After another introduce-new-villains issue in ‘Detective Comics’ #8, the much-touted ‘Night of the Owls’ hits this title this month as the Court of Owls invades Arkham Asylum in an attempt to assassinate Jeremiah Arkham.
As the issue opens, Arkham Asylum has been closed off from the rest of Gotham. Inside Jeremiah assures his guards that Arkham is the most secure place in Gotham and that the assassins can’t possibly get inside. Despite advice to the contrary, Jeremiah continues to go about his usual rounds with his patients. As he travels the haunted halls of the Asylum, we’re reintroduced to some familiar faces like Black Mask and Clayface as well as some new villains.
Of course it isn’t long before some the Talon assassins arrive and Jeremiah begins a frantic rush to escape with his life. Batman appears to save Jeremiah’s life and a raging battle between the Dark Knight and the Talons rages through Arkham.
Sadly, this story doesn’t do the ‘Night of the Owls’ arc much justice. Instead, we’re treated to even more world-building from Tony Daniel as he uses the Arkham Asylum setting to shoe-horn all of the new character introductions between some lackluster action sequences. To further weaken things, there’s some major inconsistencies to what’s come before. I mean, Batman was almost destroyed by a single Talon over in the pages of ‘Batman’ but he’s able to take down several of them here without much trouble?
In addition to the main storyline, there’s a continuation of the Two-Face story ’50/50’ that began last issue. Also written by Daniel, this one follows a recently scarred Harvey Dent (Two-Face) as he attempts to bring down a State Prosecutor that has ruined Dent’s career by framing him for crimes that he didn’t commit. Most of this chapter revolves around Two-Face’s tracking of a crook called Freakshow and brutalizing some hoods along the way. It’s a decent romp, but it’s so short that I can’t recommend picking up this issue for it. Instead, I’d wait until it’s collected somewhere else so that it can be read in its entirety in one sitting.
DETECTIVE COMICS #9
Written by TONY DANIEL
Art by TONY DANIEL, SANDU FLOREA, and SZYMON KUDRANSKI
Cover by TONY DANIEL, SANDU FLOREA, TOMEU MOREY, JASON FABOK, and PETER STEIGERWALD