The Owls... THE OWLS!!!
If there were Batman fans who didn't like the Court of Owls, this month has to be their own personal hell.
This crossover event has gone through all the Bat-titles but Batwoman (though as incoherent as that storyline is, it might as well have some connection no one has found yet).
As such, here are the only two books that didn't get Wild Card coverage yet: Catwoman and Birds of Prey.
So I have not followed this book at all, and honestly I'd rather not because I want this generation to have the chance to see Catwoman as the pure villain she was originally (even if it's brief).
As such, I have no idea who this guy is that Selina is working with (and I don't care), but all that's needed is that the two want to steal a bunch of Owl-based swords from the Penguin, while a Talon is hunting Cobblepot at the same time.
This honor-based Talon reminded me very much of Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender in his desire to capture his way back into good favor. He wasn't buried in his Talon suit and his swords were lost. (See where this is going?)
Anyway, the Talon does badass Talon things and is really well written given his honor shtick.
Penguin was written FAR better in this book than he was in Detective a couple months back, and for that, this book gets points. I'm not sure how much I like the story since there was no real connection for Catwoman on this one.
It's a fun read, and I'd recommend its purchase, but when I rank the NOTO stories next week, I feel this one will sit toward the bottom.
It certainly did not make me want to pick up this book again, so in the area of bringing new readers in through the crossover, I feel the jump will be a one-shot deal.
Birds of Prey #9
On the other hand, if I had a little more emotional investment in the Black Canary or Poison Ivy characters, I would absolutely consider adding this franchise to my pull list.
This installment was absolutely fantastic. The Talon was a total BOSS. No ultra-complex backstory, no pity, no redemption. Just a guy who wanted justice, thought the Court brought it, and did badass things to make their ideals happen.
The art was done beautifully and I really appreciate that there wasn't a whole bunch of fan service dragging it down.
These characters are DC staples and it's great to see them respected as such. Between the sexified Catwoman, super-horny Starfire in RHATO #1 and that... Rabbit... thing in Batman: The Dark Knight, female characters being written and drawn as true heroes or villains properly on a consistent basis.
Ivy's run-in with the Talon was only mentioned tangentially, which is a shame because I wanted to see that fight. Same with the second fight. I'm not sure what the deal was, but Ivy got little play here.
That is probably the reason why I won't continue reading this book: It ended by teasing an Ivy story when that was the character who got the least panel time.
Also, I didn't like how the group talked about Batman like a celebrity. Having this fangirl vibe makes the group look like a C-squad, and that's not a good way to sell the team. This is an incredibly well-done group, but little things like that hurt the credibility that give readers the urgency to pick up the book.
I'd definitely buy this book, and if you have the budget, I'd give #10 a shot next month to see how the team feels without the Owl tie-in. The problem will be that with all the big-deal books in DC and Marvel, I'm not sure such a purchase can be continuously justified unless you really connect with a character.
Only a few books left in the crossover! Stay tuned.