Batman, Volume 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)

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Overview

Following his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed run on Detective Comics, writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) alongside artist Greg Capullo (Spawn) begins a new era of The Dark Knight as with the relaunch of Batman, as a part of DC Comics—The New 52! 
 
After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped ...

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Overview

Following his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed run on Detective Comics, writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) alongside artist Greg Capullo (Spawn) begins a new era of The Dark Knight as with the relaunch of Batman, as a part of DC Comics—The New 52! 
 
After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?

Collects issues #1-7 of Batman.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With this volume, anticipation for DC’s The New 52 reboot of their superhero universe, should be firmly replaced with a deep and abiding appreciation for what Snyder, Capullo, and Glapion have done with Gotham’s caped crusader. The initial story arc centers on the mysterious Court of Owls, a group of individuals who legend says control Gotham from the shadowy recesses of the city while using a deadly assassin named Talon to do their bidding. Batman must figure out whether the Court of Owls actually exists—something he claims to have fully investigated and discounted as a boy—and what connection the group might have to the history of the Wayne family, especially after a grisly murder brings with it a warning that “Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow.” The re-launch comes complete with villains old and new, and a cast of current and former Robins who aren’t afraid to stand up to the Bat. This is a clever and sophisticated Batman—with a dark, edgy, and thought-provoking narrative ably abetted by Capullo’s pulpish, detailed art. Readers will find it hard to put down. (May)
Library Journal
DC's New 52 relaunches Batman villains more than the heroes. Bruce Wayne with his own "court" of sidekicks (Alfred, plus old and new Robins: Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, Damien Wayne) must accept that a centuries-old Gotham horror rhyme is real. A malevolent Court of Owls does exist, and its undead assassin, the Talon, is out for Batman. This new villain aims to terrify Bruce by challenging his mind and memory. The overall concept has a brilliant cohesiveness as an introduction to a creepy new clique of evildoers, wrapped in a well-crafted plot with cool details (Dick impersonating the Joker; the owl-insignia tooth characteristic of the Court's assassins) and incredibly good art. Some of Capullo's images of Batman grappling with the Talon have an almost sensual passion and beauty. The story is also a prequel to the Night of the Owls crossover event, which will fold in a dozen DC series, and kicks off an all-new series devoted to the Talon. VERDICT A must for superhero collections, Batman fans (of course), and new Batman readers, older teens and up, since the plot requires no prior familiarities.—M.C.
From the Publisher
A+. The hero's got personality (and is unafraid to release a quip as sharp as a Batarang), a horde of supervillains, gumption to spare and a whole host of high-tech gadgetry to suitably impress longtime fans and those new to the Dark Knight.”
USA Today
 
“This is one of the best comics of the week.”
The New York Times
 
“[Writer Scott Snyder] pulls from the oldest aspects of the Batman myth, combines it with sinister-comic elements from the series’ best period, and gives the whole thing terrific forward-spin by setting up an honest-to-gosh mystery for Batman to solve.”
Entertainment Weekly
 
“Scott Snyder, already the company's greatest asset over the last four weeks, spins a stack of plates immediately…. Too often Batman comics focus heavily on the hero persona … Snyder sets up equal amounts of conflict for both Wayne's public and private personas.”
Time Out Chicago
 
A stunning debut…. Snyder knows these characters, sets up an intriguing mystery, and delivers some action that Capullo realizes stunningly. This is definitely in the top rank of the revamp.
The Onion AV Club
 
Hits all the right notes. I enjoyed the living hell out of this.” – io9
 
“Bruce Wayne is a badass. The end.”
—IGN, 9.5 Rating
 
A+. Incredible tone and enough twists, turns and character appearances to keep us hooked.”
UGO
 
“There's enough here, kept at a high enough level to make it interesting and viable across media and digestible enough for even the most novice DC Universe reader…. Score one for DC and score one for Snyder and Capullo in finding a new fan.”
—Comic Book Resources
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401235413
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 50,588
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Snyder

Scott Snyder is one of comics' best young writers. His current works include Batman, American Vampire and Swamp Thing. He has also been published in Zoetrope, Tin House, One-Story, Epoch, Small Spiral Notebook, and other journals, and has a short story collection, Voodoo Heart, which was published by Dial Press. He teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence University and lives in New York with his wife, Jeanie, and his children.

