Secrets are revealed and we're seeing big changes in the history of the bat-characters.
Kyle Higgins and Scott Snyder began this historical journey of the Bat-Family characters with GATES OF GOTHAM. We hadn't seen the story of any of Dick's family beyond his parents. The revelation in issue #7 showed us that the Talon that Batman has been fighting is actually Dick's great-grandfather. With the cliffhanger from last issue, we're also seeing the continuation of William Cobb's story and how it leads to Dick.
Every once in a while, it's good to see a fight like this. Dick is getting seriously injured and there's blood everywhere. Too often we see a bit of a fight between hero and villain and the hero always wins. Because of the fierce and brutal nature of this Talon, there's more at stake. This won't just be another battle soon to be forgotten.
During the flashback, it's eerie to see Cobb's first days with the Court and the familiar territory that Batman recently was. It's almost mind-blowing to think that all this history could have always been lying there beneath the surface and no one was aware. That's why this is a great story. We're seeing new elements being added to the citizens of Gotham but it doesn't feel like a forced retcon. These are layers of history that have simply been hidden from us all these years.
Eddy Barrows and Andres Guinaldo share the art duties and there's a great mix between the action and flashback scenes. The moments we see elements from BATMAN are depicted perfectly and it was a great touch to see some of the different locations used here.
Batman could barely fight a single Talon (William Cobb). Dick managed to defeat one last issue fairly easily and now has to face Cobb while trying to catch his breath. This has been common to other Night of the Owls crossover issues. Either Batman's allies are extremely lucky when facing their Talons or they're just better fighters (and we all know what the case is).
I would have liked to see this issue play out a little longer. We had a great mix between the action and the flashback/history lesson on Cobb. Because of that, the fight felt a little shorter.
Will Dick Grayson be able to survive the Night of the Owls? Not only is he facing the same Talon that gave Batman a run for his money but he also happens to be his great-grandfather. We get to witness a more brutal battle as there are plenty of stabbing and gushing wounds that sets this apart from the typical fights we see in Batman comics. The Talons aren't enemies that should be taken lightly but unfortunately we've been seeing them fairly easily defeated in the other tie-in issues. The way this story ties into BATMAN is handled nicely and gives the impression that there is lots of coordination going on (with the exception of the ease in how Talons are defeated). But because we're talking about Dick Grayson, he should be able to learn from what's been going on. Out of all the others fighting Talons during this event, he knows more since he and Bruce had a conversation about them. It's great to have a crossover that isn't completely reliant on the other issues and able to stand on its own. Dick is being deeply affected by these revelations and it should be interesting to see if he'll bring it up after this story is over…if he survives this issue, of course.