Review: BATMAN #4

  The best comic coming out of DC right now?  It's arguable of course, but it's definitely one of the top.  Up to issue four now, it's worth trying to gather up the back issues for this series and hop on board instead of waiting for the trade on this one.  Scott Snyder is writing one of the best Batman stories I've read outside of a graphic novel here and there and this is just what a monthly Batman book has always needed.

spoiler warning after the break...

  So far Batman has nearly been killed by an assassin (one I stupidly kept referring to as "the owl" in a previous review when his name is actually The Talon) working for a mythical Illuminati-type group called "The Court of Owls".  This court has been rumored to be running Gotham from the shadows for centuries and Batman has concluded they are little more than a myth.  In the last issue he discovers dozens of bases for the Talon or previous Talons hidden on the thirteenth floors of all the buildings designed by his ancestor Thomas Wayne.  And we were left with the second time he is nearly killed by the Talon as a tripwire sets off an explosion in the room he is examining.

  The story here becomes Bruce's obsession instead of his expected escape from the explosion.  Dick is checking up on him in the batcave and Bruce is digging through the clues despite being heavily sedated by Alfred in an attempt to force him to rest.  Dick tells him even Gordon is worried he is obsessing too much on this one.  Bruce however tells Dick why he believes there isn't truly a court of Owls and about the first case he ever investigated as a young boy right after his parents were killed.  It's an interesting take on young Bruce and instead of turning Joe Chill and his parents murder into something fantastical, puts the interest instead on Bruce's mindset and obsession after the murder.

  Needless to say, Batman continues his investigation and gets himself deeper into the mystery and into trouble; but specific spoils aren't needed there.  Any fans of Batman or just great super-hero comics need to get into this series.  Batman has never been so good.

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