BATMAN VOL. 2: THE CITY OF OWLS (DC, First Printing, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Batman #8-12 and Batman Annual #1 (cover dates June- October, 2012)
Writers: Scott Snyder with James Tynion
Artists: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Rafael Albuquerque, Jason Fabok, Becky Cloonan, Andy Clarke, and Sandu Florea
Colorists: FCO Plascencia, Dave McCaig, Peter Steigerwald, and Natahan Fairbairn
It should come as no surprise to readers of my blog that my tastes skew toward vintage material. That's why I enjoy reading comic books with my son. He's 10 and prefers modern comics, DC over Marvel, although he seems to love both universes. We checked this out from the library and read it together, one issue per night before bed.
I was completely blown away by the quality of the writing in the core series. The Annual seems like a throwaway to me. The whole Court Of Owls being a longstanding enemy to generations of the Wayne family was an interesting angle, but I do have a gripe about it. Why are all of the interesting concepts presented as some form of ret-con (retroactive continuity, where something is inserted into the backstory while generally going against what has been previously established)? Why can't something exciting be new? If the Court Of Owls were presented as something that popped up here and now, with the now being the ground floor, would this have been less enjoyable? My gut says no.
My son's review: It was good, full on great spectacular. Just a little too much swearing. My favorite parts are where he fights his brother in the Owl suit. (Note: My son believes that Lincoln March was indeed the second Wayne child, given the lack of concrete evidence to the contrary despite what Bruce Wayne uncovered.) Once it got into the action it never let down. He gives it a 4 out of 5.
This was an enjoyable read, even more so because it was free through my local library. I like reading comics with my son that I normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. I get to see things differently through his eyes. I do not give him my opinions about things in terms of a critique while we are reading, nor do I instill any of my biases or tastes about comics into him. I prefer for him to mold his own opinions and tastes, and I like seeing how he interprets and enjoys things whether I agree with him or not. 10 is a good age for comics. I remember when I was 10 every single comic that I read was Earth-shakingly important, and those very comics formed the foundation of my opinion about what comics should be and remain favorites to this day. I won't shit on his opinion of new comics, nor will I do anything to dissuade his budding love of the medium. Even if he moves beyond comics I have instilled a love of reading into him which he will have for the rest of his life.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Thick glossy stock.
Binding: Perfect bound (read: glued). This is a library copy, and it is fascinating to see just how durable these books really are. Most of my books are read once, if that, and yet this book has been read countless times by hands less careful than mine. Maybe when I die I'll leave my collection to a library if my kids don't want it.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: This is a library copy, and the dustjacket has a Brodart sleeve which is taped to the hardback. I cannot comment on them since I couldn't inspect them.