The problem with looking back at the past. Is that sometimes its not always a blast. Take Batman for example, his history is a random sample, of continuity that has just recently been glassed. And do you know what? This is very true when you take into consideration this story Written by Scott Snyder; Drawn by Greg Capullo; and Published by DC Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
This issue of Batman is a rollercoaster ride of explosions, recollections, and entrapment, which is as daring as a one-legged marathon runner wearing a glass shoe.

For a start, Batman just about saves himself from an explosion helmed by the Talon and the so-called ‘Court of Owls’ – instigated last issue – at an old Wayne tower building.

Next, once he returns to the Bat-Cave, Bruce explains to Dick about his own adolescent experience investigating this ‘legendary organisation’ – one that was as unfruitful as a diseased pear tree in winter.

After that, Bruce gages clues that he discovers from his Great-Great Grandfathers remains, Alan Wayne, to figure out the real reason behind his demise – oopps!

And finally, this then leads Batman into a confrontation with the Talon in the sewers – resulting in him being shoved into a maze.

To be continued, right?  

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
I know that the sentence I am about to say does not have any bearing on this issue what so ever, but I have to say that this is the first time I have ever heard Bruce say ‘Shut Up’ to a computer before – just prior to him telling Dick his story.

Correct, and I not?

Was the story any good?
Conceptually, I found that the majority of this issue acted as Bruce’s justification as to why he did not believe in the Court of Owls myth. Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing all in all – because this lengthy flashback sequence was nicely presented, and I did not find it too disrespectful to pre-existing continuity. Moreover, I found that the ‘book-ended’ part of this tale – the explosion and the sewer – were both very nicely done as well.

Though, the question remains, why is Bruce investigating something that he does not believe exists?

Was the art any good?
Greg Capullo’s art is just amazing on this title. It’s dynamic, detailed, and has a nice cartoonish quality that is not over the top. One of my most favourite panels in this book, is where Batman is down in the sewers, and he has a light in his mouth while examining a wall.

Capullo is a class act – please don’t go anywhere too soon.

What is the best thing about this issue?
I was really impressed with the way that writer, Scott Snyder, respected and added to pre-existing continuity in this issue – without diluting what was already there.

Of course, I am referring to Bruce’s childhood investigations of The Court of Talons during the time of his parent’s death. As it was refreshing – insightful – and had a nice way about it that could have easily been overt in the wrong hands.

Snyder is a class act also – please don’t go anywhere too soon.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I have one very small gripe with this issue, as I did not know who Dick was when he first appeared in this tale – he looked too bloody young and ‘Tim Drake’ in tone.

OK, I know that everyone is ‘younger’ in the DCnU now. But a quick reminder when they do pop up would be nice, right?

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
So this issue has a tale of times past, and a dilemma that is annoying to Bruce. Therefore, I would say that the Cole Porter lyric ‘begin the beguine’ very appropriate in someway.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
There was a song that Sammy Davis Junior sung in the seventies, which had a similar vibe to this comic book. It was playful, it was informative, and in a strange way, you were not sure who Sammy was referring too.

The song is called ‘The Candy Man

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Not much could have made this issue better in my eyes, though maybe Dick telling the washing machine to ‘F*ck off’ would have been nice.

Final thoughts...
At the beginning of this story arc, I was not too sure about the concept behind ‘The Court of Owls’ – I found it retro-active in approach, and came at a time that I did not really want to see anything too new in the DCnU. Now, however, this creative team has won me over, and I just cannot wait to see what they come up with next.

Bravo guys – you have made a believer.

Marks out of 10? 9

BATMAN #4 BATMAN #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 05, 2012 Rating: 5
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