If you don't like owls, you're going to hate Batman comics for the next month.
Besides Batwoman and the returning Batman, Inc., all Bat-titles (as well as All-Star Western) are involved in the Night of the Owls crossover event.
Kudos go out to Scott Snyder, who has produced one of the most exciting Batman storylines in quite some time.
It took me three comic book stores, but I've got the first two legs of the event here:
This issue, according to writer Tony S. Daniel, serves as an interlude between Batman #8 and #9, and it shows quite the story.
The issue takes place on Arkham Island, where Jeremiah Arkham wants to remain in his asylum despite guards demanding that he evacuate before the Talons arrive with their kill order.
The story actually turns out to be quite useful for continuity, as it reveals one character still being alive, while confirming his history with Arkham. (If you know Jeremiah Arkham's history, you'll know pretty quickly who I'm talking about.)
Batman breaks into the Asylum to fight off three (yes, three) Talons who have come for Arkham. Inevitably, though, he needs to knock out Arkham himself (because he needs to be confined to his asylum in his mind than most of the people in the asylum) in order to get him out.
This book did a nice job teasing a whole bunch of upcoming books: Nighwing, Batman, Birds of Prey, each got noted here. It's nice to see the supposed flagship doing a strong tease job for so many titles.
The art in this issue was incredible, though the first exchange of dialogue felt pointless and needed a couple of read-throughs to make sense.
Additionally, the book is $1 more because of the Two-Face side story being continued here. The story is kind of interesting, but the art makes the story hard to follow at times. A man like Two-Face should not be hard to identify!
Moreover, the story is confusing at times and feels like stuff is missing. I know it's because the story is being broken up across issues and needs to keep interest, but it really drags it down.
Overall, I'd say the side story is not worth the extra dollar. The main story itself lives up to the traditional price, though. Read through it in the store, but only buy if you're collecting or if your store managers are weirdos who have issues with people taking the books out of their jackets in the store.
Ok, so a brief story: I had gone to Alternate Reality Comics near my school to pick up the NOTO books, but they weren't available because DC short-changed them on their inventory.
So I went to Maximum Comics, where I keep a pull box. They had Detective but not Batwing because it had sold out. This forced me to go to a third store to get it.
Considering how many stores I had to go to to get Batwing, this means one of three things: 1. There's a huge market for a black Batman near Maximum. 2. This NOTO event is going to sell out any book that doesn't already plan for collectors (like Detective). 3. The story is really freaking awesome!
Thankfully, the third option actually is correct in this case.
Batwing/David gets a suit upgrade from Lucius Fox and then attends a dinner event where a government leader who committed vicious executions is present.
Eventually, one Talon (who was apparently fired for being too brutal) tries to take out Fox. When Fox is hidden, the Talon takes the Prime Minister hostage, leading to an important decision for Batwing.
A few questions were left for me, like what exactly this Batman, Inc. event was that had government leaders present, and how no one could deduce who was behind the mask.
That said, for those plot holes it was an enjoyable read. The art was good, the Talon was expertly detailed, and for once Batwing was really able to stand on his own without the Bat-family's assistance while in Gotham.
It's not as good as Detective, but it's worth a look and possibly a buy. And yes, it is only worth a buy because it knew not to add a bad side story and charge an additional dollar for such "entertainment."