Between my recent Batman-a-thon, family stuff and new job, my time has been crazy.
Thankfully, I can finally review the comics that I should have a while ago - most notably the end of the Court of Owls saga.
Let's be frank about this one: if you didn't follow this arc, you are going to be a deer in the headlights.
The next three issues will be great jump-on points, with them being a one-shot, a #0 issue and the start of a new arc, respectively. But for this month, all that matters is how the arc that took up 11 issues, an annual and crossed into 11 different Bat-books.
This issue can pretty much be broken down into three parts: the fight between Batman and Lincoln March/(maybe) Thomas Wayne Jr./Owlman, the resolution conversation between Bruce and Dick, and the side story of Jarvis Pennyworth.
I'll start with the first part: It is EPIC. Batman and Lincoln's fight is action-packed and the art is unreal.
I am mixed on the dialogue. Not because it wasn't good - it was what was needed. But because they jumped right into the fighting, the long-winded talk distracted from the fight. Be sure to save an extra 5-10 minutes for reading this to take in everything.
One complaint I've seen over the past couple weeks is how the dialogue is unrealistic when the fight goes to the jet engine - in that they could understand each other over the noise. All I can say is... Really? There are men dressed like a bat and owl fighting in the air with weaponry that would shame the military, and your critique is THAT is not realistic?
With the technology present here, I don't doubt that the equipment is designed to cancel other sounds besides voices. Take a moment to realize what is being read here.
Anyway, I do like that the potential brother identity is left ambiguous, though I think it would be far more fun to have him not be related and just be crazy. There are some interesting ways to take that.
The second part is an excellent way to wind down the story, and so much dialogue is in this book, it's hard to believe it all fit into the normal length of the book. It sets a good break-off point and allows the readers to be able to relax for Issue #12.
The final part is the Pennyworth story, and it is interesting to see how close Alfred came to not working for Bruce. Additionally, it provides a degree of comfort to Bruce when Alfred points out that it really doesn't matter one way or another if Lincoln is his brother.
Either way, he's still a psycho.
Kind of dark, but a good point from Alfred. I can honestly say I have enjoyed the ride of this book completely.
The story here is pretty good, but the villain is still given very little background. I have no idea what crazy skin-melting disease this guy has, but I am getting bored with it.
I'd rather have the villain be an absent mystery and just have a legion of vigilantes mocking Batman's ways than know who he is and yet have no idea of what is going on. This is supposed to lead into a mega-story for this book, so in trade form, it will probably be better. For now, though, not so much.
What makes this book important and fun is Damian's mission to one-up the past Robins. This issue, Damian goes against Jason Todd.
I enjoyed the close-range fighting and the way Damian acts is absolutely hilarious.
This book should be focused on Damian, in all honesty. With Batman getting the focus in three (really four) books, this is the best chance to develop Damian.
Overall, this is a good issue to have for later on in the arc, but it isn't a priority. I'd say it's worth a buy simply because the "Damian VS" mini-arc is very entertaining.
I'll post Nightwing and Red Hood's reviews as soon as I'm caught up on the reading. See you later this week!