The first major arc from the rebooted Batman series is a masterpiece from the mind of Scott Snyder and hands of Greg Cupullo that introduces a deadly new force to Gotham in the form of The Court of Owls, which have been ruling the city from the shadows since essentially its earliest days and returns with force when Bruce Wayne seeks to update the city for the better. Unleashing their deadliest weapon in the form of a highly trained immortal assassin called the Talon, Batman quickly finds himself overwhelmed by the onslaught and in a situation that he might not be able to escape.
Although there was flack for DC rebooting its entire history, Night of the Owls is one of the many New 52 graphic novels that will easily erase any doubt you might have had. Scott Snyder’s writing is top quality with engaging dialogue which brings the characters to life in a superb manner and fleshes them out perfectly. He also introduces an interesting new mytho to the Batman universe which poses a legitimate threat to not only Batman, but Gotham in general. The story is full of interesting turns and revelations and although the Court have an interesting history, the Talon is a bit dull. He isn’t as engaging a villain as most, but in hindsight, he doesn’t have that much dialogue so you can overlook that little nit-pick. The Court themselves are intriguing and they have earned a spot alongside Batman’s top enemies.
In terms of art, anyone familiar with Greg Cupullo knows that his art is fantastic and that remains true for this story. Each character is distinctive and the detail in some pages are insane. From the stalagmites in the Batcave to the wide shots of the city to the characters themselves, Cupullo really delivers a beautifully crafted package. The only real problem though is that there are a few panels that are too dark and details are lost. It isn’t a frequent occurrence, but it breaks the aesthetic at times. The coloring and inks on the other hand are fantastic especially when it comes to lighting effects.
Overall, Batman: The Night of the Owls Vol. 1 is one of the greatest Batman graphic novels to date. With an amazing story and incredible art, Scott Snyder and Greg Cupullo deliver an amazingly well crafted book that adds perfectly to the Batman legacy.