Review of Batman #4

“Never let your emotions guide you on a case.”

***Contains Spoilers***

Well, of course Batman isn’t killed in the explosion. He was banged up a bit but he was able to get out more or less intact. Alfred slipped him a little something to get him to rest. Nightwing drops by for a little visit and finds Batman examining the remains of Allan Wayne. Nightwing expresses concern that he is obsessed and taking and underestimating his enemy, seeing as how Batman has come very close to death twice recently(issues 2 and 3). Bruce explains that he is being objective and treating this like any other case. He tells Nightwing that he first investigated the Court of Owls when he was a boy, after his parents were killed. He wanted to believe that their murder had a larger meaning, not just that they were gunned down by some random guy. Over the years he has looked into the rumored Court, but never found anything. He suspects that the evidence found in the various hiding places could have been faked.

After refusing Nightwing’s assistance Batman heads to the sewers where Allan Wayne was found dead. He found evidence that he was, in fact, murdered. While checking a wall he is attacked again by Talon. After being knocked unconscious he awakens in a strange maze. Several members of the Court of Owls appear on a monitor overhead and welcome him the “The Labyrinth”.

This issue tells us the story of young Bruce Wayne’s first case as a detective. As a boy he did his research and ended up getting locked in an abandoned room over an old club. It seems that he displayed his drive to solve crimes from a very early age. It makes sense, after seeing his parents murdered hw wanted there to be a larger meaning to it all. I am torn on weather or not I think the Court of Owls has really been around for centuries. I understand that they are supposed to be a secret society, but for them to go unnoticed under the watch of the Bat Family for so long? That seems unlikely to me. It could be that someone decided to trade in on the fear of the name, gain an instant reputation.

I like how NIghtwing keeps dropping by the Batcave. It makes sense to me, with so many members of the Bat Family operating in Gotham, plus other allies, they would have to talk to each other often. Even if they divide up the city, criminals and clues would cross the boundaries frequently. So, Nightwing appearing in Batman and Batgirl, Batgirl appearing in Nightwing and Birds of Prey, and other cameos make the universe a little richer for me.

I like Snyder’s writing, this issue was light on the action, but the dialogue and monologues served to move the story along. Greg Capullo also continues to do a great job on the artwork.

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