Friday, September 20, 2013

Court of Owls #1

All I want for Court of Owls Christmas is to find out when they started. And why! And how! And by whom!

Since the Court of Owls are a new threat to Batman's precious Gotham City, I don't have to do a Who's Who entry on them! Suck it, God!

The issue begins in Gotham City in 1974. I know that isn't when the Court began! It began at least ten years earlier! Maybe more even! The Narration Boxes are black with white font which, I suspect, means it's a Talon narrating. It could also be the most selfish, oldest, most rubber mask wearingest member of the Court of Owls. He's called the Grandmaster and he can't stand meddling kids.

Since the first Narration Box says, "I like to see imagine their faces when it happens," it proves two things: it's not a Talon talking because a Talon would get to see the non-believer's face and I tend to jump the gun when commenting on the story. Instead of actually getting into the mood and reading even the first fucking page, I start commenting on the color of the typeface! I wonder if this habit can be tied to the reason my mother was constantly screaming at me?

That makes me think of an assignment one of my grade school teachers handed out one day that was a great big fucking trick to play on elementary school kids. She passed around some ditto sheets (yes, dittos! Not copies! Not printed pages! Fucking mimeographed dittos!) that had a numbered list on it. Above the numbered list was a paragraph that said some shit and said to read all the directions before continuing. What that meant was to read over the entire list because the last item on the list said to ignore all of the others which had you marking up the page. But to an elementary school kid who is given tests all the fucking time, the instructions to the test are at the top and the numbered points the questions. So if it said to read all the instructions, not one fucking kid was going to read "all the questions" on the page. It was a big fucking trick by changing up the paradigm they'd hammered into us day in and day out up until that moment.

Of course, it may have been the best lessons I learned in my whole school career and I learned it early. Don't fucking trust teachers. Teachers are smart ass dicks. Tests are bullshit. And following instructions is all they ever wanted out of any of us. Bastards!

The Court of Owls thrive on a neutral Gotham, neither too chaotic nor too lawful. But at the news of Batman's possible death, the city has fallen apart.

Look at the thug stealing the printer! "MY DATABASES NEED TO BE ORGANIZED!"

While the streets run unread with illiterate assholes, Daddy Owl tells Daughter Owl a story about the Court of Owls that took place in 1914. Still too late! I want early stories! I want the fucking beginning already!

The mayor that year was elected on a populist ticket and now he's trying to bring in a bunch of unions to set up shop in Gotham. But the Court has different ideas, of course. They can't allow any power shifts that weren't expressly their idea. Because they like to wield the power! Owls are the most power hungry bird of the animal kingdom! Besides the penguin.

That's what he said! WHO?! Oh wait! I get it. That's supposed to be intimidating.

The mayor does what the Court wants the Owls still wind up killing him by throwing him in their labyrinth. Hmm. How exactly does a labyrinth fit into the theme of the Court of Owls? I don't think owls like labyrinths, so it must be a metaphor for the bureaucracy of the courts system. So he's dead! The Owls win! Yay! Next story!

"No, no dear. It's "WHO?" You never were the brightest owlet in the nest."

The next story takes place in 1891. That's getting better! But in 1914, Owl Orchards said they'd been in power for centuries. So we're still at least 100 years away from the Owls true origin!

In this story, a photographer and his wife are killed because he took a picture of the owls sitting about in their masks watching 19th Century pornography. I think that's composed of a man in a full wool bathing suit showing his flaccid bulge through the cloth while a fully clothed woman with bare wrists holds up a sign that says, "Tallywacker."

The next story takes place in The Narrows in 1862 and features a familiar face!

I guess the Owls can't control everything. Although they are pretty good at secrecy and manipulation. So I bet they actually wanted this member of the Court killed which is why they sent him to rein in The Gotham Butcher.

Eventually The Gotham Butcher is put down and the Court of Owls rise up stronger and blah blah blah. I get it! The Owls are motherfucking Goddamned awesome! Get to the point of the story! Get to the beginning and the only thing that can save the Court at a time like this when Gotham is being burnt to the ground!

How cute! The Court of Owls have a First just like Slayers and Vampires do! Now open the fucking door and tell your little girl how it all began! DO IT! DO IT NOW!

But he doesn't do it. His daughter does kill the jerk with the crossbow trying to stop The Court from UNLEASHING the First Talon on Gotham. So Daddy Owl opens the door and gazes upon the tomb of the First Talon. And then the issue ends.

The Court of Owls #1 Rating: You know, it was a pretty good issue up until the part where it failed to tell me anything new about the Court. I enjoyed the writing and the daddy/daughter dynamic and the little stories. But I learned nothing new except that there was a First Talon. And guess what? I'm pretty sure I could have fucking extrapolated that knowledge. I'm not a genius but I know counting things usually begins with one! Unless you're counting by twos or threes or something. And guess where the First Talon will be making his appearance to help clean up Gotham City? Earth 2! No, no. Of course not! Oh, but that makes me wonder: is there a Court of Owls on Earth 2?! Anyway, The First Talon will be sure to bore your fucking socks off in "the pages of Talon!"

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