Batman #11 Review
- Published on Thursday, 12 July 2012 06:05
- Written by Kevin
The Court of Owls Saga has been one of the best stories going right now. Scott Snyder has crafted ten Batman issues that have continuously surprised and left me excited to find out what happens next. Now we are finally to the end of the Court of Owls Saga with Bruce Wayne facing his supposedly long lost brother in Lincoln March, aka Thomas Wayne Jr. I am not sure if Lincoln is telling the truth or not but it should be fun to find out in this final fight in Batman #11. Let’s find out if this issue can live up to the hype.
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: The fight between Batman and Lincoln March (aka Thomas Wayne Jr.) begins. Batman quickly gains the advantage over his “brother” and telling him that he is done playing nice. With that said March gets serious and smashes Batman through a wall, rips off his cape and throws him through another wall. As Batman is falling he uses his grapple gun to pull March down with him.
This does not work as March activates his suit’s flight capabilities (so this has basically become a fight between Bruce Wayne vs. Tony Stark). With Batman still holding onto the grapple line March decides to take his “brother” for a ride through his Gotham City. The first place he takes Batman is to Crowne Tower, where March saw Wayne Towers through the reflection of the windows. He then drives Batman straight through the glass of the top floor of the building.
With Batman still holding on (because he is one tough son of a……gun) March takes him to a church and drives him through the roof of the church and straight into the church bell. (The bell got the worse out of that deal having to be hit by the God Damn Batman!)
March continues his rant by saying that Batman has finally seen his Reverse City where Bruce is the one that was exiled and that is full of traps that cause everyone to be forced to stay in Gotham. With that said March takes Batman to an airplane that is currently flying overhead and lets go of the grapple line. This causes Batman to enter one of the airplane’s propellers.
Barely able to hang on to the edge so he doesn’t get sliced into a million pieces, Batman is forced to listen to more of March’s ranting. March states that he was getting better and stronger as he watched Bruce watch over his kingdom instead of watching his back. Batman says that March should take his own advice. March turns around to see that Batman placed an explosive on his back and it explodes in the air. (If March was watching Bruce all this time he should of known that the Batman is ready for anything.)
Using the last of his power, Batman is able to climb up to the airplane’s wings only to let go and fall from the sky. As Batman admires how great Gotham looks from above he directly falls into the new Wayne building that is under construction with only his last grapple line able to slow his fall onto the top floor. (Damn, I think Batman better start taking some flying lessons from Superman. That was not a graceful fall.)
As Batman tries to recover March arrives and picks up Batman. March is done playing around and decides to use the new Wayne Tower Bruce meant to be the center of the city as the tomb for the two of them. He places explosives around the building and as he rants again Batman is able to poke March’s eyes out as the explosives set off. With all the explosions going off and the building collapsing Batman runs to the lowest floor as fast as possible and is barely able to make it outside before he is entombed by the building. (He ran so fast that the Flash is even jealous.)
Sometime later, Bruce is in a wheelchair recovering from all his injuries and talking to Commissioner Gordon. Gordon informs Bruce of what happened and that they could not find a body anywhere. Just then Dick Grayson walks in, trying to pay Bruce back for the punch from before.
After being asked to explain what happened Bruce tells Dick that he is still trying to figure everything out but he has moved the Talons that are in stasis into same locations, though they still have to find the ones that got away. (I smell a lead in to the Talon ongoing.) Satisfied with what Bruce tells him Dick is about to leave but Bruce asks him to stay.
Bruces asks Dick if heard about what he learned from Lincoln March. Dick says that Alfred told him about it but he wants to hear the story from Bruce. Bruce explains to Dick that his mother was indeed pregnant with his brother and that after an accident she miscarried with the baby only living for 12 hours before dying. He goes on to say that the pin that Martha was wearing in the picture was given to her as a token of appreciation for all the charity events she attended. This is where Lincoln came to believe he was the lost brother of Bruce and that the Court or some other person may have brainwashed Lincoln into believing he was the lost Wayne child. Unfortunately, Bruce says that he will not know with 100% certainty if Lincoln was lying or telling the truth as he needs DNA to prove any conclusion.
Bruce then tells Dick that what Dick’s great-grandfather said about it being his destiny as a Talon and the Bruce saved him from that path was a lie. Bruce says that though Dick had the potential to be Talon but that is not what he was meant to do. He then says that it was not he that saved Dick from the dark path but Dick that saved him from that path, which makes Dick not want to punch him for now at least.
Bruce then says that Gotham City was never Batman or the Court but all of them together and that he will always watch over the city. End of issue.
The Good: The first thing that came to mind when I got to the final page of the main story was “Wow!” What Scott Snyder was able to do with Batman #11, and the entire Court of Owls Saga for that matter, was to create an epic story within an ongoing series. The driving force where the characters with the action playing a secondary role. If it wasn’t for one problem I would say that this was a perfect ending.
