Comic Review -- Batman #6: Beneath the Glass / Scott Snyder, Greg
Originally posted on my blog, The Comics Cove, not too long ago...
Another horrifically good cover here! I have to give an eager thumbs-up to Greg Capullo for his cover work on this series. The image of Batman metamorphosing into a man-sized owl is both vivid and grotesque, and probably not far from what Batman is feeling by this point in the story. I love it.
In an apparent endgame to Batman's time in the labyrinth, the Court of Owls reveals itself to him as the Talon moves in to finish him off for good. Still plagued by fear and hallucinogens, Batman nevertheless fights back, against the Talon and the Court, using his wits, resolve, and intelligence to engineer an escape from their deadly labyrinth. With their Talon beaten and broken, the Court members decide to awaken an army of them, to use against the Dark Knight for good.
This was an interesting segment of the story, that does ask the reader to suspend a little more disbelief than usual. While I'm more than a little skeptical that even Batman can come back from such a thorough psychological and physical beating, I'm willing to chalk it up to that singular strength of will that makes him so special, even if it's just for the sake of narrative license. What is a little more hard to swallow, in the context of this story, is the Talon's apparent uselessness to the Court after Batman turns the tables on him. I'm supposed to believe a man who survived a several-hundred story fall like it was nothing, is too beaten and demoralized to come back from a beating from a man who's been starved, dehydrated, drugged, and bloodied for about a week? I think that is asking a bit much.
It's interesting to note that the Court of Owls doesn't have an age limit, apparently--either that or it's disturbingly easy to qualify for membership when you're young. This suggests to me that they're some kind of family, which of course begs the question of what Gotham family is rich, powerful, and connected enough to do all of this and keep off of Batman's radar. If you think the list of possible candidates who could be Batman is short, the list of possible families that could be the Court has got to be even shorter.
Artistically, wow. The artwork was creepy, nightmarish, and vivid, particularly the illusory sequences of Batman when he's mobbed by the Court. Some images may even make you sick to your stomach, depending on how sensitive you are--the Owls clucking and possibly touching their tongues to Batman, at one point, are particularly disturbing, on at least a psychological level. So far Capullo and Glapion have done a wonderful job at keeping this story visually dark, grotesque, and engaging in support of the narrative.
Overall, I'm eager for the next chapter. More Talons? A Court of Owls that's so blase about the fact that Batman just escaped them? If they're only just getting warmed up, I can't wait to see what Batman has to put up with next. Very highly recommended.