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April 13, 2014 / Jett

Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls Review

An uncharacteristically stubborn Bruce Wayne refuses to believe in the existence of a shadowy organization that has run Gotham for over a century. He sure did pay for it in Vol. 1: The Court of Owls, as Batman narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Talons. But what can he do when a gang of Talons get the drop on Bruce in Wayne Manor while the rest of their army terrorize Gotham?

The closeout to the Owls arc is jam-packed with action. This series of issues is at its best in the beginning, as Bruce tries his best to fend off scores of Talon assassins from his front doorstep. A lot of excitement and tension is built throughout these sections; particularly when Bruce Wayne is forced to fight in his pajamas. Save for a few goofy moments involving over-sized props, this battle sucked me in completely.

Where I think the book stumbles a bit is in the way it handles the mystery around the Owls. There are long stretches of exposition that bog the pace of the book down, especially when things kick off so fast with the first battle. I’m also not sure how I feel about the final reveal. I think it’s at the same time a bit of a stretch while still falling a bit flat in the way its presented. For all of the great setup leading up to this point, I’m not sure if this was the resolution I was hoping for. Maybe as a make good, Vol. 2 also comes with Batman Annual #1, which features a one-issue arc starring Mr. Freeze. This proved to be an entertaining read while getting everything it needed to across in just one issue.

Taken as a whole though, the Court of Owls run was really good and Vol. 2: The City of Owls acts as a fairly solid conclusion. This book is at its best when Batman is battling seemingly insurmountable odds, as it makes for some amazing action sequences. With this chapter of Batman’s life coming to a close, I’m excited for more adventures with The Dark Knight.

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