If you’re looking for an author to write an in-universe novel for a franchise, it is hard not to have Greg Cox near the top of your wishlist. Having penned “Star Trek,” Underworld,” and multiple DC and Marvel novels at this point it is always exciting to see more of Cox’s work come out in print. Fans of The Dark Knight now have an extra reason to be thrilled with ‘Batman: The Court of Owls’ being released. In this book, Cox is giving us an original take of Batman going up against the Court of Owls and their brutal agents.
For those unfamiliar with the villains, they are “an apocryphal cabal” which “has controlled Gotham from the shadows” for generations. They use money, influence, along with their undead assassins known as The Talons, to keep their secretive agenda pushing forward. While Batman was able to defeat these enemies at one point, they faded into the shadows and were never entirely stopped. Here, we’ll see the Caped Crusader investigating “a series of brutal murders in which mutilated bodies are burned almost beyond recognition.” Working with Nightwing, Batgirl, and Barbara Gordon it quickly becomes evident to the team that the Court and their Talons are back with methods that are as brutal as ever!
The only problem for Bruce is there isn’t an immediate connection between the victims, though as the case moves forward we learn that the Court’s ultimate goal will give them a power that not even The Bat would be able to stop.
Interestingly enough, this prose novel is to be considered canon and takes place just months after the classic “Night of the Owls” storyline from the “New 52” story arc in 2012. Cox has a vast history of DC knowledge that will serve readers who are hardcore fans but is written in a way that is easy to follow for even casual readers. I quite enjoyed in how he introduced the reader to The Talons and their masters as it has been nearly seven years since the books came out and I found myself forgetting a few details until they were brought up in the text.
I honestly feel that there was enough information and context clues given that it would have been just as approachable if I hadn’t read the comics which this book is a sequel too.
While the story is full of action it doesn’t paint The Caped Crusader as the overdone “I’m Batman” who already knows everything. We’re back to a Batman who is a detective, and we’re given a fascinating crime story for him to solve.
It is a puzzle that will grip you from the first page and keep you reading up until the end. We’re given the story in both a modern Gotham City as well as having flashbacks to the early 1900s where part of the original mystery takes place.
Overall, this was a solid read that I would recommend to any Batman fans out there!
Batman: The Court Of Owls
By: Greg Cox
February 19th, 2019