Trevor McCarthy, who gorgeously illustrated the Gates of Gotham mini-series last year, handles art duty on this issue, and he does the job masterfully. His fluid figures, wonderful layouts, and clean strokes really make for a gorgeous book. The story, in contrast, is weak. As a complete story, including the first three parts, the story isn’t so bad. The formatting, with the story being told in parts and pieces through the eyes of different characters, doesn’t work nearly as well as it does in Game of Thrones, which is the easiest comparison to make. The reason being, there’s a month between issues, and every time it says “three days ago” or “one week ago,” it’s just another arbitrary time period no one can keep straight. The story itself is decent enough, but the presentation is so jarringly difficult that it does more harm than help. Couple that with the fact that each issue presents a less likable heroine in Batwoman, and you’ve got the perfect equation for a disaster. Luckily, in this case, Batwoman’s supporting cast of her father, Maggie, and even her comatose cousin are remarkably fantastic characters that completely outshine the series’ namesake. Without a doubt this arc will be best read collected; unfortunately that isn’t the current case. 3/5
The thing about Catwoman, is that while she’s not exactly a hero in any way, she’s a good person, which makes her all the more interesting. Unlike any of the other modern day Night of the Owls tie-ins, Catwoman is the only protector of the weak not to receive Alfred’s distress call, meaning she’s going into this battle blind. Catwoman and Spark, her electric friend, are staking out Penguin’s hideout in order to steal a valuable knife, to complete the set they already had stolen. Unfortunately for them, Penguin has found himself on the Court of Owls’ hit list, which puts him on the fast track to an early grave. Judd Winick has done a fantastic job with Catwoman thus far, and this issue is no different. He does such a tremendous job capturing Catwoman’s propensity for thievery and lawbreaking, but at the same time balancing that out with her good nature. Guillem March continues to draw one of the best depictions of Catwoman in comic book history. Coupled with Tomeu Morey, this book is a visual gift. The Night of Owls has not only brought out the best from the creators, but the characters as well. 4/5
Destiny is such a tricky thing to believe in, because it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from being controlled. Take Dick Grayson, for example. If destiny, and his great-grandfather, had their way, he’d be the Court of Owls’ most efficient and deadliest Talon of all time. Instead, we’ve got Nightwing, Batman’s protege and one of the world’s greatest superheroes. This issue is fantastic from all points of view and in all regards. Kyle Higgins does an excellent job of juxtaposing William Cobb’s history with Dick’s story, as a sort of “what could have happened” had Bruce not been there to step in when Dick’s parents died. Eddy Barrows, with Andres Guinaldo, bring fantastic pencils for this issue. The present day fight between Dick and Cobb is tremendously illustrated with the poses, straining muscle, and emotions skillfully drawn. The inks and colors create a nice cohesion between the flashbacks and the present day story without being tedious. Overall, these last two issues tying into the Night of Owls tie-in event have been extremely well done. They seamlessly fit into the story, are well written, and beautifully illustrated. 4.5/5
If you were wondering what could possibly keep Jason Todd in Gotham, for even a minute more than necessary, well the answer to that would be a call for help from Alfred. With the Talons killing more high profile members of Gotham’s Elite than can be saved, Red Hood’s assistance is welcome. Other than dealing with the Talon, which Todd does well, this issue does an excellent job handling other important issues. For one, it clarifies where Jason stands, as far as Bat-family relations go. In the previous issue we saw him have some brunch with Tim, and with him staying to help out in Gotham, it’s safe to say that while Bruce may not be his favorite person in the world, Jason still cares. Besides the tie-in revelations, of which there was a fairly large one, what this issue does fantastically well is expand on the team’s group mentality. More and more these three are proving themselves to be one of the best working teams in all of comics. Jason Todd is growing into a wonderful leader, Starfire is a powerhouse that ranks amongst the top tiered meta-humans in the DC world, and Roy, well, Jason put it best when he described Roy as a genius who’s constantly overlooked because of his juvenile tendencies. Scott Lobdell does a remarkable job with these characters, layering them with personality and history, and making sure none of them get neglected. Kenneth Rocafort and Blond continue to illustrate one of the most contemporary comics on the stands right now. 4.5/5
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