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Interviews & Essays

Q&A with Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

1. What is it like working on a huge initiative like The New 52?

Scott Snyder: For me it was exciting because we were given the opportunity to work on characters we love with no restrictions. So if the best story meant making changes to a character's history, there was flexibility to do so. With an imitative this big, seeing how many new readers came to the table to read comics after having lapsed, or never having read one at all, was a real thrill.

2. What would you say defines the characters you are working on?

SS: For Batman, what defines him is his relentless determination, which is both his most heroic quality and his most pathological. For Swamp Thing, I'd say what defines him is his inability to give up his humanity even when he's at his most monstrous.

3. What stories or creators inspire you most when working on your character?

SS: For Batman, I have my favorites: Dark Knight Returns and Year One, but it's hard to only pick a couple because he's a character who grew up alongside me, where the kinds of stories that were being told about him were becoming more sophisticated and complex right as I was coming of age. And now the fun thing is that I have a five-year-old son and I get to fall in love with some of the tamer versions of Batman all over again.

4. Do you keep up with any of the other New 52 books? Which ones and why?

SS: My favorite of The New 52 would have to be Animal Man by Jeff Lemire, who is also one of my closest friends. And I'm really exited to be a part of everything happening in Gotham between Batgirl, Batman and Robin, Nightwing, and all the great books in our neighborhood. I particularly like All-Star Western for it's interesting mix of old west and gothic horror.

5. Has social media and increased direct interaction with DC Comics' fans changed your writing/drawing approach at all in regards to The New 52?

SS: It hasn't changed my writing approach; it has made me appreciate how much the fans love these characters. I always knew it, but seeing the responses online through Twitter and Facebook is overwhelming and inspirational. It's like being at a con all the time. I brought my wife to her first con last year and when I asked her what she thought, she said?and I was nervous to hear her response-that she was really moved by how passionate the fans were about these characters, and I feel the same way.

6. When it comes to writing Batman, are you distinguishing this version from the previous one? Is your approach to the character different than the pre-New 52 Batman?

SS: No, my version of Batman is as different as the version that came before, just like every version is, because the truth is, the only way to write a character as iconic as Batman is to accept that you're going to have to make him your own, almost as if you were writing fan fiction and no one is ever going to read it. If I started thinking of all the amazing versions of the character that have come before, I would be paralyzed.

7. You and Jeff Lemire tend to Twitter War each other often. How has this affected you when it comes to writing Swamp Thing and its ties to Animal Man?

SS: For me, our Twitter War is fun because while we insult each other online, usually we are texting each other offline, laughing about the whole thing. Jeff is one of the creators who inspire me the most for his sense of story and his dedication to characters.

8. Greg, what's it like for you to work on the iconic Bat-Family and Batman villains? You even redesigned the Batman Rogues in the very first issue!

Greg Capullo: Well, everyone has probably heard me say by now that I first drew Batman and Robin when I was four years old. My mom has it somewhere. It was crude, but clear who they were, so to be drawing them professionally all these years later is really cool. I can tell you that I'm super excited to be drawing Batman and, though I admit to being a bit jaded, I was never so nervous (except for maybe my first work for Marvel) as when DC asked me to relaunch Batman from issue #1. Terrifying, is what it was. Especially being that I was aware of some of the fear out there that I was going to be turning Batman into Spawn, as I'd worked for years on that book. I really felt like an underdog. I was always confident (after the nerves settled) that those fears would be replaced with joy. I mean, I love Batman the same as you. I don't want to mess him up!

