Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52). (Anglais) Relié – 26 mars 2013
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Revue de presse
“A+. The hero's got personality (and is unafraid to release a quip as sharp as a Batarang), a horde of supervillains, gumption to spare and a whole host of high-tech gadgetry to suitably impress longtime fans and those new to the Dark Knight.”
“This is one of the best comics of the week.”
—The New York Times
“[Writer Scott Snyder] pulls from the oldest aspects of the Batman myth, combines it with sinister-comic elements from the series’ best period, and gives the whole thing terrific forward-spin by setting up an honest-to-gosh mystery for Batman to solve.”
“Scott Snyder, already the company's greatest asset over the last four weeks, spins a stack of plates immediately…. Too often Batman comics focus heavily on the hero persona … Snyder sets up equal amounts of conflict for both Wayne's public and private personas.”
—Time Out Chicago
Présentation de l'éditeur
A New York Times #1 Bestseller!
For over a century, the Court of Owls has ruled Gotham City in secret - their reach inescapable, their power unstoppable.
Until they battled the Batman.
Gotham's vigilante protector managed to escape the talons of the Court with his mind and body barely intact. The Dark Knight managed to win the battle with his deadly new aggresors, but certainly not the war. Batman was just the first part of their conquest. Now they have their sights set on something much bigger: Gotham City.
A critical and commercial smash, BATMAN: THE CITY OF OWLS (collecting BATMAN 8-12 and BATMAN ANNUAL #1) continues the instant-classic saga of the Dark Knight's battle with Gotham City's oldest and darkest forces from the #1 New York Times best-selling creative team of writer Scott Snyder (AMERICAN VAMPIRE) and artist Greg Capullo (Spawn), plus an array of talented guest contributors!
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Dans le cadre de la relance de toutes les séries de comic books de la maison DC Comics en 2011, sous l'appellation "The New 52!", la série mensuelle 'Batman' a été confiée au jeune scénariste Scott Snyder - déjà célèbre pour des histoires de vampires étatsuniens - et au dessinateur Greg Capullo - à la renommée principalement associée à Todd McFarlane et à la maison Image comics.
Le "pitch" de "The New 52!" était "Comme d'habitude, plus rien n'est comme avant", en particulier pour un personnage tel que Batman qui avait plus de 70 ans d'histoire et un important succès commercial en l'état. Ou plus exactement, "Faites du neuf qui soit accueillant pour les néophytes sans nous aliéner les fidèles lecteurs".
En bon collaborateur, Snyder maintient l'essentiel de l'univers de l'Homme Chauve-Souris mais propose une ancienne et gigantesque conspiration sous-tendant toute l'histoire de la ville de Gotham et orchestrée par les Hibous (Owls), des animaux qui ne dédaignent pas de mettre des chauve-souris au menu de leur casse-dalle nocturne. Cette conspiration est une "première nouvelle" pour le Batman, et a fortiori pour ses lecteurs, même les plus anciens.Lire la suite ›
Alors que Bruce Wayne se repose un peu dans sa bibliothèque, la Cour des Hiboux a décidé de passer à l'offensive en lâchant ses agents (Talons, en français les Ergots) dans Gotham pour en assassiner les principaux édiles.Lire la suite ›
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...But Batman has had enough.
Finally, the wait if over. Snyder and Capullo's volume 2 of the conclusion to the Court of Owls story comes full-speed ahead that is equal parts gripping and powerful, yet eerily familiar to Pre-52 fans.
BATMAN VOL.2: CITY OF OWLS collects issues #8-12 with back stories "Fall of the House of Wayne" and BATMAN ANNUAL #1. Bruce Wayne has just starting to recover from days of torture in the Court's maze, to which suddenly the Courts Talons make a direct attack on the Wayne mansion. The ferocity of numerous Talons push Bruce to the point that he has had enough of owls and the Court and dons the Batman persona to finally put an end to the Court, by taking the battle back at them where it hurts.
I will not give out any more info because there would be spoilers aplenty, but let's clear some stuff first. First, go read volume 1 before reading volume 2. Many little clues Snyder expertly lay out in volume 1 start to unravel itself and come full circle here in volume 2, so you might need to refresh your memory as to catch all of the little nuggets of information you might of missed. Secondly, the companion book Batman: Night of the Owls (The New 52) is not essential or needed to read with volume 2. Snyder's Court of Owls volume 1 and City of Owls volume 2 is the prime self contained story that is vital, while Night of the Owls was the tie-ins that take place during the Talons attacks on Gotham. Thankfully, Snyder's City of Owls only makes a reference to the Night of the Owls event with Detective Comics which might confuse readers a little, but everything important and story-wise the reader needs is right here. And thirdly, if you read the Night of the Owls event before hand, keep your expectations in check. You might be expecting a full blown, epic scale ending that involves the entire Bat-family, but this is just a Batman book. It's still epic in its own right; it just didn't need the tie-ins to sell itself.
