DC Comics continues its collection of the Dark Knight’s self-titled monthly adventures with “Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls.” The book contains issues 8 through 12 and the first annual. Many of them were already published in “Batman: Night of the Owls.” However, this chronological combination helps to give you a better understanding of the entire Court of Owls saga.
Bruce Wayne must accept the fact that the Court of Owls is real after a series of dangerous discoveries. They plan to take control of Gotham and set about to do so using their regenerated and virtually unstoppable Talon agents. As Batman strikes against the Court, he discovers grim secrets about Gotham City and the Wayne family.
Writer Scott Snyder and co-writer James Tynion IV keep the reader guessing throughout the second part of the epic “Owls” saga. He continues to expand on Batman’s battle with the Court and Talons as we would expect. The real treat is when Snyder goes the extra mile and introduces a side story that could fuel a multi-issue story arc in itself. He opens up new avenues to take and makes the world more complicated for his subjects. It’s something he’s good at, as made evident in his 34 issues of the brilliant and complex “American Vampire” series.
Seven artists work on the different sections of “Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls.” Monthly series regular Greg Capullo handles most of the illustrating. It comes as no surprise that Snyder calls on “American Vampire” collaborator Rafael Albuquerque to work on some special sections of the book. He actually provides the art for one of my favorite parts entitled “The Fall of the House of Wayne.” I would also like to give a shout-out to Jason Fabok who handles the precise penciling for “First Snow,” which digs deeper into the origin of Mr. Freeze.
The variant covers for issues 8 through 12 are included as a bonus for buyers. It’s exciting to see several different artists’ alternate takes on the events of “The City of Owls.” Each one is unique in its own way, with Jason Fabok’s and Rafael Albuquerque’s particular ones standing out as my favorites.
“Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls” adds even more complexity and mystery to Scott Snyder’s successful run. He’s intent on stringing his readers along and it works through providing engaging narrative and dialogue. The Court of Owls and the Talon are some of the most captivating villains to be found in the Dark Knight’s Gallery of Rogues. There’s no doubt this entire storyline will end up being considered essential reading in the years to come.
“Batman Volume 2: The City of Owls” is available now in hardcover and Kindle editions.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“Batman: Arkham Unhinged” Graphic Novel Review
“Batman: The Night of the Owls” Graphic Novel Review
“Batman Incorporated” Graphic Novel Review