REVIEW: Batman and Robin #23.2

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As the Forever Evil villains event continues this month in DC, we’re learning very interesting things about the baddies, and this issue is no exception!

SUMMARY

Pros
Dark, scary action involving the Court of Owls and the citizens of Gotham City.
The issue explains some of the Court’s past and sets up future storylines in Talon!

Cons
If you haven’t read previous appearances of the Court, be sure to catch up asap!
This one is NOT for the kiddies!

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


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BATMAN AND ROBIN #23.2
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Jorge Lucas
Cover: Pat Gleason, Mick Gray & John Kalisz
Publisher: DC Comics

Group Editor: Mike Marts
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in BATMAN AND ROBINActually, this also has to do with the Batman and Talon titles as well! The mysterious Court of Owls has slowly been revealed to the Dark Knight, and they’re cold and calculating ways have been up to no good!

WHAT MAKES THE COURT OF OWLS SUCH A GOOD OPPONENT?

Comic-book villains tend to be the obvious head of a gang. You take out that person, the rest of the group scatters. Also, he or she can be a solo act.

Neither are true with the Court of Owls. We often have no idea who are behind those creepy owl masks. And that’s a good thing. Usually Batman can figure out who is who (an allusion to a sequence in this issue). It’s fascinating when he’s not quite able to do that.

Then, too, they’ve been around for a long, long time, manipulating things behind the scenes. We’re left to wonder just what they’ve been doing to people in Gotham. We do find out a couple of things they’ve changed here as well.

Also, the Court reminds me of the Dominion in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There are layers to the organization, including the Talons, who resemble the Jem’Hadar, the “muscle” of the organization.

One just has to give credit to Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and anyone else involved in the creation and development of the Court of Owls. I hope they’re causing trouble for a long time to come.

TYNION’S STORY PEELS BACK SOME OF THE LAYERS OF THE COURT

Since he scripts Talon, Tynion is the perfect writer for this issue. He moves us around in the Court’s timeline, showing just how merciless they have been and, thus, will continue to be. I imagine we haven’t heard the last of these characters, even the ones who die in this book. The Court is tweaking Gotham City’s history they way they want it to be, which is kind of frightening because I have to wonder if there aren’t organizations like this existing in cities today.

I was fascinated by the reaction of Gothamites to the apparent “death” of the Justice League. They’re looting the city like crazy! And the Court seems happy with that situation! Chaos probably suits them all!

Of course, the issue ends with a cliffhanger, and I’d never reveal it here. Let’s just say that as much as I love Talon, I’m looking forward to future issues even more!

THE MOODY ART FITS THE STORY WELL

I particularly enjoyed the cover, which is a haunting family portrait with everyone disguised in owl masks. It’s a sign of just how twisted the Court is when compared to the rest of the world. We also see Batman in chains behind the family. Loved it!

Lucas’ dark and moody art ramps up the terror that Court and its Talons want to inflict. I especially was impressed with the early sequence when a child repeats the rhyme about the Court, then reveals he was taught it by a Talon! Yikes!

Then when a child does the killing while her parent looks on, THAT was also scary. Kids normally spook me out for some reason, and this one worries me in particular! Good job!

BOTTOM LINE: THE COURT OF OWLS GETS SCARIER THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT THEM!

This issue is what I was hoping for from Forever Evil. It teases us with intriguing tidbits about the Court of Owls while showing us things that will impact future storylines.

It’s one of the best I’ve read so far in September, but it does make me anxious to read the rest of the month’s offerings! Rating: Five out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★★★