Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo & Johnathan Glapion

Written by Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Art by Rafael Abuquerque

Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Eddy Barrows, Ruy Jose & Eber Ferreira

The Night of the Owls kicks begins and the entire Bat Family is thrown into the fight. The above is the reading order, by the way. I read it wrong so you can read it right. Owls is the first event from the company that doesn’t do events any more. The concept is simple – you don’t have to read any extra books to get the story, just stay with what you already pick up or expand to your budget and interest. It sort of works that way in the first bit.

I would say you have to read Batman. But if you aren’t reading Snyder & Capullo’s Batman already you are either a fool or a malcontent and I have no patience for either. The hardcover of their first 7 issues is due to come out in the middle of this whole thing so grab it then if you’ve been missing out. Snyder has been building to this since the relaunch, and some elements go back to Gates of Gotham which he co-wrote with Higgins.

So far we have tons of action, Gotham history, and the first look at how the Batman family interacts in the Batman Inc world. In fact,  it might seem odd that Batman Inc is the only Bat-book next month to not be involved. I have been very much enjoying what Snyder and Higgins have been doing on their books and anyone who follows them on Twitter knows that have been working toward this shared purpose for months. Having just gotten back into Red Hood & The Outlaws, I can’t wait to see how Jason Todd reacts to his being called in to help his ex-partner.

Capullo is at the top of his game right now and Barrows brings interesting design and a great eye for action scenes. The short story by Abuquerque is a very different art style and hopefully won’t look out of place in the eventual collection.

The Night of the Owls special (available free through ComiXology) bridges Batman #8 and what will roll out in the cross-overs including this week’s Nightwing. From what I can tell so far, this is a literal Night and everything we see in the 14 issues of this non-crossover event will be concurrent. I am unsure how the other 3 Batman books will both continue the story on the same night and not be required reading. We will see as everything develops.

Night of the Owls is shaping up to be an action-packed storyline that I am eager to follow through most of the books. It isn’t an AvX killer, but it is a great model for what events can be in the New 52 – stories that have been built to and that move forward several books without drowning us in extra expense.

The verdict for Week 1 Prelude: 9.0/10

Keith is the co-host of the We Talk Comics podcast


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