Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo & Glapion
Court of the Owls wraps up with a bang. This issue pits Batman against an Owl talon (or is it beak?) and is so much more than a fight. Sure, the action is great and creative (it involves a moving passenger plane for goodness sake), but the real treat is the mystery of Bruce’s brother and the reveal of how Batman figures it all out. However, like all great, long running, serial comics, this one leaves the plot a little bit unresolved. This allows for the character to be re-visited at some later point. Overall, this is another great effort and caps off a very good storyline.
Batman fights the man who believes he is Bruce’s brother, Lincoln March, while wearing an Owl suit. There are plenty of gadgets and falls from high above as both character’s physical limits are put to the test. However, the physical action is only a small part of the book.
Lincoln outlines how he is Bruce’s brother and it all adds up to something believable. Batman isn’t shaken and manages to outsmart Lincoln when Lincoln clearly has the upper hand. The ending leaves a lot to be resolved in another story on another day.
Later, Bruce and Dick discuss the prospect of there being a second Wayne son. The moment is a good one because Bruce removes his barrier briefly to let Dick inside. The detective manages to create a sound argument as to why Bruce is an only child. However, it’s not an airtight argument.
The issue’s highlight is Capullo’s art. His pencils, panel layouts and designs are all magnificent. He’s got a maze as a background on one page. How many comics use that as a background? The best part of his artwork is the emotions and anger he gets the characters to express at key points in the story. The drama in this book resides in the artwork.
The backup tale tries to dovetail with the main story as it more involves Alfred’s father than the Wayne’s. However, it does fold in the infant death of Bruce’s brother. This backup story didn’t quite connect with me because I found it hard to reconcile if Alfred’s father was a good man caught in a strange situation or if he was an ill-prepared butler that is totally in over his head. I found myself not liking the character at the end of this story and I also found the Wayne’s to be particularly pompous. I’m not sure this story achieved what it was set out to do.
Does Bruce have a brother? Well, when you consider the owls can revive the dead then doesn’t it seem reasonable that the owls raised the infant as their own after the Wayne’s presumed he was dead? I’m sure this going to come back down the road. For now, this is a good arc to read and the conclusion is in line with how the best Batman comics end.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles