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Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) (Batman (DC Comics Paperback)) Paperback – Illustrated, March 26, 2013
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“This is one of the best comics of the week.” —The New York Times
“[Writer Scott Snyder] pulls from the oldest aspects of the Batman myth, combines it with sinister-comic elements from the series’ best period, and gives the whole thing terrific forward-spin by setting up an honest-to-gosh mystery for Batman to solve.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Scott Snyder, already the company's greatest asset over the last four weeks, spins a stack of plates immediately…. Too often Batman comics focus heavily on the hero persona … Snyder sets up equal amounts of conflict for both Wayne's public and private personas.” —Time Out Chicago
“A stunning debut…. Snyder knows these characters, sets up an intriguing mystery, and delivers some action that Capullo realizes stunningly. This is definitely in the top rank of the revamp. —The Onion/AV Club
“Hits all the right notes. I enjoyed the living hell out of this.” —io9
“Bruce Wayne is a badass. The end.” —IGN
“There's enough here, kept at a high enough level to make it interesting and viable across media and digestible enough for even the most novice DC Universe reader…. Score one for DC and score one for Snyder and Capullo in finding a new fan.”—Comic Book Resources
About the Author
- ASIN : 1401235425
- Publisher : DC Comics; New 52 ed. edition (March 26, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781401235420
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401235420
- Item Weight : 11 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.64 x 0.33 x 10.19 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This first volume focuses more on Batman as the technologically-savvy detective, using his mind and gadgets rather than brute strength to unravel mysteries he encounters. As with much of Snyder's run, the villain here, the Court of Owls, is by contrast to Batman, more of the gruesome, gothic-horror type of unseen enemy (which Batman sometimes, but not often encounters). What this does is not only add intensity and suspense, as it often feels like Batman is on the backfoot and out of his depth, but also makes each victory/escape/win feel more earned, because it is often achieved through Batman's keen mind, willpower, and skill. Snyder also uses the Court to reintroduce the reader to Gotham's past, including key moments in Bruce's past, to introduce a slightly altered, but consistent take about the tragedy that befell the Wayne family.
Ultimately, the implicit question that the run poses in its opening pages (and is used to frame Snyder's story) is "What is Gotham?" Its villains? Its history? Its problems? But really, the question is, of course, "Who is Batman?" And Snyder comes off with a strong start here to answer that question, by showing Batman in top form, sharp, undaunted, and relentless.
Got all the Graphic Novels in this story arc for Christmas 2016. I read them twice hoping I would like it better the second time. Didn't work. I really can't put a finger on why they fell flat with me. Wish I could. The look of the books and artwork are top notch but something about the story itself just didn't do it for me. Batman seemed so inconsistent from other books. He struggled mentally and physically with things and people that in other stories he would have made quick work of. If Batman is the world's greatest detective and greatest martial artist is other stories then he needs to be in every story. Can't have it both ways. Art, whatever form it takes, is very subjective (writing, painting, sculpting, etc.) so I can only speak for myself. I wanted to love this story arc but just could not.
I do also love how much Gotham is such a central element of these stories. It makes me both want to and not want to be there.
Also, the art is stupendous. Even the yellow font on black background when Batman talks is alluring. I can just look at these pages all day.
I ordered the hardcover but received the softcover so I’m immensely disappointed about that. I reported this to Amazon and they said they’ll investigate.
Top reviews from other countries
The art style is excellent, and gives the comics the perfect tone for the best Batman stories - dark, gritty, but still with some supernatural and exaggerated elements.
100% reccomend both this novel, and the full series.
I am not a regular batman reader, since somehow I preferred the light-hearted batman stories, yet over the last decade DC seemed to conspire to only produce dark, gritty, and bloody ones.
I found 'the court of owls' to be excellent. Snyder shows why he is considered to be one of the premiere writers at DC.
I'm a big fan of Greg Capullo following his work with Image comics and Todd MacFarlane books.
10/10 picking up the next trade immediately.
Snyder and Capullo are a winning team with both complementing each others work and the end result is a promising first part to an arc that retroactively adds the Court of Owls to the Batman mythos. It makes sense that this is the first Batman New 52 arc, if it had come later in the run people would have complained about the lack of presence of the Court in previous titles. Again, this is only part one, the story concludes (sort of) in Volume 2: The City of Owls.
It's a great read if you're trying to get into the New 52 but if you're a hardcore Bat-fan, you might get the sense of retreading old ground (Hush).
PS. If you enjoyed Scarecrows psychedelic level in the Arkham Ayslum game then you will love the Owl Labyrinth in this book!