In this issue, titled ‘The Thirteenth Hour’, the opening story arc of the rebooted ‘Batman’ continues. A mysterious group calling themselves the “Court of Owls” has targeted Bruce Wayne for assassination. Batman is hurriedly trying to piece together the clues to discover the real meaning behind the group.

Batman begins his investigation with the assassin that made the attempt on his life last issue. He concludes that, since he’d monitored almost all routes in and out of Old Wayne Tower, the only way into the building was through the subterranean train tunnels that run below the building. He begins by cracking down on the various criminal gangs that run the rails in Gotham.

When the gangs reveal very little info on the “owl” man assassin, Batman retires to the Batcave to reassess the situation. After a brief chat with Alfred, Batman gets a new hunch and begins his investigation anew.

As his investigation continues, Batman discovers that, in post-reboot Gotham, there is a urban legend or myth that claims that the Court of Owls has secretly run Gotham City from behind the scenes for generations. As Batman digs deeper, he discovers that the Court of Owls might have more to do with the history of both Gotham City and the Wayne family than anyone has realized.

With ‘Batman’ #2, this series overtook ‘Detective Comics’ as my must-read Bat-book every month. And, with this book and ‘Swamp Thing’, Scott Snyder has cemented himself as one of my favorite working writers in comics today. He delivers a Batman tale that is the near perfect mix of detective work and action. The post-reboot Batman isn’t the “goddamn Batman” of the previous DCU that can solve everything and has every angle covered. Watching Bruce Wayne struggle beneath the cowl and make a mistake every now and again makes Batman a much more enjoyable character to read.

Artist Greg Capullo continues to deliver some great art this issue although, at times it is easy to see the heavy influences from his work on ‘Spawn’. When Capullo draws the characters out of costume, some of the facial expressions are very reminiscent of much of the Todd McFarlane rip-off work that went into the ‘Spawn’ title. But when Capullo does Batman in costume, he is brilliant! And the look of the Court of Owls and their costumes/members… genius!

If you like Batman or you just like a good mystery, this is a title that you’ll want to be reading.

Miss last month’s issue? Check out my review for ‘Batman’ #2.

Verdict: Buy

Art and Cover by GREG CAPULLO