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Batman puts down an insurrection at Arkham Asylum when one of the guards is paid to release the inmates. Returning to his public life, Bruce Wayne unveils his massive new development plans to bring Gotham City into the future. [[Harvey Bullock (Prime Earth)|Harvey Bu

Batman: The Court of Owls is a Batman storyline published as part of The New 52. Following the timeline reboot in Flashpoint, it establishes his continuity in the DCnU. It's the debut arc of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on their all-new Batman title. The storyline is published alongside three other launches, Born to Kill, Faces of Death and Knight Terrors. Establishing a new mythology, it leads directly into the Night of the Owls crossover.


Batman puts down an insurrection at Arkham Asylum when one of the guards is paid to release the inmates. Returning to his public life, Bruce Wayne unveils his massive new development plans to bring Gotham City into the future. Harvey Bullock discovers a tortured murder victim pinned to the wall of his apartment with numerous knives bearing an owl insignia. They find a hidden message on the wall saying that "Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow," and Batman finds Dick Grayson's DNA under the victim's fingernails.[1]

His autopsy alongside Commissioner Gordon reveals a possible connection to the Court of Owls, an urban legend taken from a nursery rhyme. Nightwing explains that the man grabbed him and tried to warn him at an earlier public appearance. Bruce Wayne is attacked by a deadly assassin known as the Talon during a meeting with politician Lincoln March. They grapple out of a window at the top of Wayne Tower, which Bruce survives while the killer plummets into a car. Pronounced dead, he later reawakens in the ambulance and walks free after murdering the emergency medical team.[2]

Alfred Pennyworth recalls the story of Alan Wayne, Bruce's great-great-grandfather who went mad and died raving that owls were out to get him. March is hospitalized, but insists that he will continue his mayoral bid despite warnings from the owls. Investigating every building built in the last century by the Alan Wayne Trust, Batman discovers a series of the Talon's hidden bases containing pictures of the Court. When he arrives at the most recent, Talon watches on as the building explodes.[3]

Escaping the burning building, he returns to the Batcave. Bruce performs an autopsy on Alan Wayne, and determines that he was tortured to death in a similar manner to the earlier murder victim. Nightwing asks why he refuses to believe that the Court might be real, and Bruce recants a story from his childhood. Following the death of his parents at the hands of Joe Chill, he spent months investigating a possible connection to the Court. Allowing his emotional need for a conspiracy to get in the way of the case almost destroyed him, and all subsequent attempts have turned up no evidence. Returning to the sewer where Alan Wayne's body was found, the Talon takes him by surprise and abducts him. He wakes up in a giant labyrinth and is welcomed by the Court of Owls.[4]

Trapped inside the giant maze, he spends over a week with no food slowly going insane to the point of hallucination. The labyrinth has been in use for decades, words and pictures on the wall tell stories of all the men and women they've killed with it over the years. Breaking through a panel in the floor, he drops into a room that tells his own story. The Talon walks up from behind and stabs him in the gut.[5]

Broken and bleeding, they decide to honor him by leaving his bones on display in the labyrinth as a tribute to a worthy enemy. Talon lets the Court decide how to dispose of him, and they order more pain. Batman receives a brutal beating, and almost accepts death until a picture of the tortured Alan Wayne spurs him on. His last reserves of strength tear the Owls off of him, and he savagely takes the Talon down before knocking him out. Determining that they must be near the river, he rigs a make-shift explosion and escapes into the water. The oldest Owl has her men dispose of the failed Talon, and reveals that she has an army more of them to release.[6]

Batman is rescued and revived using jumper cables by a girl named Harper Row. He limps back to the Batcave and performs an autopsy on the Talon to determine his origins and the source of his immortality. Nightwing arrives to talk to him about trust, and Bruce reveals that the assassin was Dick's great-grandfather. Dick was originally intended to be a Talon, and Haly's Circus has been vetting killers for the Court for years. The Court of Owls releases an entire legion of Talons on Gotham City, leading into Night of the Owls.[7]


Recommended Reading

Links and References

Batman Blind Justice TP
Batman Family Storyline
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This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.