Weekly Comics

This Week’s List

  1. Batman #11

1. Batman #11

Impressions

The previous eleven months of Batman comics has been on the fight to save Gotham City from A society of aristocratic villains called the Court of Owls who wear blank white owl masks to hide their faces. There was a farfetched twist, and this is a Spoiler alert:

The court have recruited and trained Bruce Wayne’s lost brother Thomas Wayne Junior, named after Bruce’s father. I thought it seemed borderline cliché to introduce a long lost brother as a villain, but the reveal is based on a strange but significant issue of World’s Finest from DC comics as Chris Simms at Comics Alliance researched and reported. Furthermore, the whole point of having a villain calling himself Batman’s brother is not to have a nega-batman who dresses as an owl to commit crime, as though owls were the opposite of bats. The point of the villain, Lincoln March, is to build a story about reversals and reflections:

  • Bruce’s perspective of how much power he has over Gotham City as Batman is reversed and irrevocably changed (All the better for it, as Doug Zawisza states in his complete review of issue 11 on Comic Book Resources) .
  • The Batman is shown a dark and distorted reflection of who he is when Lincoln March becomes the powerful villain Talon.

Repeated references to mirrors, and multiple situations where characters have faced power or role reversals, have been woven effectively throughout this story arc: Scott Snyder’s writing is strong and the collected trade paperbacks on The Court of Owls are essential reading.

Standout Moments

Generally, I liked that ambiguity around Lincoln. It’s not clear who he is until more evidence surfaces. Lincoln describes how he could see the Wayne building reflected in the mirrored glass of the nearby Crown building on Gotham City’s skyline. This is, I think, the best Dark Reflection theme expressed in this story arc. Clearly, the Wayne Building imprinted on him when he was a child. The Court of Owls could have taken into consideration this imprint when he was recruited. At this time, however, it is still unknown.

Greg Capullo and FCO Plascencia provide an excellent and clever cover to Issue #11. There are flames rising up in front of Batman that look like wisps of flame from a larger bonfire. looking closer, the fire is in the shape of bats, rising phoenix-like to new life. The cover confirms that Batman is likely to emerge from this battle alive. Bright orange flame, and the jet black shadows cast from it, are the high points of the art, which bring the action to life. Jonathan Glapion’s inking is consistent and stylish, adding a clear accent to character facial expressions. The peach glow of the afternoon light in the back up story backgroud make the final conversation between Bruce and Alfred feel safe and relaxed. The relaxed poses imply that the characters are finally winding down after The Court of Owls attack.

Another background used is a maze, which was a good surprise and slows the pace at just the right moment.

The maze background. Batman stands on the walls of what might be the same Labyrinth in the panel on the upper right.

Even after the dust settles though, The Court of Owls and Lincoln March are still around if the activity at a Comic Con 2012 DC comics panel is anything to go by.

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