After the past few issues of this title and the back-up story in ‘Batman’ #9, it should be pretty obvious… Batman’s entire history is being tweaked, whether fans like it or not. We’ve already learned that the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents was linked to the Court of Owls and that the Waynes may not have been the squeaky clean upstanding citizens that they were in the pre-New 52 universe. Now this issue pushes the Wayne family history even further.

Read on, but beware, there are SPOILERS in this review. If you’re wondering if the issue is good… yes. Now I’d suggest you go read the issue before reading anything else I have to say here. It’s got a lot of shocking twists and you don’t want them ruined for you. But, if you’ve already read the issue or you just can’t resist, have at it…

As this issue opens, Batman has put the Court of Owls’ Talons on ice (literally) and managed to stop most of the attempted assassinations that were supposed to happen during the ‘Night of the Owls’. Now that he’s got things back in his control, Batman is taking the offensive and going after members of the Court.

After tracking one of the Court’s senior members, Batman discovers that the Court is meeting in an abandoned orphanage called Harbor House. What a stroke of luck! Now he can bring them all down in one fell swoop. But the mystery deepens. As Batman bursts into the meeting room, he discovers that the Court of Owls has indeed gathered in one place… but they’ve committed group suicide!

Baffled at this turn of events, Batman retires to the cave to ponder why the group would unexpectedly decide to off themselves. Sure they were losing and in danger of being outed and arrested… but something doesn’t sit right with the Batman. Then it hits him! He knows what’s happened! Batman rushes back to Harbor House to face off against the man behind it all… Lincoln March!

And that’s it, bat-gang! There’s one more BIG reveal in this issue but I can’t bring myself to spoil that one for you. Suffice it to say, this is one issue that’s going to be talked about and mulled over by bat-fans for a long while. The last three pages of this issue’s main story will change the history of Batman and the Waynes forever!

Then, after the shocking main story, Scott Snyder dirties the Wayne family history even further with part two of the backup tale ‘The Fall of the House of Wayne” which follows Jarvis Pennyworth and his run-in with the Court of Owls during the years of Bruce Wayne’s youth.

Pfew! This is one for the comic shop watercooler this weekend for sure!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Scott Snyder
Backup written by Scott Snyder & James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Cover by Greg Capullo