The Rogues, Ah, the Rogues. Well, they weren't really redesigns. I guess to some extent they were. But, they were locked up in Arkham. So, it was more like: what ways might a prisoner come up with to maintain his or her persona behind bars? That became the question. Speaking of, how about the Riddler's mohawk? HA! I think some Batman fans actually wanted to lynch me for giving him that! The Joker was the closest I got to a redesign. I'd love to get my hands on him for a story arc!

9. The New 52 introduces a younger universe of heroes and I think your art very much reflects that. Is this a conscious thought when you're working on the title?

GC: Absolutely. I was given the character's ages up front. Some complained that I draw Bruce and the family too young. The fact is I'm drawing them exactly as the powers that be want them to appear. As a professional, you want to give the client, in this case DC, what it is they're looking for. However, I listen very closely to the fans. After all, without them, we're nowhere. I've tried to make subtle changes based on what some of them were saying. My hope at the end of the day is that everyone will be pleased, even though that is completely impossible. Still, I'll always try. Now, I'm off to the Bat Cave to draw me some more Batman!

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Very Different Batman Story

    Graphic Novel Review (ARC) by Chris for Book Sake
    This book does a great job of pitting Batman against a new criminal organization called the Court of Owls. Not only are they masters in martial arts, but they are even more secretive then Batman. They've been creeping around in the criminal underworld, right under Batman's nose. The story does a great job of putting Batman back on his heels and sets up an even larger struggle to come.

    Greg Capullo's art in this book with full of energy. He does take some allowances with the look of certain villains that may not sit right with some fans. However, they only play a small part to the introduction of the Owls, who look utterly awesome. Sometimes his art feels a little cartoony for the dark nature of the book, but other times it is spot on.

    If you are a Batman fan or have been wanting to start reading, this is a great jumping on point.
    Book Rating: 4 /5

    Graphic Novel Review (ARC) by Kole for Book Sake
    This version of Batman is pretty good. It has a different story from all the other Batman stories and a new villain. But it has really no back story to it. Can you really call this part of the “new 52”? Anyone who doesn’t know who Batman is or the back story on him is going to pick this up and ask “what the hell is going on and who is this crazy guy in a bat costume?" But from the perspective of someone who has read Batman before and knows the back story, it’s a great read. It’s a fresh new problem for Batman to overcome. So my advice, if you haven’t read Batman, don’t read this as a start. Go back and read some actual origin stories of Batman.
    Book Rating: 4/5

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    No one writes batman like scott snyder.

    No one writes batman like scott snyder.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Loed it

    Great book

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Honestly, this is my favorite line of the New 52! Scott Snyder'

    Honestly, this is my favorite line of the New 52! Scott Snyder's story is amazing, not to mention Greg Capullo's awesome artwork. If you had to read only one of the revamped lines, this is the one!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    A must read for batman fans.

    A great way to jump into the world of the caped crusader.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Exceptional Batman Lore! The New 52 Batman is a great beginning

    Exceptional Batman Lore! The New 52 Batman is a great beginning for newcomers and pokes some loopholes through the origin story that can be greatly appreciated by long-time fans. The transition from descriptive writing to vivid panels compliment the characters all thanks to Scott Snyder's prose and Greg Capullo's artwork! This is a fresh start as well as a reunion for Batman's old, but good roots as a comic book character; one for readers alike, and with a different perspective that retains the old to its zenith. Batman: The Court of Owls does not disappoint!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    "Batman: The Court of Owls" Book Review

    For years and years, I never comic books for an extended period of time. Occasionly, I would read one givin to me as a birthday present, but that was about it. Then, on a whim, I picked up issue 9 of this series. Now, I've been going to my local Newbury Comics on a monthly basis to pick up the comics written by the same team who wrote this series ( at this point "Court of Owls" has ended ). Scott Snyder writes Batman and all the others beautifully, perfectly balancing the silliness of comics and realism that goes with all Batman stories ( except those of the '60's, which I don't even know why I brought up ). The other thing that's great about this series is the art. Greg Capullo, the artist who is best known for his run on "Spawn", knocks it way out of the park with a somewhat cartoonish style that goes great with the story, producing the best comic art I've seen in years. All in all,
    "Batman: The Court of Owls" is by far the best bit of DC's New 52.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Scoot Snyder is KILLING IT with his run on Batman. Personally, I

