Little caring, as it turns out. As far as they're concerned, Bruce being Batman isn't a cause for anxiety, it's a toofor - they'll get to off two enemies for the price of one. They don't blink twice, continuing their surge through the cave. Safe behind the doors of the cave's armoury - for the moment, at least - Alfred drops the temperature outwith, to scuttle the Talons' tweaked physiologies. But will the freezing air drop them before it wrecks the war suit, harming Batman too?
That's the set-up for this issue, one which leads to Batman turning the tables on his attackers, with help from friends large and small, living and less so. Talons taken down and it's out into the city to save the two solid citizens not protected by Batman's allies from other Talon assassins. First off, there's Jeremiah Arkham, necessitating a trip to Arkham Asylum and ... SEE DETECTIVE COMICS #9 - MIKE
Oh. So much for not having to read all the tie-in issues to get the whole story. We're even reminded that the various issues of Nightwing, Batgirl, and Batman and Robin are available via cameo panels. Cheers for that, DC.
OK, back to the story we do get. It's entertaining stuff. I'm ready for the Court's henchmen to be taken down a peg or two, and that's what happens here. Mind, I don't quite understand why Bruce is getting chillier within the war suit during his bout with the owls, given he specifically says it's designed for 'temperatures as low as the arctic winter. Did I miss something?
There's a death this issue that seems such an obvious 'death' intended to send Batman in a certain direction, that it has to be a double bluff. Writer Scott Snyder is dealing with comic readers here, we've seen it all.
(Then again, the depressing lauding of Batman's unbelievable victory in Batman #6 shows that a lot of hype-happy fans just don't worry about internal logic when Bruce gets to be 'Bat-ass'.)
The way Bruce and Alfred vie to protect one another is touching, there's a clever bit of history around Wayne Manor that serves the story and Snyder has fun when it comes to Batman taking down the final Talon. The plotting is impressive, with plenty of incident and there's a teensy bit of forward movement in this apparently never-ending Owls sequence. The dialogue is fine, as Batman gets to be the predator for the first time in awhile.
And the art from penciller Greg Capullo and inker Jonathan Glapion is just stupendous, as Capullo's storytelling instincts match his stylistic excellence and Glapion adds necessary emphasis. The entire book looks great, with my favourite panel the one in which someone puts their foot down, once and for all. And a big hand to colourist FCO Plascencia for moodiness without dullness. As for the lettering, there's a typo on the first page - tut.
Good as this issue's inst-owl-ment was (sorry, Burt Ward was my babysitter), a back-up with a different tone would be nice. Instead we get a flashback to Alfred's dad's time as the Wayne butler, with the cliffhanger arriving - if I'm reading this correctly - on the night the Waynes were killed. I hope I'm not, otherwise a clunky retcon may be coming Batman's way.
We shall see. For what it was - another layer of the Owls storyline - this short is decent, with an efficient script from Snyder and James Tynion IV and splendid pictures courtesy of illustrator Rafael Albuquerque and colourist Dave McCaig (mind, I'm surprised by how, let's say, characterful, Alfred's father is, facially).
But the longer this owl business goes on, the less I'm feeling excited, engaged. I'm still reading, in the hope that questions I asked in an earlier review are addressed, but if next issue doesn't deliver I may cease to give a hoot.