In honor of the conclusion to the current Batman trilogy hitting the big screen… some silly little flick called “The Dark Knight Rises”, maybe you’ve heard of it… for this week’s installment, we’ll be taking a look at Batman #11, the conclusion to “The Court Of Owls” storyline that kicked off way back in the first issue of the New 52 run, Batman #1.
Batman #11 is a 40 page, $3.99 DC Comic, rated TEEN, and originally released on July 11, 2012. Batman #11 was written by Scott Snyder and features pencils by Greg Capullo, inks by Jonathan Glapion, colors by FCO Plascencia, and a cover by Greg Capullo and FCO Plascencia. This issue also features a backup story written by Scott Snyder and James T. Tynion IV and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, as well as a variant cover by Andrew Clarke and Tomeu Morey.
The book opens with “brothers”, Bruce Wayne/Batman and Lincoln March/Thomas Wayne Jr., pretty much fighting to the death! Batman is fighting his ass off and it looks like it’s going to be another victory for our noble Dark Knight. Lincoln quickly turns the tide however, and slams Batman through a wall or three. The two then end up grappled together as Lincoln flies Batman around on his twisted tour of Gotham, symbolically slamming him into things that fit his story. There is an ample amount of wonderfully written and meaningful monologue-ing by Lincoln and more exposition than you can fit in your Batman knapsack given here. An interesting note is Batman mentioning in his inner monologue that his suit was out of power, inferring that the suit likely augments his physical abilities, because he had just fallen from clutching the wing of a flying airplane when he lost power, as well as him being strong enough to keep himself from being sucked into the jet’s engine at one point. The whole thing culminates with the destruction of the new Wayne tower. We wrap up back at Wayne Manor with Bruce having figured out most everything that had happened and gives the rundown to Dick Grayson good ol’ Batman & Robin style. The action is fast and furious early on and then gets dialogue and exposition heavy, but for those readers who have been following the “Court Of Owls” story, I feel it is a meaningful payoff for such a big and long spanning storyline. Scott Snyder has spun his yarn quite well, I say.
Now, to the Batcave, Robin… I mean, to the art department, readers! Greg Capullo’s art is fantastic in this issue and has been throughout the “Court Of Owls” storyline. His pencils have a sort of Humberto Ramos quality to them that I happen to like very much, with slight cartoony exaggerations of facial expressions and in the way he proportions his characters, but not quite to the extent that Ramos does these things. Capullo does a lot of interesting and somewhat unorthodox things with his page layouts and with overlapping panels and such. I like the unconventional approach, and rarely does he draw a page with simple square and rectangle panels neatly aligned and arranged. Jonathan Glapion’s inks are bold and strong, and play up the blacks and the dark colors and tone of the story perfectly. FCO Plascencia’s color work is very solid but nothing special, although, I do enjoy the choice of a muted palette emphasizing the grays and blues and the gritty feel he applies to textures and surfaces. It’s a style choice quite fitting for Batman and Gotham City, and puts them in what I feel is their proper tone and light.
All in all, Batman #11 is a great issue and a well drawn and extremely well written conclusion to what has been a masterfully done story that reads more mystery crime thriller than superhero adventure. Scott Snyder has woven a lush and detailed history for the Court Of Owls that goes back all the way to Gotham’s colonial era, and every era in between. In just under a year, Snyder has given The Court a past and roots so deep a rookie DC Comics reader may think they have been a thorn in Batman’s side for decades, and that is a large part of the beauty to the entire storyline. In The Court Of Owls, Batman has found a brand new foe that he, the Wayne family, and Gotham City have been unknowingly fighting against for generations. Batman fans will not be disappointed.
I give Batman #11 a well deserved 4 Long-boxes out of four.
All characters and images are property of DC Comics/Warner Bros.
“This review is dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Dark Knight Rises shooting tragedy in Aurora, Colorado: May your suffering be brief and your memory everlasting. Allow me also express my admiration for all of the heroes who have emerged both minor and major, from the medical professionals treating the wounded, to the law enforcement agencies that apprehended the perpetrator and are investigating and prosecuting the case, to all those propping up survivors and their families with their love, help and support, and even to Christian Bale who spent time with victims not for publicity but because it was the right thing to do, I commend you all. The hearts of the entire Nerd Vice staff are with every one of you.” — James “STATUS” Eaddy