I haven't been reading comics for the past two years or so. At least. Maybe I snuck in an issue of something or other every now and again, but I fear I tossed my comic-reader ID card aside quite some time ago. Maybe the summer movies are to blame, but I started to feel a little bit of an itch and decided oh what the hell, let's find something fun to read.
After some glancing at the internets I had heard that this Court of Owls storyline that kicked off the "New 52" Batman series was actually quite good. In my most humble opinion it is OMFG THE BESTEST BAT STORY I HAVE EVER EVER READ IN MY WHOLE... *ahem*... setting aside hyperbole for a moment, it is very good.
Scott Snyder's story is very much about Gotham and its history, peeling back the surface and showing us a layer that even Bruce had thought to be nothing more than fairytale and myth. Even when it's obvious to the reader that what's happening is real, Bruce refuses to see it, and the reason why shows us a part of Bruce's past that Snyder creates to good effect. A belief was born in Bruce's mind when he was a child, and there's a struggle to rid himself of it as an adult. It's rare that we get to see him be so wrong about something, but here it is.
Dick has a small role to play in this title, but a pretty massive revelation concerning his own past is dropped here. It's further explored in his own title from what I've gathered, so fans of the character might want to look into that.
By the end of the story we have a villain who, just like Bruce, was led to believe something at a very young age that (probably) isn't true. He is formidable, as is the criminal organization of the Court of Owls of which Batman has barely scratched the surface.
My recommendation: read this. Read it now. I'l wait...
Wasn't that awesome?!?
Seriously though, this story made me remember everything I ever liked about this character. It's a tale that challenges Batman's strength, intelligence, and even his (at times tenuous) grip on reality. It seemed in some ways to be everything that Loeb and Lee's Hush tried to be all those years ago (god I'm soooo old...). I wish I could put this book up on the shelf with such Batman classics as Year One, The Long Halloween, and The Dark Knight Returns, but I cannot. I bought it digitally, so there is no book...
But yeah, it is that good.