Future Tense: The Court of Owls

We love to wax nostalgic at PoP!, but sometimes it’s what’s yet to come that most quickens our nerd pulses. For better or for worse, let’s start the speculation over what’s making us Future Tense.

Lee Rodriguez is right. Night of Owls really is the perfect comic book event. But this past week’s PoP!Cast raised an interesting question: what happens to the Court of Owls when the dust settles?

DC Comics and Scott Snyder have spent nine months introducing us to the Court of Owls and establishing just how deeply they’ve sunk their talons into Gotham over the years. However, what started as a tale of a secret cabal controlling the city from behind the scenes and pulling at Batman’s strings from beyond his reach has now turned into a knockdown, drag out slugfest involving the extended Bat-family and a not-immediately-evident number of the Court’s enforcers, the Talons. The Court has played their hand. Batman knows they exist. So what next?

  • If Batman comes out of this on top, it almost certainly means the Court will be disbanded, or at the very least that it will be severely neutered. There’s no way Bruce leaves his city under their sway. And sure, that’s par for the course, the villains being defeated and all. But the Court presents a very intriguing concept and one of the first threats to legitimately have the Bat-family over a barrel. Clipping the Owls’ wings after less than a year means some seriously missed potential in so far as believable threats to Batman and Gotham City are concerned. Sure, a Talon or two could work their way into Bruce’s rogues gallery to pop up from time to time and haunt the hero, but going a couple of rounds with an indestructible assassin still doesn’t pack the narrative punch of Bruce living under the thumb of a secretive villainous cabal.
  • The alternative? Could this be the fight that Batman loses? Might the heroes be driven out of Gotham and the city left in the Court’s sway? Such a drastic departure from “the norm” seems unlikely, however if anyone could pull it off, I suspect it would be Snyder. Not to mention, there are still rumblings among fans that the “new-52” universe may not last forever. If DC has an endgame in mind, then shaking things up for the Bat-family before the next big reset COULD be the way to go.

Or… maybe we get some other alternative that’s somehow even better. Maybe the Court finds a way to remain untouchable, but Bruce refuses to leave his city in their clutches? Turning his home court advantage into enemy territory for the foreseeable future could be a unique spin AND set up round two somewhere down the line.

I trust Snyder’s vision, but we’re in uncharted territory here and few stories that start with so much promise ever seem to deliver satisfying finales. I remain cautiously optimistic, however I can’t help but worry about what may come of this latest and greatest Bat-foe when the Night of Owls is over and the dust has settled.

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Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

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  1. D-Rock says:

    I’d like to see the Court stick around in some fashion. I’m sure the Bat-family will be victorious, but remember, it’s not just the Talons that need to be defeated but the “ruling family” as well. So even if the Talons are stopped after this storyline, the family can continue to cause problems for Bruce down the line, both as Batman and in the business world for Wayne Enterprises.

  2. Juggalojohn says:

    just picked up the Volume 1 hardcover of this, cause you guys have said how much i need to read this.

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