People used to say that if Adam West’s Batman came across Frank Miller’s version of the same character, he would try to arrest him since he seemed more villain than hero!
That’s kind of what’s happening in the Dynamite Entertainment’s new The Owl, a pulp hero being rebooted for today’s readers.
It explores the question, what would happen to a hero transplanted from the past into today’s crime-fighting environment?
Coupled with the first issue, this comic does an excellent job of telling the reader everything needed to know to “get” what’s happening.
It’s only a mini-series right now, but it could be a great ongoing comic!
Previously in THE OWL: Lost for fifty years in an ethereal limbo, the Owl has come back to find a violent and desperate world of strangers. The woman he loved is gone, but he remains determined to continue his fight for justice. Can the Owl withstand the challenges awaiting him… or will this new reality crush his body and spirit?
Now, I guess it says how old I am that I actually read The Owl comics from Dell way back in the 1960s. Let’s face it … this was taking place when Batman was hot on ABC, and every comics company was attempting to develop their own “Caped Crusader.” There was money to be had in superhero comics, especially ones that had heroes resembling Batman.
That series didn’t last long, sadly, but it made an indelible impression on me.
So when I saw news about the Owl and that Mr. Krul, one of my favorite comics writers, was scripting him, I was fascinated to check it out.
THE FIRST ISSUE ROCKED
The first issue didn’t in any way disappoint! In fact, it was a great kick-off to a tale about a “fish out of water,” with the Owl/Nick Terry, complete with new costume, struggling to become part of the city he protected decades ago, attempting to live life again even without his mask on!
“With a character like the Owl, I get to explore the heart of a true hero whose greatest threat seems to be the soul of the entire world around him,” said Krul in a press release. “Nick Terry used to live in a golden age it seemed, but he now finds himself in our present day – and a world filled with greed, apathy, and utter desperation at every turn. It’s the mark of a true hero, staying true to one’s ideals when there is little hope to be found. In this story, he’ll see what his mission and legacy has become and it will scare him more than anything else.”
The Owl’s version of Robin used to be Owl Girl, and we see her a lot more in the just-released second issue. Owl Girl doesn’t ACT like Nick’s old partner, seemingly corrupted by the new reality.
WHAT ABOUT OWL GIRL?
Here’s how the second issue is described: “The Owl is stunned by a blast from the past when Owl Girl shows up on the scene. But this can’t be the same woman he partnered up with all those years ago. She died. So who is this mysterious new Owl Girl? And where did she get her violent streak from?”
It’s interesting that the Owl’s partner, who is female, is like Hawkgirl in that she’s there to take the baddies down and out. She also believes in taking their ill-gotten gain to finance her operation. Let’s just say that Nick doesn’t think that’s the way to run things, which ruffles Owl Girl’s feathers and sets up a lot of conflict between the two in upcoming issues.
BOTTOM LINE: THE OWL IS A GREAT REBOOT OF A CLASSIC HERO!
This is a powerful story of action and character drama not to be missed! Dynamite has been successfully reworking pulp heroes for the last few years, and The Owl to me is the best one yet!
The Owl is a mini-series of only four issues, so those of us interested in it should be buying it as much as possible so we can get more! It’s a unique take on costumed crime fighters, so it gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!