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Batman #3 - The Thirteenth Hour Review

5

Batman thought he knew everything about Gotham City. He now finds himself up against an unknown enemy that has secretly been in Gotham for years. Guess we'll see just how prepared Batman can be.

Bruce Wayne has been under attack by a strange new villain claiming to have roots deep in Gotham. Batman doesn't believe that to be the case. Could Batman actually be...wrong?

The Good

Batman is pretty much all about his villains. Yes, he can be cool even going up against someone like Condiment King but it's his fights against his classic villains that we get excited about. Over the years, we have seen new villains created but not many manage to rise to the top of the list of deadly foes. Until now, that is.

Scott Snyder has introduced the deadly assassin Talon and the Court of Owls. Last issue Bruce Wayne was attacked and surprised by this killer. It appeared that Bruce got the upper hand but Talon managed to walk away from his deadly fall in order to cause more conflict. Batman refuses to believe there could be a secret organization that has been in Gotham since before he was born but he is discovering clues that just might convince him otherwise. We also get a flashback to 1922 that might explain why Talon told Bruce he 'loved killing Waynes' last issue.

While there is a great fight scene with multiple attackers amazingly drawn by Greg Capullo, there isn't an overabundance of action. It turns out you will not miss it a bit. We've seen story after story of Batman but this truly feels like the first time we're seeing something new. The fact that there could be more to Gotham than any of us realized is enough to blow your mind.

I read this comic extremely slowly for two reasons. First, I didn't want it to end and have to wait another month for a new issue. But more importantly, I wanted to savor every single bit. I wanted to take in every tiny bit of detail written by Snyder and depicted by Capullo. The conversations here are important and you'll want to absorb every single word. There are discoveries and revelations to be made and seeing where the comic goes in the later half is really something.

The Bad

Is it possible that Batman didn't know anything about the Court of Owls before? Or is it that this group really does have the upper hand over him?

The Verdict

A new adversary, a new mystery, action, detective work and revelations and a cliffhanger is all crammed into this comic. Snyder and Capullo do a superb job deliver another great issue. This issue doesn't have as much action as issue #2 but there is a lot going on. Batman is supposed the world's greatest detective and we get to see some of that detective work. The idea that a secret organization could have existed in Gotham for decades without Batman having any knowledge is almost absurd but incredibly scary at the same time. Batman is discovering that he doesn't have all the answers. He can't always be prepared for everything. This is a new type of Batman story. It's a great ride that you're going to want to sit back and savor every tiny bit. Reading this series just makes me happy to be a Batman fan.

25 Comments
Posted by EnSabahNurX

I hope talon has staying power, otherwise he will just fade like adam west's tv villains XD

Posted by CombatSpoon86

awesome review. can't wait.

G-Man do you know if the capullo cover (the first one) is the regualar or the variant? want to get the capullo cover more than the 3rd one

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Bruce has the squarest chin in the west. I like it when Bats is playing catch-up, it makes it more interesting.

Posted by AwesomeAquaman

I wasn't initially impressed by Talon, but the more I see of him the more I like his overall appeal. This is shaping up to be a great arc.

Posted by halfpastwhenever

I love that cover. I can't wait to pick this up tomorrow.

Posted by G-Man

@CombatSpoon86: Capullo's is the main cover. Ivan Reis is the variant. The Capullo black and white is the super variant, the 1-in-200 (I think).

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Posted by fury714

The cover is insanely awesome. I might just pick this one up while it's still in issue 3. :D

Posted by Eyz

An assassin, "Talon" and now the court of "Owls".... Crime Syndicate anyone? :P

Posted by kennybaese

I always like seeing Reis draw Batman, but damn if that Capullo cover isn't rad... I might pick it up just for the cover (I'm going to read the whole Snyder Batman run in trade) and put it on the wall next to my copies of Detective 880 and Secret Six 35. I think they'd go well together with the white backgrounds.

Anyway, I'm seriously excited to read this in trade. Cannot wait for that to come out.

Posted by mrwolf710

I'm a complete comic book newb (just started reading them the weekend before last after not having read them for over 25 years) but I really love the mystery vibe they have going with Batman. Plus Talon seems pretty deadly and tough. That seems like something Batman needs.

Edited by longbowhunter

I loved seeing Bruce discover the Owl nests. This series continues to deliver a great mystery and fantastic artwork for the mere cost of $2.99, WOW!!! Its a really good time to be a Batman reader.