If volume 1 was the Court taking the fight to Batman, volume 2 is Batman taking the fight back to the Court. Snyder's Batman is raw with emotion about him as we saw with him going crazy in the Courts maze, to almost giving up, to volume 2 and his pandering of the Courts long existence and even getting overwhelmed by the Talons. But now Batman cuts loose his angry toward the court and the mastermind behind it all that we've all been dying to see. Added with the big reveal, Snyder's mystery and realization of the Court happens the exact same time the reader does, making Batman a character that reacts to the main bad guy in real-time with the readers. This makes volume 2 a great ending that gives readers what they want, seeing Batman get back at the Court and solve the mystery at the same time. Fans of Snyder's Batman: The Black Mirror will also truly appreciate the references to the big reveal and Black Mirror comparisons, further driving home Snyder's them of Batman being about Gotham itself.
Besides a good bulk of the book going to the conclusion for the Court of Owls story, volume also holds the the Batman Annual #1 is a good retelling of Victor Freeze in the New 52 and Batman issue #12 as a stand alone tale about Harper Row, the girl readers were introduced in issue #7 that proves to be a interesting character that Snyder is building for the future some time down the road. It does give the familiar feeling Row might fall into the tech person similar to Oracle Pre-52 but we'll see when the time comes.
Art is pitch-perfect by Greg Capullo. The fight in the Batcave against the Talons is exhilarating, to Batman's hatred of the Court, to the finally of the Main Owl leader. Everything is well done on Capullo's art and I have no problems with it at all. Jason Fabok does the Annual, while Becky Cloonan and Andy Clarke do issue #12.
As for complaints, I have a few. One real minor (and personal) one is the Talons are a bit too talkative this time around. The Talons keep their awe and mystique when they rarely speak, which they now sound like high school bullies. The main complaints involve readers who did actually buy the Night of the Owls book, because if you did, the only new issues you're getting are 10-12 when you buy City of Owls, so you feel a little bit cheated. Another is that the volume 2 has the prime Court of Owls conclusion story from issues 8-11, so you might read through the 4 issues reasonably quickly. And issue #12 and the Annual #1, which are good in their own right, feel a bit in cohesive, especially the Annual which is right in the middle of the book that hurts the flow of the Court of Owls conclusion. DC could of place the Annual the very end of the book as to not hurt the narrative.
And final heads-up has to go to the conclusion of the Court of Owls story. The mastermind behind the owls might make readers have various degrees of thought and feeling because Snyder introduces something that has to do with the Batman mythos that I'm sure will have different opinions on it. Some might scream foul on Snyder and some might applaud him for it. I'm a little in-between on the subject, but I'll let readers decide that for themselves. And for a comic that is supposed about new beginnings in the New 52, long time Bat-readers might not find the big reveal all that fresh and new since it makes references to past Bat-stores and ideas (Grant Morrison's run on Batman is one of a few example). New readers won't have a problem with this at all, but old time readers might or might not feel as if Snyder is really reinventing Batman as they thought he is. But again, you be the judge of that.
BATMAN VOLUME 2: CITY OF OWLS concludes on a high note that will either have you loving what Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done or question it. Either way, the two make for a great team in the Bat-World right now that shows these men have the chops for it. Great writing, great art, and a overall great little mystery, City of Owls is great book if you enjoyed volume 1. But with the little drawbacks like the Court of Owls conclusion being 4 issues long, the Annual not fitting well fitting well here, or the questionable ending, I'll give the score a 4 ½ score, but round up to 5. Still a solid book worth checking and I'll see you Bat-readers around October for the next big arc with the return of the Joker in Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52).
Bruce Wayne thought he knew Gotham City. The city he was born in. The city his parents died in. The city he became the Batman in. As the Batman he had to understand his city, know every nook and cranny in order to defeat the criminal element. Bruce felt he had that mastered. He was wrong. Enter the Court of Owls. Bruce dismissed them as just a myth but he was so wrong. They educated him on that and showed him just how much Gotham is their city. But now that the Bat knows of them and has suffered at their hands it's time to take the fight to them.
Let me first start off by saying what a great time it is to be a Batman fan. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo follow up the first volume in heart pounding fashion as they continue to prove they are one of the best writer/artist duos working in comics today. Wow!
