Book: Batman # 8Written By: Scott SnyderPencils By: Greg CapulloPublisher: DC ComicsRelease Date: OUT NOW IN STORES & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (VIA COMIXOLOGY)Rating: So with the prelude issues (Batman #8 & Nightwing #8) setting up what the Batman family will have to contend with The Night of the Owls, the DC comics crossover event really gets going with the Scott Snyder Batman story featuring the Court of Owls attacking Wayne Manor. From the title page featuring a deeply shadowed Bruce Wayne looking over a model of Gotham City, wrapped up in his dressing gown and PJ bottoms (looks cooler than it sounds, trust me). Bruce is a broken man. Recovering from his injuries and contemplating what he's discovered in previous issues. The Court of Owls have made Batman feel as if he doesn't know his own city but just as Bruce is ready to talk of his discoveries with Alfred, the Manor is attacked and Bruce Wayne leaps into action. And from here it doesn't really stop. Capullo's art is kinetic and sets a hell of a pace. Batman, cape and cowless is a Bruce Wayne on the edge. He's not in his best shape but he's still holding his own despite the odds stacked against him. The fluid nature of these fights are so much fun to read and the intercutting between Bruce and Alfred (who's in the Batcave trying to help out) makes for a real sense of danger right on Batman's doorstep. This issue is really about setting up the threat to those who may not have been reading previously. The Owl's are like ninjas, appearing out of nowhere and in numbers and seem to be swarming all over the manor. They know Bruce's secret, they are deadly and will stop at nothing to stop Bruce Wayne. Inside the cave there's a great use of a classic feature in from Batman's lair that should put a smile on any Bat-fans face and the cliffhanger may very well split the audience depending on your feeling on some of Batman's tech but this issue hits exactly the right tone in regards to showing the dangers Batman and the Bat-family will have to contend with over the coming issues and it was a totally enjoyable read. Out of the two preludes it's this issue that escalates the story the quickest (and judging by the checklist of titles in the crossover you really should read this issue before Nightwing which I was blissfully unaware of until looking into the release schedule - oops). Also look out for the Night of the Owls booklet available here https://read.dccomics.com/comixology/#/issue/24517/Batman-Night-of-the-Owls- As a bonus, there's a short story called 'The Call' (written bu Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV and with art by Rafael Albuquerque) which gives us a little bit extra story taking place just after the events in this issue. This is really to expand upon Alfred's role in which he contacts the Bat-family telling them about the Owls (also its a good way of getting the audience up to speed with the situation too). The arts a bit scrappy but it gets the job done. The freebie also features the checklist of release dates and a nice collection of pin up artwork to celebrate the crossover.
And now with both prelude episodes out of the way The Night of the Owls event can really begin. May 2nd can't come soon enough!