Posted by redbird3rdboywonder

seems intersting very intersting talon could be a great villan if dont right

Posted by fenixREVOLUTION

This right here is my book of the week. We get to see Bruce sleuthing it up for the whole issue, but it was a damn fine read. Talon is definitely set up to be an interesting villain that I hope outlasts this arc. Capullo's art is again a delight in this book, it's cartoony for sure, but it has a good look to it and fits this book well. Seems like the final showdown is nearing.

Posted by grimlock

i think they should change the title to something like"finally batman gets his ass kicked" lol

Posted by Om1kron

Greg Capullo is my comic book salvation, after a 12 year break from collecting comics. Here I am spending roughly 60 bucks a month on comic books again. And mostly all of the new DC titles. Swamp thing and Animal Man are pretty CRAZY too. 

Posted by iaconpoint

@Om1kron: Ya, me too. I thought the idea of "the new 52" was kinda lame at first, but man, I am loving it so far. I spend WAY more on books now than I did before it started.

Posted by Knight Train

really? I thought it was weakest of the 3, still good but not as good. The pacing of this one was rather muddled and the villian's design is rather weak, but the action and art was really good as always, and I love discovering the mystery with Batman.

Posted by ltbrd

I finished playing Arkham City about 2 weeks ago and all that I can think when I read this arc is the same thing the game Batman thought when meeting Azrael, "great, another secret society."

It just feels a little forced that this Court of Owls would have existed so long in Gotham and yet; 1) The Wayne family doesn't know anything about them given the Wayne's basically created Gotham; 2) Batman has never heard mention of them; 3) They've never gone after Batman before. I mean, how is Batman's goal of ridding Gotham of crime that much different than Bruce wanting to revitalize the city?

Plus this coming right on the heels of the Gates of Gotham arc makes it feel like the writers are trying to make Gotham seem to much like a living entity (not gonna even mention my utter hate of the Stormwatch guy that can "talk to cities") with an unknown murky past when we get nothing like this in Metropolis or any other major city. Yeah it kind of fits Batman's character a bit better than Superman to do this but it still feels a little forced.

Posted by Rise2Ragnarok

Great review, I'm loving this book so far too. It seems that whatever Scott Snyder is doing lately ends up being amazing

Posted by Afro_Warrior

@ltbrd:

I agree with you to an extent. It does feel a bit cliched that theirs ANOTHER secret society that Batman doesn't know about, but it could also work well. Since so far the Court of Owls hasn't actually shown itself to be anything more then a bunch of people. They haven't been revealed as controlling crime in Gotham or anything like that. They could just be a collection of powerful people in Gotham; think more classical illuminati.

Now to answer your points (Batman #3 spoilers)

1.

It's possible that Alan Wayne was in fact a member of the Court of Owls, and as he grew senile and paranoid in his old age, his paranoia convinced him his fellow Owl's were turning on him. Which would explain quite well, why the Court of Owls became his paranoid bogeyman.

2.

Batman has heard of them and he even investigated them for time. However he didn't find anything and so chose to believe they didn't exist. Even the worlds greatest detective can't know everything.

3.

The Court may have simply ignored Batman because at the end of the day. One man can't stop crime or change Gotham permanently. Bats can reduce crime and help to make people feel safer, but at the end of the day theirs only so much one man in a mask can do. Where as Bruce has the resources and the clout to create lasting change in a way Batman could never achieve. Thus making him a threat.

Posted by zombietag

this issue ruled. i didnt even think about it having less action because it was so good! i loved it.

my only question is, theres tons of reasons bruce might not know about this group and i think it could make sense, but what are they doing for gotham anyways if hes never seen them? are they supposed to be a force for good?

the only reason i ask is because if they arent doing anything, fine bruce has never seen em. but if they are doing things at all ever, especially going against (or teaming with) criminals or whatever, hes never run into any one of them before?

Posted by Owie

I only read Batman every once in a while but this is a fantastic arc. I really like the way the Owls are unknown to Batman, that they might be more of a part of the city than he is.

Posted by zvex

This is the first Bat book in all the New 52 that has really blown my mind. Looking forward to seeing more of Talon. Great review

Posted by ShirEPanjshir

Downright the best issue of last week.

Posted by SniffumsActual

Great review tony. the worst part is having to wait so damn long in between issues it feels like. but greg capullo can take all the time he needs to draw this book. hope he stays on with Scott Snyder for a while.