First New 52 Batman Crossover Is Named “Night of the Owls”
DC Comics has announced a series of back-up features launching in April’s Batman #8. The story sheds further light on Scott Snyder’s Court of Owls, now revealed as the major threat in an upcoming crossover event dubbed “Night of the Owls.” Told from the perspective of Alfred’s father Jarvis Pennyworth, the back-up promises more revelations about the Wayne family and their place in Gotham mythology.
I do hope pellets are involved somehow! Pellets containing the dark history of Gotham City.
Joking aside! Everyone should be excited that Scott Snyder is spearheading this thing. His two major Bat-works, The Black Mirror and Gates of Gotham, were two of the best comics released in 2011, and he’s got a flair for thickly woven suspense that’s been put to excellent use in the monthly Batman ongoing. Plus, good on DC for moving forward with a high profile crossover that appears to have completely new villains (and history) as its foundation.
Herein, recommendations for those interested in Scott Snyder’s Night of the Owls.
- For starters: Batman: The Black Mirror (2010-2011). A truly unsettling story that ran for months in the pre-relaunch Detective Comics, Scott Snyder’s The Black Mirror adds a dollop of horror to the Batman line despite its relatively bright status quo with Dick Grayson under the cowl. In all likelihood, this won’t really factor into Night of the Owls, but it hints at the idea of inherent, even irrepressible darkness in Gotham City that’s expanded upon elsewhere, and it’s the first Batman book by Scott Snyder. It’s also incredible.
- For a history lesson: Batman: Gates of Gotham (2011). Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Deathstroke) joins Scott Snyder in this miniseries that spotlights a deeply rooted conspiracy dating back to Gotham’s founding fathers. This strikes me as very closely related, at least thematically, to what we’ll be seeing in the back-up stories beginning with Batman #8. Like The Black Mirror, though, it’s a great story on its own.
- For a deeper cut: Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (2010). This is certainly less accessible than either of the stories listed above. Scribed by Bat-master Grant Morrison as a follow-up to Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P., this story sees Bruce Wayne forced to overcome “history itself" in the ultimate battle with Darkseid, an evil “new god.” It’s a bit uneven, but it tracks the history of Gotham from the dawn of time to present day, making it a compelling volume for those who really want to see Gotham’s roots laid bare.
- For more bizarre history: Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City (1990). Recently re-released as a “100-page spectacular,” Dark Knight, Dark City actually served as direct inspiration for aspects of Grant Morrison’s Batman run as gleaned in The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman and Robin. Ostensibly a great, weird Riddler story, this also details Gotham’s occult history dating back to the 1700s. Better yet for comic book fans, it’s written by Peter Milligan, who’s now handling Red Lanterns and Justice League Dark at DC but is perhaps better known for Shade: The Changing Man and X-Statix.