The end of the huge ‘Court of Owls’ story arc finally comes to a close this issue and I’m not certain how to feel about that. The stories with the ‘Court of Owls’ and the ‘Night of the Owls’ have been all over the place. Some (mostly in this main Batman title) have been simply spectacular while others have been downright stinkers. But, stinkers or not, the ‘Court of the Owls’ tale came to a shocking head last issue when one of the major players behind the Court was announced to be none other than….

Warning: This will be a major spoiler if you haven’t read last issue.

…Lincoln March, Bruce Wayne’s long lost brother!

As this issue opens Batman and the Talon (Lincoln) are still duking it out. In fact, that’s what most of this issue ends up being. Bruce and Lincoln go back and forth throwing punches (and each other) while arguing over the validity of Lincoln’s claim to be a long lost Wayne sibling. It sets up the Talon as Batman’s “Venom” character in that he’s virtually the same as Batman, a well trained, well funded, nearly unstoppable fighting and mental machine… except that the Talon seemingly has a better suit.

In the end, we’re never given a clear answer as to whether Lincoln March is Bruce’s brother or not and Bruce isn’t one to let this one alone as he vows to find out the truth, even as he denies that Lincoln could even be his brother.

And with that, the ‘Court of Owls’ is over… for now.

I really wish we’d been given definite proof of Lincoln March’s identity. As it is, many fans, myself included, are only going to assume that March is probably just a lunatic who became obsessed with the Wayne family and that he’s not actually a Wayne. The idea that it might be false takes away a lot of the punch from the revelation that Bruce had a brother.

The back up story of Jarvis Pennyworth finally wraps this issue too and puts a final closing scene on the ‘Court of Owls’ as Bruce and Alfred discuss their ancestors and what the new discoveries about their past means. As usual, Bruce and Alfred have differing views on the situation yet still leave it open that the exploration of the Waynes’ history in the New 52 is far from over.

Verdict: Buy, if only for the possible significance should Lincoln’s claims be proven true.

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