The first New 52 crossover event and attack on Wayne Manor are the starting to one of the most exciting Bat-events in quite a while in Batman #8.
I’ll never forget the ending to Batman versus Predator #2 (1991, written by Dave Gibbins, pencils by Andy Kubert, inked by Adam Kubert, great stuff). Batman, nearly dead, barely escapes to the cave after his first-run in while the Predator tears through Gotham killing anyone in his way. I remember thinking, “How in the world is a beat up Batman going to defeat an enemy like the Predator?” And after flipping to the last page – “Oh yeah, he’s got a freaking just-in-case-an-alien-shows-up suit.”
I loved it then and I love it now.
Is it a little comic book cliche for Batman to have the perfect beast-mode suit at the ready? Sure. Is it still fantastic to see it when done right? You-freaking-bet. After exploring the edges of the envelope for the last couple of issues, joining Batman in a mind-bending journey where the line between reality and metaphor is blurry it’s a welcoming feeling to begin Scott Snyder’s Night of the Owls Bat-event with a bad ass Batman moment.
And that wasn’t the only fun had in this issue; from using the grandfather clock and chimney chute as entrances into the cave to Alfred’s timely use of the lucky penny, an attack on Wayne Manor is always a chance to see just how prepared Batman really is and as always the manor isn’t without secret’s of it’s own. This is arguably the most action-packed issue of the entire series so far and it’s not hard to see that Synder, Capullo and the rest of the team are having as much fun creating it as we are reading it.
Being the introduction to the Night of the Owls event it’s no surprise that this issue had a bit of a set-up feel to it. That isn’t to say it didn’t flow with the previous issue (it did) or that this didn’t move the story along (it did) but there wasn’t too much information carried over from previous issues and we didn’t learn that much at the end either, we just know that it’s about to get ugly for a lot of people. Credit to Scott Snyder though for writing a bit of a set-up without loosing the attention of the readers who’ve been following a long. A massive attack on Bruce Wayne is both a great place to start
an eventual Night of the Owls vol. 1 collected edition and the moment that has been building and building, a great execution of killing two birds with one stone.
This also marked the beginning of $3.99 Batman due to a new backup with Scott Synder and his American Vampire counterpart Rafael Albuquergue; while I enjoy Mr. Albuquerque’s art it was a little jarring for the backup to be a continuation of the issue rather than a separate story, at least for myself it killed a little of the buzz that the original issues ended on. While the exposition in the backup was essential and Alfred’s call to the Bat-family was pretty great we did get seven panels of Batman literally just standing in his beast-suit while the Talons struck different ninja-poses and pointed their swords at him, so after a whole issue of crazy action Batman comes out of the armory to defend his house in a new suit and no one makes a move.
And while Alfred did/was turn/turning the tempature down in the Batcave to subzero to freeze the Talon’s, they were still striking new poses and talking at the end of the issue, so it wasn’t that.
Also, and maybe this was just me, but didn’t the Court of Owls know that Bruce Wayne was Batman? Perhaps the main Court members do and the Talons do not?
Enough nitpicking though;, complaining about this issue doesn’t do it justice, it was an intense and beautifully drawn beginning to one of the most exciting Bat-events in a long time and the New 52′s first crossover event. Snyder and his crew have more than proven their ability to impress and I’d be willing to bet we haven’t even seen the best to come.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great Bat-moments, great set-up.||The backup sort of killed the buzz from the finale, which a lot of the issue built to.|