Page 45 Review by Jonathan
...To all allies of the Bat presently in Gotham... I send this with the greatest urgency.
Tonight, the Court Of Owls has sent their assassins to kill nearly forty people across the city.
The Court's targets are all Gotham leaders, people who shape this city.
I have uploaded a list of the targets' names, here.
The Court's assassin, The Talons, are already en route to their targets.
They are highly trained killers... with extraordinary regenerative abilities. For many of their targets, I fear it may already be too late to...
Misdirection. Yes, there's been plenty of that about in Gotham City ever since its inception, as the Court Of Owls has managed to hide its sinister controlling presence virtually undetected for several hundred years, maintaining the illusion it was nothing more than a whimsical reference in a child's nursery rhyme. Not any more, as following the events of BATMAN: THE NIGHT OF THE OWLS (some of which you'll see reproduced here see editorial note below) the Court's full flock of Talon assassins are abroad at dusk to feed, wrecking deadly havoc amongst the luminaries of Gotham. Can the Bat-family save them? Some of them, yes. All of them, no. Read BATMAN: THE NIGHT OF THE OWLS for the full scorecard.
This volume, however, focuses entirely on Bruce and his own issues with the Court, both in terms of his immediate physical wellbeing as he too comes under attack in the Batcave by not one but several Talons, necessitating an immediate and seriously heavyweight suit upgrade to a rather less breathable number; and also those unresolved issues of a rather more personal nature as he finally begins the unravel the Owls involvement in not just his parents, but also his younger brother's, demise.
I will say no more on that particular sibling-related matter to protect those of you who have yet to read any of Scott Snyder's run, as the adjuncts and revelations he has made to the established Bat-canon during his tenure have been nothing short of genius. If Grant Morrison Bat-magic is all smoke and mirrors which gets you clapping and cheering, then Snyder is subtle, jaw dropping, sleight of hand to leave one astonished. No less amazing, perhaps more so. I also love the fact that whilst we are made privy to certain crucial moments, Bruce is not, ensuring that whilst we are left with an extremely satisfactory ending to this ornithological extravaganza, it is most assuredly not a conclusion...
[Editors note: Because DC released BATMAN: NIGHT OF OWLS first, containing BATMAN #8, 9, ANNUAL #1 as well as the rest of the crossover, a lot of readers thought it *was* BATMAN VOL 2 and bought it in good faith. Now those readers will need to buy BATMAN VOL 2 too if they want the rest of the story, effectively paying for 3 issues twice. I won't *have* Page 45's customers ripped off, so we've reduced the cost of BATMAN VOL 2 from £18-99 to £12-99. Ethical retail: it's not just possible and desirable, it is vital for generating goodwill and loyalty. We'll happily take this hit.]