Issue eight has Bruce licking his wounds back at Wayne manor with trusty Alfred by his side. They are hit and hit hard by an assault from the Court by their warrior class, the Talon's. It unfolds in great pulse pounding fashion a credit to writer and artist here as both men are forced into hiding in the Batcave. The backup feature follows appropriately here, co-written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, in which Bruce "suits up" to deal with the Talons as Alfred sends a distress call out to the other vigilantes of Gotham and members of the Bat-Family leading into Night of the Owls, a tie-in event that takes place across the various other Bat titles but you get the main story and all that is really important here.
Issue nine is the dark knight triumphant! Batman fights back in such brutality amazingly drawn by Capullo. Bruce had underestimated the Court but regains his confidence and sets out to take them down.
Next is the Annual. It is illustrated by Jason Fabok who is currently killing it on Detective Comics. This is a slight detour from the main story but not too jarring and plus who doesn't love an awesome Mr. Freeze story! Snyder gives good ole' Dr. Fries a New 52 remake that pays tribute to the classic Batman: The Animated Series origin but gives a few twists and surprises that make a satisfying and acceptable new origin. Also, Freeze has a bone to pick with the Court as well.
Issues ten and eleven have Batman hunting down the Court and sticking it to them. A huge revelation is made shaking up the Wayne's origins but I found it to be a fascinating addition to the Wayne mythos as no family is without their shocks and secrets. The main villain does get a little too chatty in the climax and the conclusion with Bruce and Dick drags a bit as well. Minor flaws that took some tension and intrigue out of the end.
The rest of the backups are then featured (9-11) illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque. A fascinating tale from Jarvis Pennyworth to his son Alfred warning him not to come to Gotham because the Wayne's are dangerous to be around.
Issue twelve is a stand alone issue that actually dips in and out, time wise, of the previous eleven issues. It features Harper Row a bit of a punk teenage girl with a good heart. She lives with her gay brother who she has to protect from bullies and is a tomboy as well. She crosses paths with the Batman and gives her life new purpose. The first part is illustrated by Becky Cloonan, the first woman to draw an issue of Batman and a great job she does. The second part is done by Andy Clark who is a guy who has drawn Batman before and does a great job as well.
Great art. Great story. Great Batman. Bring on Joker. Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
So if this is such a great read, why four stars? In another review, Anarchy in the US nailed it when he likened the Talons to bullies. They get chatty and lose some of the allure and mystique that Court of Owls provided. Another squabble that I have concerns a certain revelation. Not the revelation itself, but the person behind it. If the Talons were chatty, then this person would talk your ear off. Another issue was abrupt change of pace between issues #11, #12 and the Annual. There's a case to be made with the inclusion of issue #12. Not only does it come after the conclusion to the Court of Owls arc, but it also provides clarity on Row's brief appearance in #7, so it ends up being a useful and beneficial tie-in. Personally, I read the Annual after I finished the rest of the novel, but not doing so will probably throw readers off if read in the order this novel provides.
Scott Snyder has done some engaging story telling with The City of Owls and it is another great collection that's sure to please. I have it at 4 stars, but it's a solid 4.5 rating. The Court of Owls are broken, but they are not gone, and I look forward to their inevitable return with glee.
The Court of Owls attack is still under way and now volume 2 is here encased in a nice hardcover with dustjacket like the first volume. This book covers issues 8-12 of the Batman series and Batman Annual #1 as well. The Court infiltrating Bruce's home gives a sense of hopelessness to the secrets Batman maintains and the art here by Greg Capullo and Rafael Albuquerque really implement the dread and cunning in the Court attack. However, the only downside is the transition from Greg to Rafael is not seamless by any means and just jumps to a different art-style mid-comic. Continuing on, the annual issue has guest writer James Tynion IV helping Scott Snyder, who wrote everything in the book, formulate the terrible new origin story to Mr. Freeze. The art by Jason Fabok is what saves the issue but the character of Mr. Freeze is forever scarred by a changed origin story for the worse. Greg and Rafael continue art duty for the main story and a nice backstory for Alfred's father and his struggles with the Court. Finally, we have an issue dedicated to a character named Harper Row with art by Becky Cloonan. Overall, it's a good book and the plethora of artists definitely doesn't detract from the feel of the writing. The Court of Owls storyline could have had a better ending but overall, was a good ride with the thrill of seeing Mr. Freeze, Penguin, and many others involved in this takeover of Gotham. Definitely a book to pick up and the textless covers and variant gallery in the back of the book make it even better!
I really enjoyed this graphic novel collection. Having the issues (Batman 8-12, and Batman Annual 1) all together made the read more enjoyable. I'm glad I did not have to wait a month between each installment.
I highly recommend this for any comic fan, and especially Batman fans.