court of Owls have been involved with Gotham City for far longer than Bruce thought. The whole idea behind the Court has been fascinating because they are a shadow organization that even when a group of them dies, as what happened in this issue, there are still an unknown number of members anywhere in Gotham and in the world active at one time.
What was also great about this issue is that we were able to again see how Bruce’s own obsessive drive as Batman is both his greatest strength and weakness. On one hand, he is able to use this drive he has to be the ultimate badass that can get an answer out of anyone. This is clear with the opening scene where he is able to intimidate Maria Powers to the point that she has to call her husband as soon as Batman leaves. It was such a great scene where we are able to see that cool factor that only Batman has.
Then we see that Bruce as someone that does now Gotham City better than anyone as he is able to figure out where the Court is meeting with Alfred mention of the blackout zone. Even in his narrow focus of taking down the Court of Owls he is able to recall all his training and preparation to help him out.
At the same time, it is this drive that has caused him to make mistakes. In his need to be prepared and know everything Bruce can be blinded to what is in front of him. It is what makes the character human, which is often forgotten with writers and fans. As much as Batman is seeing as a God in the DC Universe because of his involvement in the JLA and one of the Trinity the one behind the mask is still human. And because of that he will make the same mistakes we all make when we become obsessed with something.
That is exactly what Snyder shows throughout this issue. The scene between Bruce and Alfred was a great example of how this may be his weakness because even though Bruce was hearing what Alfred was saying he was not listening. He is so obsessed with finding the answers himself he will block out others help. He is so narrow focus because of how personal the Court of Owls have made things that he overlooks the help Alfred tries to provide in this issue and characters like Nightwing have tried to do in past issues.
This all lead to the big revelation of this issue as the person we have known as Lincoln March is not only revealed as a former patient of a closed down disabled institution but the forgotten son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Now, I am not completely sure that he will officially be turned into being Bruce’s brother. What I do know is that it is exciting to think of the possibilities of what happens next with this reveal.
Why? Because of how Bruce reacted to “Thomas Wayne Jr.” making this statement. Both Snyder and Capullo perfectly framed Bruce face in the Batman mask as one of anger and shock. It was a fine balance to create but they did it and it made the entire sequence that much more suspenseful. This makes the final battle between the supposed brothers that much more important, adding more to the rivalry of the Owl vs. Bat theme.
I have to give Greg Capullo credit for his continued improvement in his artwork. With each issue his artwork has gotten better and better. This is specifically the case with his massive improvement in how he draws characters out of costume. He has always done a good job drawing Batman and others in costume. What he has had problems is drawing people but he really nailed it in this issue with Bruce’s deadpan expression and Alfred’s worried look. It makes the story that much better as there is more of balance between the strong artwork for both the in and out of the cowl sequences.
The Bad: I have no complaints for this issue.
Overall: Batman #10 takes the Night of the Owls event to another level as Scott Snyder delivers big revelations to both the reader and Batman. There is no point to predicting what is going to happen next with this Court of Owls Saga. This is one of those stories that has just been incredibly fun to just sit back and enjoy the intense ride Snyder has us on. I just wish we got Batman #11 next week because I am on the edge of my seat to find out how this story ends. If you have not been reading Batman I highly recommend going back and picking up this comic in trade format.
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:
Twitter: KevinL007Formspring: KevinL007