Graphic Novel Review: Batman Volume 1: The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder

Updated on March 15, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Batman: Volume 1: The Court of Owls cover.
Batman: Volume 1: The Court of Owls cover. | Source

Quick Info

Author: Scott Snyder
Publisher: DC Comics
Published: May 15, 2012
Page Count: 176 pages

Story Summary

Batman: The Court of Owls is a graphic novel by Scott Snyder. Bruce Wayne has revealed plans to add buildings and new businesses to Gotham City. The mysterious Court of Owls sends an assassin to kill him, and Batman must discover what they want and stop them before it’s too late. Bruce has never believed in the existence of the Court of Owls, but the mystery he’s found might prove him wrong.

Batman Has an Entertaining Personality

I liked Batman’s personality in this graphic novel. He smiles a little in the comic; he makes a few jokes in the comics. He has an entertaining personality, and I like his character's interactions with other characters.

Batman is interesting and entertaining, and his personality is what makes the book fun and a great read.

Batman investigating the Court of Owls.
Batman investigating the Court of Owls. | Source

I Really Like the Added Mythos to Gotham City

I have always loved Batman stories. Batman has always had an interesting mythology. Scott Snyder added a new and interesting aspect to the mythology. DC Comics never really went into the history of Gotham City that much.

The Court of Owls brings a new mythology to Batman. I love the idea of a shadowy cabal that has been controlling Gotham City long before Batman ever existed is an interesting aspect of storytelling that makes Batman become a better character.

The new, added aspect of the Talons, the Court of Owls assassins make a nice addition to Batman’s rogues’ gallery.

Scott Snyder created a new set of villains, and it’s fantastic that they are foes worthy of Batman.

The Artwork Is Amazing

The art by Greg Capullo is also excellent and it looks awesome. The fights are excellent and the character designs are very good. I like the rough look of the art style and how it’s very unique compared to illustrations I’ve seen in other Batman comics.

The book also does something clever in issue six that surprised a lot of people, but I won’t give it away.

The art is unique and uses a lot of animal symbolism in the illustrations so that makes the illustrations stand out because of the clever use of symbolism in this comic.

The New Lore Was Foreshadowed Before the Relaunch

The Court of Owls had been foreshadowed in the book Batman: Gates of Gotham before DC Comics rebooted the continuity. That’s a nice way to hint at the new villains before introducing them to the audience.

Even though the continuity had been rebooted, Scott Snyder kept that part of continuity in his head to bring us a great addition to Batman’s villains.

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This Book Ended on a Cliffhanger

The book ended on a cliffhanger, and that might disappoint some readers, but because this is a long series before the DC Rebirth reboot, this will continue in Batman: Night of the Owls Volume 2.

It could be irritating to readers because it ends abruptly, but it does leave you wanting to find out what happens next and that is a sign of good storytelling.

The Court of Owls Was a Highlight of the New 52

DC Comics’ New 52 continuity reboot had its share of highs and lows with some books being outstanding and others that were really mediocre. Fortunately, Batman: The Court of Owls Volume 1 was one of the best New 52 comics that came out of the new lineup.

It’s a well-loved story that gave us a new villainous cabal for Batman to fight against as he protects Gotham City. While it’s not a perfect book it’s a wild ride that I enjoyed reading.

Content Rating

This comic is rated T for teen because of blood, violence, and some profanity. It is recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Talon attacks Batman.
The Talon attacks Batman. | Source

Quick Summary

What Works
What Doesn't Work
Great story, characters, and world-building
The story ended on a cliffhanger
Interesting and unique artwork
 
Added new mythos to Batman lore
 

My Grade: A+

I really enjoyed this comic. The story is very well written and interesting. I like the characterization of Bruce Wayne and the mystery Scott Snyder set up. The Court of Owls is a worthy opponent for Bruce because they’re one of Gotham’s legends and Bruce believes that Batman is the only legend Gotham needs.

This is also a book that I was excited to read. It’s a must own for any fan of Batman. Scott Snyder’s run of Batman is something I always look forward to reading when the trade paperback comes out.

If you’re looking for an excellent Batman comic, don’t hesitate to pick this up. Even though it’s a little slow at the beginning, it takes several twists and turns and ends on an excellent cliffhanger that makes me excited for the crossover even Night of the Owls. It’s well worth your time and money to pick it up, it’s one of my favorite comics that’s come out recently and won’t disappoint newcomers or longtime fans of the Caped Crusader.

While the book isn’t perfect and there are some flaws, it’s still an enjoyable mystery story that gave us new Batman villains with an interesting twist because they are a part of Gotham’s history, not just another one of Batman’s tragic villains or anti-heroes.

The Talons are a terrifying addition because while they are not the main villains they are the formidable arm of the Court and since they’re part of the mythos of the Court itself, it makes them interesting enemies for Batman too.

The Court of Owls as a group brings with them interesting additions to the lore of Gotham City itself, and that’s not an easy thing for a writer to introduce a new group of villains while keeping them fresh and unique for readers to enjoy seeing conflicts between them and Batman.

Pick this up at your local bookstore or online on Amazon.com. It is also available on Kindle if you want to buy it as an ebook. It’s a must-have for fans who collect comics and is one of the best books DC’s New 52 has to offer.

There is also a collectors edition that comes with one of the owl masks that members of the Court of Owls wear so that’s a neat item if you’re interested in collecting it.

This is a Batman story that is worth reading, and it’s a great place to start for newcomers and not just because of the continuity reboot either. It’s one that I have in my collection and have reread a few times because I love it as one of my favorite Batman stories.

My Rating

5 stars for Graphic Novel Review: Batman: The Court of Owls

Questions & Answers

  • How can you tell if your batman comic book is valuable?

    It would have to be in perfect mint condition, but it's probably not that valuable unless you've got a collector cover issue.

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