Thursday, May 3, 2012

Night of the Owls 5/3/12

Crossovers in the New 52 have been few and far between. Sure there have been a few where Omac fought Frankenstein and the like, but big crossovers? Nope, we haven't seen those yet. Until now. Night of the Owls is spinning out of Scott Snyder's story in the main Batman book and its gripper paws are large and long, popping up in most every book that is tied in with Batman. While that can be both good and bad, what I hope to do with this article is take a look at each of the titles and give you a quick blow by blow accounting: Is it good? Does it suck? Is it going to be important? Without further talk...Onto the reviews!

Nightwing #8
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Eddy Barrows
Company: DC Comics
Billed as a prelude to the event, Nightwing has a been slacking lately. Not in the sense that he's been a lame character and not doing things, but more to the point that the stories that he's been involved with haven't been that interesting. This issue, which came out two weeks ago however, takes a step in the right direction. Laced with good action, solid character moments, and art by Eddy (52) Barrows that really excels in its ability to sell all of the above, the book takes a dramatic upswing on the enjoyment scale. Higgins integrates some of the story concepts that he and Snyder came up with during Gates of Gotham, which works with this story that is so stooped in the history of these places. The background seems important and I definitely think we'll be seeing more of it in the main book. Seeing Nightwing take up arms against one of the Talons and try to save the Mayor from certain destruction clicks all of the right buttons, especially that all too critical "Hero Being a Hero" thing that I am so partial to.

Detective Comics #9
Writer: Tony Daniel
Artist: Tony Daniel
Company: DC comics
While it has become obvious that Tony Daniel is one of those writer/artists that knows what their audiences want, his Batman isn't quite my speed. Whether or not its the "SHOCK" value things like ripping off Joker's face or other things in that vein, or if it's just because there's a disconnect between his art and his writing that gets me, I don't know. Still, this specifically is a standout, especially for its tie in to the Night of the Owls. Focusing on Arkham Asylum and the desire to save Doctor Arkham from his untimely demise at the hands of one of the Court's Talons, Daniel gets a lot right. His take on Arkham, a pompous ass who wants to help his patients (and anyone that he deems) by any means necessary, is fun. It's a great counter to what we've been seeing in All Star Western. Daniel's art, not to mention Sandu Florea's inks, are heightened as well. It's almost as if everything has been honed to a razor's edge this issue. There is a backup story, focusing on Two-Face, but it didn't hold my interest in quite the same way as the main story. And while I don't think this is a must read book that will have lasting effects for the mini, it is a lot of fun.

Batwing #9
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Marcus To
Company: DC Comics
It was an unfortunate thing, but after the first few issues of Batwing, my interest in the book diminished to about nothing. There was a lot of buzz for the book, so many possibilities that didn't deliver the punch that I was expecting. While this issue isn't an enormous improvement, there is a lot to like. Marcus To's artwork, first off, is sensational. His style is expressive and has a smoothness to it that makes the action that he litters his panels with pop in a very exciting way. Winick's story, which sees out hero visit Gotham to attend a Wayne sponsored function, has its ups and downs. I like seeing a character outside of their comfort zone and Winick does instill some great banter and a moral code into his character. The Night of Owls element to the story feels slightly tacked on, but the conflict has that fun nature to it and seeing a story that focuses on Lucius Fox and makes him cool is always nice. So yeah, not perfect, but if Winick can tell more stories like this instead of the violence laden ones, ones that are so steeped in oppressive darkness, I think Batwing has a chance of making it out of this thing alive.

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