Comic Crit: Batman #11

batman11 Separator

by Gabriel Estrada (@MediiaGeek)


SPOILERS BELOW

Scott Snyder’s magnum opus comes to a close with the epic conclusion to the Court of Owls storyline in
Batman#11. Beginnings are always easy; the reader has no expectations what so ever and is filled with promise. Endings on the other hand are difficult. Endings need to leave the reader satisfied, which is a difficult thing to do. Endings tend to be full of plot threads, character acts are left unfinished, and questions left unanswered. Snyder makes sure to give readers a great ending to great story. With issue #11, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo accomplish this by successfully bringing this amazing Night of Owl story full circle. So much so that they are able to connect everything back to the opening, “Gotham is/Who Does Gotham Belong To” monologue from issue #1.

There’s a huge amount of momentum going into this final issue of this story arc. Having to wrap it all up in all
in one issue and woe us like the previous issues did is near impossible but Snyder and Capullo come close. As
revealed in Batman#10, hiding behind the mystery of the Court of Owls and their Talon assassins was an even bigger reveal: the true villain of this story arc was Lincoln March and claims to be Thomas Wayne Jr. Bruce Wayne might or might not have a brother who is evil, immortal and dresses up as an owl.

The action is only secondary to the writing. Most of the revelations come through the dialogue as March battles Batman through Gotham, Gotham as March sees it. March makes Bruce go through Gotham and shows him that this is not Batman’s city and it is he who is exiled from the city he protects. March gives Batman a brutal beating and Snyder makes it seem as if Batman might even lose. The battle culminates with March blowing up the new Wayne Tower so that he and Bruce will be entombed by it. Batman narrowly escapes explosion with March’s body not being found in the rubble in the aftermath of the explosion it’s presumed he is still alive and missing which is convenient for the plot. Without March’s body we truly can’t find out if he is truly Bruce’s brother. The reader later finds out that the Court of Owls is still out there and momentarily “hurting” as Bruce put it. This leaves for more to be played upon with in the future and a possibility that the Court of Owls could return to extract their revenge upon the Bat-family.

The true heart of the issue actually comes at end with Bruce and Dick. This whole Court of Owls has been about Bruce but also Dick Grayson. The whole creative team put a focus the Wayne family but also on Dick’s own family history with the Court of Owls. At the end of it all this was a story about who Bruce and Dick are and what their roles in Gotham as they move forward.

Snyder does a hell of job with wrapping up the mystery with the Court of Owls; he intentionally leaves the major question unanswered. I was satisfied with this ambiguous ending. It allows for the reader to come up with their own conclusion and it all comes down to what they truly believe which to me, is the true payoff of this is ending. What Snyder and Capullo have done with entire Court of Owls arc is a difficult thing to do. They’ve created an amazing story within an ongoing series. From the new DC 52 tittles that were launched last year Batman has to be one the best titles DC publishes if not the best of the original 52 launch tittles.

Batman#11 was a perfect ending to the one of the best superhero stories of the year. I’m really excited to see
what this creative team has in store for us especially with the announcement of the miniseries that will have the Clown Prince of Crime returning to wreak havoc on Batman and his Bat-allies.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Buy a print at DC Comics

Photo credit Greg Capullo


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