Batman #5A comic review article by: Ray Tate
"The owls are not what they seem." Batman finds himself hunted through a maze in an undisclosed location, or is this true?
Don't Drink. Drink, and You're Dead
Scott Snyder toys with Batman's matchless knowledge of his environment. The method attacks his very core, and I like how Snyder keeps Batman in denial. That's perfectly in character, for Batman is the ultimate skeptic, mind you he's a skeptic in a universe where aliens and magic work.
Poem Monsters, My Dark Knight Fanny
Batman is an atheist. His beliefs died when he watched the murder of his parents. Magic to him is just science yet understood. Gods are nothing more to him than very powerful aliens. Batman is above all a ratiocinator in the mold of Sherlock Holmes. He doesn't believe, and that's what keeps him sane as he faces the travails of the Court of Owls.
I agree with Batman. The Owls use the power of suggestion combined with very powerful narcotics to produce nightmarish imagery. Some of this is obvious. Batman does not for example encounter Thomas and Martha Wayne. They're dead, and owls do not explode from their images. So what's real and what's not?
The Owls probably transported Batman somewhere else. The trap does not lie within the bowels of Gotham City. The maze is likely real. Though I doubt it's so extensive. There might be a fountain. Its construction could be true, but perhaps Batman is merely seeing it big through a drug haze.
Jonathan Glapion's inks mesh perfectly with Greg Capullo's extraordinary rendition of Batman and the madness that he finds himself wading through. With the stark coloring of FCO, the Court of Owls' trap is nothing short of a creepy fairy tale askew.
That said, no amount of artwork would matter if you didn't care what happened to Batman, and Scott Snyder facilitates empathy through the opening reminder.
Batman has people waiting for him. Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Catwoman all make an appearance, and these cameos are just as important as the widescreen scope of the plot and the artwork.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.