EXCLUSIVE: Revealing The Court of Owls in Batman with Scott Snyder

For those of you currently reading the best selling DC Comics title Batman, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo, you’re aware of the fact that a new threat has been introduced in Gotham, The Court of Owls.  This mysterious organization, and villain with Talon, is one of the more exciting aspects of the latest tale of Bruce Wayne which has helped Batman become one of the top sellers of the New 52 from DC Comics.

Within the pages of the recent comics, Bruce Wayne finds out that Gotham has been under the eye of  a mysterious organization, the Court of Owls, for long before Batman ruled the streets.  Readers and fans may be just as surprised as Bruce is to find out that Owls have been layered into the stories of Batman by Scott Snyder and the artists working with him over the past year.

With the recent release of Batman: The Black Mirror in hardcover this month, which collects Snyder’s run on Detective Comics with Jock and Francesco Francavilla on art, along with the progression of the story in the pages of Batman, writer Scott Snyder finally felt the time was right to come forward and share with us his grand plan for integrating the Court of Owls into the framework of the world of Batman:

Scott Snyder: I had so much fun on the Black Mirror run with Jock, Francesco and Dave B. – not just issue to issue – but brainstorming and talking ideas that would play out over the whole year, that it got me thinking about my next big Batman story early. So by the time we were heading toward home plate on it, I had the bones of this year’s Court of Owls story down for myself, too. I told Jock and Francesco some of the beats and we thought it’d be fun to start lacing a couple glimpses of owls into the final issues. Same with Gates [of Gotham]. The idea was to really make the reader feel – like Bruce – that the Court has been hiding in plain sight for years, built into the stone and glass latticework of the city itself, tucked into the history, the shadows… This book, though, the Black Mirror is something I’m immensely proud of. Just like this year I’m doing my biggest Bruce story, that was my biggest Dick Grayson story, and to have been able to do it with such a team of masters and friends…Hope you all enjoy!

Snyder has shared with us the location of these glimpses of owls through the pages of Detective Comics, Gates of Gotham and Batman and today he’s cleared us to share them with you.

Below are a series of panels from each of Snyder’s books that feature an owl.  Can’t find it? Click on the image to reveal where the owl is located. Some are more obvious than others.

Detective Comics #875 - Page 2

Detective Comics #875 - Page 2

Within the opening pages of Detective Comics #875, we see Detective Harvey Bullock find a nest of birds that have been eaten by a rat. Snyder revealed that this nest was in fact, an Owl’s nest and the dead baby bird, an Owl.

Gates of Gotham #3 - Page 13

Gates of Gotham #3 - Page 13

What’s that on top of Cameron Kane’s cane in the pages of Gates of Gotham #3? Is that…an owl?

Detective Comics #881 - Page 10

Detective Comics #881 - Page 10

Once you know what to look for, this game gets a little easier, like with this shot from Detective Comics #881, where an owl gets the hell out of the way of the Bat-Wing.

Batman #1 - Page 1

Batman #1 - Page 1

Okay, this one from Batman #1 is a bit tougher to find, but it’s a great example of how Snyder and the artists have worked owls into the framework of Gotham as we see Crime Alley and who may have been watching back during that fateful night.


I have to admit, not being the biggest fan of Batman, once Snyder explained his approach with the Court of Owls and the general gist of the story, he totally converted me. Detective Comics and Batman have been some of the best books published this year, and with the release of Batman: The Black Mirror, if you missed out (like I did), you can check out what Conor and Josh have been raving about for months and then ease right into Batman where Snyder and Capullo are killing it every month.

Thanks to Scott Snyder for sharing with all of us the secrets of The Court of Owls!

Batman: The Black Mirror hardcover is available now for $29.99 – get it discounted at Amazon!


  1. It’s little details like this that make Snyders work such a joy to read.

    Oh and Ron, welcome to the club. 😉

  2. You know Batman is good when Ron is not only picking it up but writing articles about it too. I missed the detective run as well so I’ll be investing in that snazzy hardcover for sure.

  3. “The owls are not what they seem” One more reason why i love iFanboy 😉

  4. Batman: The Black Mirror, I’m on it!

  5. I can’t wait to re-read Snyder’s ‘Tec run in hardcover, and pour over all the little details. Seriously might make The Black Mirror my “go-to” recommendation for anyone wanting to read Batman.

  6. I’m loving this current run and tweet Scott Snyder about it often. A very smart and incredibly nice guy.

    I have a few questions I’m curious if anyone has any ideas.

    Why in issue 2 was the gang transporting dead women? I haven’t seen this mentioned before and I’m curious to how it relates.

    Why did the court of owls allow the trainer to contact Dick? Surely they let this happen.

    I had many other ideas but my final one of the top of my head is that Lincoln was in a foster home and someone funded for him to go to college and enabled him to get into the position he is in. He mentions this all to Bruce in issue 2.

    It seems to me many complained about Bruce tripping over the wire in issue 3. To me this is to show that Bruce is having trouble seeing whats right in front of him. I feel as if in someways Alfred would have more to do with this then we might all believe.

    Great article!

    • I ‘ve read issue 2 many times, and I really don’t see how u could get this wrong. Those dead women are coming from the”hellenic wing”, so we are talking about statues specifically from Greece, taken from a museum. Pale comes as a joke regarding the material they are made of (probably marble). I know it’s an old post, it’s just hit me that no one noted it. And personally, I don’t think it has any particular meaning regarding the order of the owls. It’s just an opportunity used to show Batman’s upgrades, in this case the photogrammetric scanner placed in the city’s morque (like issue’s 1 e.m.p. mask andhis contact lens)

  7. The Court of Owls will only begin to suck should Leland Owlsley gets to join the club. Oh wait, that’ll never happen! Awesome! 😀

  8. Ah…so Gotham City is New New York of Futurama? That explains everything!!!

  9. I have re-read The Black Mirror. Don’t i? Jeez.

  10. This is my X-Mas gift to myself this year. Feels like I just finished reading this run, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a book to arrive in the mail.

  11. I’ve been on board since The Black Mirror.It’s great to have been there since the beginning.I’m excited to see where this goes!

  12. If you look closely, there is an owl behind you.

  13. Very cool. Scott Snyder clearly gets it.

  14. Yeesh, I thought I gave GATES OF GOTHAM a close read and I completely missed that! This (Snyder’s string of issues) is turning into our generation’s most beautifully written run of Big Two superhero comics. Bravo!

    • I had noticed the Owl on the cane, but if you don’t know yet about it it’s little details you just pass by and it doesn’t register as important in your brain… 😉

      Scott Snyder is well gifted in semiology and makes great use of it in his stories. As a man of letters myself, reading his books is awesome for that!

  15. Looks like I’m adding ANOTHER trade to the “to buy” list

  16. Well that was a waste of time. I’ll shut up now.

  17. Damn Mr. Snyder cannot stop being the most classy guy in comics. They’re some creators in comics who’s art I love but when they speak they are so not likeable “cough cough bru cap”-Thumbs up stay Bad AZZ Snyder

  18. this is by far the most intriguing batman series to date. (besides a few like The killing joke and Grant Morison’s TIME) but over all this is my favorite series yet. and being a huge fan of the dark side of batman this really quenches my thirst.