As with the entire Court of Owls Saga, the backbone of Batman #11 is Bruce Wayne and his mission to protect Gotham City. Snyder continuously shows us how great Bruce’s drive to protect his city is through all the punishment Bruce took throughout the issue. No matter how much pain Bruce was in he was able to fight through it and still make the moves that would get him the upper hand in his fight with the delusional Lincoln March.
Even when he was outmatched there is a sense of anticipation as to how exactly Bruce will get himself out of the beating he is given. Just as Batman was barely able to hold on to the edge of the plane he reveals to Lincoln that he put a small explosive on his back at the beginning of the fight. It’s as close to a jump out of your seat moment as there is in comics. It was just awesome to see how Batman is always thinking 10 steps ahead and Snyder again shows this side of the character.
At the same time, Lincoln March proved to be a great challenge for Batman. Even with how many times Batman thought Lincoln was finished Lincoln would just return. There was a cool Terminator vibe to Lincoln’s character throughout the issue as everything Batman did looked like it barely fazed him. This Terminator vibe from Lincoln added to the whole psychology of the fight.
With just how much punishment Lincoln goes through himself it gets you wondering if this is one of the times Batman will actually lose. Even if it was for a split second Snyder is able to get the idea in my head that our hero would lose. Credit goes to the art for this part as Greg Capullo and his team is able to frame various shots to have an added dramatic tone to give you the idea that this was the end.
What I loved about Lincoln’s character in this issue and made him much different from a regular villain that rants is how he was able to continuously prove himself as huge threat. All of the ranting and overconfidence that Lincoln does in this issue is backed up by the brutal beating through Gotham City he gives Batman. It was a good change of pace as Snyder made Lincoln a villain that has a lot to say and will get his hands dirty at the same time.
Even though Lincoln looks to be out of the picture for a while after the building collapsing on top of him Lincoln’s body was not found. With Bruce’s dialogue to Dick at the end of the main story the whole idea of whether Lincoln was telling the truth or not is still up in the air. Instead of this being annoying Snyder is able to base the dangling mystery with logic as Bruce says that even though he is sure Lincoln is not his brother he can’t 100% prove it until he does a DNA test. This gives us more to look forward to when Lincoln does return.
The real heart of the issue was the ending between Bruce and Dick. As much as this whole Court of Owls Saga has been about Bruce it was also a lot about Dick Grayson. Snyder along with Kyle Higgins placed an emphasis on Dick’s own family history with the Court of Owls. In the end this whole war between the Batfamily and the Court of Owls was a story about who Bruce and Dick are and what their roles in Gotham City are going to be moving forward.
Snyder made every word spoken by each character feel important. With Dick being the first person he took under his wing it was a great character moment for Bruce to admit it was Dick who saved him and not the other way around. The whole discussion helps emphasize the importance of not only Bruce’s relationship with Dick but always having a Robin by his side. As dark as things get for Bruce during his Batman adventures he has been able to create a family that all started with Dick. This adds an extra layer to Bruce as he is not just hiding behind the Batman cowl as much as he has for so many years.
While the back-up was nothing special it did a good job enhancing the whole story with the Court of Owls. The story gave us a nice context into how long the Court has been around and how much of a connection they have with the Wayne Family. The final moment between Bruce and Alfred was a nice way to top off the story since the story started with the two discussing the whole situation.
As I mentioned earlier, Capullo’s artwork helped enhance all the scenes in this dialogue heavy issue. Even though I did not start off as a fan of Capullo’s artwork I am happy to see how much his art has improved over the past eleven issues. Sure there are still awkward instances with characters faces but the dynamic action scenes and the dark mood that accompany Lincoln March’s ranting elevated the importance to every word spoken. The freefalling sequence was my favorite as it had a great amount of detail with the final splash page with the city reflecting off Bruce’s eye a close second.
The Bad: Though Batman #11 is nearly a perfect end to the Court of Owls Saga the one problem I had with the ending is how Snyder made Batman look like he was Superman. I get that Batman’s will power is strong and he always fight through the pain but with how much punishment he took it became ridiculous to see Batman still able to do feats that would make Superman jealous.
From still being able to get the superhuman strength to be able to get out of the pressure from a plane’s propeller to surviving a fall from thousands of feet up was just not believable. And that was all after after going through two brick walls and two buildings. It is not something that took me out of the story on my initial read but upon a few more reads it became much more noticeable. Hopefully, this is not a trend because Batman is still supposed to be human and is not supposed to have super powers like Superman and Wonder Woman.
Overall: Batman #11 was a nearly perfect ending to what has been one of the best stories of the year. Scott Snyder truly creates an epic ending to the Court of Owls Saga that leaves you wanting more. Even with one misstep there was enough character work and action delivered that you can overlook that because the story is so much fun. With the announcement of the story for the series involving a certain Clown Prince of Crime this is a series that no one will want to miss out on reading. It is a must buy comic.
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