    Scoot Snyder is KILLING IT with his run on Batman. Personally, I'm a huge fan of his earlier Batman work: The Black Mirror and Gates of Gotham. I didn't think it could get much better than that, but with the Court of Owls, Snyder has given Batman readers a new villain/secret society that will stay within Batman mythos for a long time. One of the reasons I enjoy Scott Snyder's work on Batman is the way he incorporates the history of Gotham City into a lot of his stories. He was able to do it in Gates of Gotham and now Snyder has gone even bigger with the Court of Owls. Batman started with a bang in the New 52 and Snyder hasn't slowed down. In my opinion, besides Knightfall when Bane broke his back, Batman has never been this vulnerable. The only difference is Batman was aware of Bane. In this, he's not even sure if the Court of Owls exist. By the time he realizes they are real, it's too late. Scott Snyder has crafted a great story that ties the entire Bat Family together, with the Court of Owls leading in to The City of Owls, and then continuing in Night of the Owls. The history is rich and each Talon that serves the Court has there own past and reason as to why. Pick this saga up and you will not be disappointed. As a life long Batman fan, I have to say Scott Snyder's Batman is refreshing to read after Grant Morrison's take. I enjoyed Morrison's take a lot, but felt it got a little too "Whacky" in some areas. Snyder brings Batman back to a place that is easy to enjoy and not a complete flustercuck to read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great New Start

    Snyder does a great job portraying Gotham. Batman is faced with a new, yet ancient, adversary. The Court of Owls is mysterious and captivating. The epic story unfolds in a beautifully rendered art style. Even if you are not a fan of graphic novels (I much prefer novels to comics), give this one a try. I received this as a gift, and I am very glad I did.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Batman

    Yes.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    The best of the new 52, anyone who loves great stories should pick it up

    WOW! Snyder is on a roll. You don't need to know too much about previous Batman stories, this one isn't a complete reboot (It's still Bruce Wayne, who's parents were murdered outside the theater, there are still Dick Grayson/Tim Drake/Damien, etc). How many years Bruce has been Batman, I'm a bit unsure, but he has certainly made a name for himself in Gotham, so it's well passed year one.

    Anyway, the story is fantastic. It's a brand new villain to Batman lore, and an excellent one at that. It's brand new, it's not "simply" some clown wearing makeup who wants chaos, or a cannibalistic monster, and it fits in great with the themes of Batman. The art is quite nice as well. Excellent read, and I hate having to wait until March for Volume 2.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Amazing

    This was amazing and very dark. Can't wait for more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    Not yr fathers batman

    A little too weird

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2014

    Love!

    Love the art bro, like so super texy all the way drop the bizzle in my nizzle salad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Recommend, check it out

    Was bought for a Christmas gift to my Grandson. He loved it and will add to his collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Cool

    Barnes and noble good job

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    I love this series...but honestly why are there issues missing.

    I love this series...but honestly why are there issues missing. Been stuck on issue 9 for 3 months hoping it shows up on the nook store. I've even contacted B&N at least three times (twice over email  and once on the phone)  Seriously some of the worst customer service ever...I'm considering just buying the series straight from DC because I'm tired of waiting to read this phenomenal series. Really disappointing B&N...reallly. 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great writing for the "new 52"

    if you're new to the batman universe - this is the good stuff to get you entrenched

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Great work

    By gar my favorite of the new 52 stuff. It diesnt get over plagued with meta humams and the story is strong amnd consistant. I'm excited for more installations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Exceptional Batman Storytelling

    The Court of Owls is a new villian group with as much storied history as Batman himself. Great look back on Bruce Wayne's grandfather and the impact the Owls are having on Gotham City. Scott Snyder's writing is brilliant and the artwork is good. I'm looking forward to Volume 2 but in the meantime, I'm buying more of Snyder's Batman work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews

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