One of the most anticipated tie-in events, the Night of the Owls, starts right here. The way that Scott Snyder sets up this issue is fantastic. It slowly builds from the gloomy first scenes, with Bruce contemplating his role in Gotham, to the exploding final scenes, as Bruce and Alfred prepare for war with the Owls. What we’ve seen in the past, as well as in this series, is how focused and determined, not to mention skilled and powerful, Bruce is; and that is something we’ve all learned to expect from him. What I think is done wonderfully throughout this series is Snyder’s portrayal of Alfred, who is more than a friend, more than a healer, and is as integral to the Bat family as Nightwing or Red Robin. Not only did Snyder write an exciting story, but he did so in a way that allowed Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, and FCO’s art to shine. The story spans through Wayne Manor, onto the roof, and into the Batcave. All the while, Bruce is fighting off dozens of highly skilled Talon members that all have their own distinctive appearance. The backup story, which in this case is a continuation of the main story, works out tremendously well. Rafael Albuquerque’s art looks amazing and the story is a welcome bonus. 5/5
With Catwoman having little contact with Bruce, but still taking part in the Night of the Owls event, this issue does a remarkable job of setting up next month’s tie-in issue. Though not completely over her close friend’s death, Catwoman has enlisted the help of a new fence, Gwen, and a new partner, Spark. Together, the three of them make up for a remarkable team, though of course not all of them want to be a team. While on the hunt for a set of five knives, four are discovered, while the last knife rests in the possession of Penguin. This is where the Night of the Owls event kicks in, wherein Penguin is a target of the Court of Owls. It is surprising just how natural the series segued into the Night of the Owls event, because unlike all the other titles joining in, Catwoman is the only one who won’t be hearing Alfred’s plea for help. The mini-story involving the hookers was interesting enough, though the art definitely made things confusing as the hookers tended to change gender from one panel to the next. Melo’s art was constantly alternating between making the characters look great and making them look warped. 3.5/5
After eight issues, it seems the Justice League team has officially lost this reader. From the very first issue this series has been plagued by a complete disregard for a number of its team members, characters written out of character, and a slew of other problems. This issue revolved around the idea of the Justice League adding more members to the team. It is then revealed that sometime in the last five years the JL had in fact added another member, Martian Manhunter, and after he attacked them they decided to take on no new members. We know this won’t last, because DC has already released promos indicating a JL team with a large number of members. Which makes you wonder what could possibly make them go adding one in five years, to dozens in mere months. Regardless, the rest of the issue plays out with Green Arrow begging to join the team, over and over again. As was the same case last issue, the backup feature “Shazam” was a far better read than the main story. 2.5/5
The Court of the Owls has penetrated the pages of Nightwing as the Talon dig their claws deep into the Bat family. This issue is remarkably well done by Kyle Higgins, who does a great job pacing the issue, switching from flashback to the present effortlessly. The flashbacks in the issue tell the story of a young lad growing up poor as an outsider in Gotham. Meanwhile in the present, Nightwing receives the message from Alfred and immediately sets off to protect the Mayor from dangerous and talented Talon. He gets there in time to save the Mayor, though not all the government officials, and is almost in the clear after taking care of the first Talon, when he is attacked by the star of the flashbacks, his great-grandfather. The issue works well as a standalone issue as well as a tie-in into the larger Court of Owls story that is going on in Batman. Higgins does a great job with the flashbacks, incorporating little tidbits of detail from the mini-series Gates of Gotham. The art team does a fantastic job in handling both the past and present scenes, really enhancing the quality of the book. 4.5/5
The bulk of this issue, and the main point of this issue actually, revolves around Jason, Kory, and Roy making their way to Gotham, which would then allow the series to tie into next month’s Night of the Owls. Scott Lobdell brings them to town by way of Suzie Su, who had previously been shot by Jason, and was in Gotham because Gotham hosts the world’s finest doctors who specialize in gunshot victims. Considering Gotham’s reputation for crime and violence, this was both a humorous and poignant way of bringing Todd into town. Lobdell has proven in this title, and in Teen Titans, that he has the ability to write a team book that highlights every single team member, even if the plot doesn’t revolve around them. There’s a flashback at the end of the issue, involving Jason and Tim, that just warmed my Bat-Family loving heart. It was a little strange, considering their history, but this is one change in the New DCU that isn’t particularly a problem for me. 4.5/5
Be sure to check out previous editions of Crisis of Infinite Reviews by clicking here!