The Court of Owls Takes Roost in New Batman Back-Up

DC Comics has announced a series of back-up features launching in April’s Batman #8. The story sheds further light on Scott Snyder’s Court of Owls, now revealed as the major threat in an upcoming crossover event dubbed “Night of the Owls.” Told from the perspective of Alfred’s father Jarvis Pennyworth, the back-up promises more revelations about the Wayne family and their place in Gotham mythology. Snyder is co-writing the story with newcomer James Tynion IV. Providing the art? American Vampire’s Rafael Albuquerque.

Here’s a sneak peek at Albuquerque’s take on Batman:

Here’s what Snyder had to say over at DC’s Source Blog:

“The first backup, in issue eight will give a sense of the terrifying scope of the Court of Owls’ attack on Gotham. This really will be the first shot in a war for the soul of Gotham City. And then, starting in issue nine, we’ll begin a three part story called ‘The Fall of the House of Wayne’ that will investigate the secret history of the Court of Owls and its relationship to the Wayne family – particularly to Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce’s parents. The story will be told from the point of view of Jarvis Pennyworth, Alfred’s father, and offer some big surprises and shocks about the forces that shaped the bat-mythology as we know it. Can’t wait for you all to see these stories!”

Below, a look at Greg Capullo’s cover for Batman #8, due out in *counts on fingers* April.


We’ll be dropping an extra dollar per month on Batman this spring, but you won’t see us complaining. Groundwork for an exciting Bat-family event packaged with a story we already dig. An introduction to a new writer with a helping hand from a name we trust. And new art from one of the most exciting talents in the business. Hoot. Nanny.

UPDATE: If you’re concerned about the whole crossover business, Snyder wants to set your minds at ease:

Cool? Cool.


  1. Albuquerque on Batman? Yes. That first picture is fantastic. What is the crossover though? Batman with what?

    • Detective Comics

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      It’s an event that encompasses the Bat family of books. Likely some more than others.

    • I hope it’s only 3 of the bat-titles: Batman, Batgirl and Batwing. (Those are the three books that I am reading. (I know, it’s selfish.)) Chance are, though, it will be Batman, Detective, and Batman & Robin at a minimum. I would be surprised if they didn’t include Outlaws too because that book could probably use the boost in sales numbers. Batwoman likely won’t be a part of the crossover because of it’s long lead time.

      I am on-board and very excited. Snyder has not let me down yet.

    • I follow most of the Bat centric comics. Batman, Dark Knight. Detective. Batwing is also in there but I don’t think it will cross over into that. I think Snyder has the capability to write a cross over in such a fashion that you only need one corner of it to like/follow it. I find the multiple titles cross overs very hard to follow, obviously, and quite often a waste of time and money. I don’t think DC will go with that route, but they have done some strange things in the past. Like what’s this new reboot about? Anyone heard of it?

    • I believe Snyder has said that even with the crossover you won’t have to pick up extra books to get a complete story, that the parts of the psuedo-event will be complete stories within each book. So if you’re not picking up Nightwing, for example, you don’t have to start just for this.

  2. This is good news. Can’t get enough of these strigiformes.

  3. “All or most of the Bat family of books.”

    How many Bat books are there? How big is this crossover? I am saddened that the new price point is going to really hurt my budget and now with a crossover I am going to need to buy a bunch of bat books that I don’t keep on my pull list in order to get the whole story. Didn’t DC say they would keep away from crossovers for a while?

    • Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      As with any crossover or event, you likely don’t need to read everything. I just remember Snyder saying he was working with other writers on this year’s event.

    • Nine? I think that’s all of them? I doubt it’ll be crossing over into Red Hood or Batwing, though.

    • Eight issues is an eternity for comic book publishers who are addicted to the crossover smack.

    • Snyder recently (as in the last couple hours) tweeted that the “crossover” will be self-contained. If you’re only reading Batman you don’t have to read Nightwing to know what’s going on. I know that’s become kind of a party line from publishers, but Snyder has always been a very straight shooter with fans, so take it for what you will.

      I think we’ll see a preview of this style of “crossover” with the next couple issues of Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

      And Albaquerque drawing Batman?? Easiest dollar I’ve spent in a while!

    • Wasn’t the Animal Man/Swamp Thing crossover happening in issue 12 or something? I heard it was a while away, which confused me, because of how early Alex Hollands name was thrown into Animal Man.

  4. from a creative perspective this sounds interesting. I’m very disappointed in the dollar increase and i’m sure a B-list book will get cut from my budget at some point when DC continues to raise prices across the line.

    If its truly self contained that will be better i guess…but if its what other places are reporting…that you have to read all the backups across all the different bat books to get the story, then that just sucks for the readers. If that’s the case then many including myself will be paying a dollar extra for part of a backup we can’t do anything with because we’re not reading the entire family of comics.

    • a three part story called ‘The Fall of the House of Wayne’ is what the extra dollar is for not a backup we can’t do anything with because we’re not reading the entire family of comics

    • backups have rarely done much for me so i’m skeptical. If its truly self contained that might be palatable, but if its a situation where it continues in other books i have no intention of reading then i’ll be heavily annoyed by the increase. It seems DC wants to get people to buy into all the bat books and i’m not doing that.

    • Of course DC wants people buying all the Batbooks, that’s just capitalism in action. But like I mentioned above, Scott Snyder is going out of his way on Twitter to assure people that there’s nothing to get concerned about.

      There are so many easy ways to save an extra dollar (or even $3.99) every month provided you’re willing to put a little thought into it and maybe make a slight sacrifice elsewhere in your life.

    • @ken–yeah well i hope i’m proven wrong. We’ve just heard that song and dance before. I don’t use twitter so i don’t know what he’s been saying, but i hope what you are saying is correct. I’m really enjoying his Batman run, but in all honesty, i’d rather not have a backup story and continue to pay $2.99. Backups have never been an added value for me. And they are raising prices on other books too..its not just one title.

      It wasn’t that long ago that DC abandoned backups and higher price points due to sales issues?…and they’re going down that road again? The strategy at play is kinda weird.

      its not so much that i can’t afford a dollar a month. If that was the case then i shouldn’t be reading any comics at all. Increasing price points is always slippery slope that makes me tred with caution. $5 is right around the corner.

    • @wallythegreenmonster The back ups Francavilla did in Tec haven’t been an added value to you either then? I thought they were awesome and they led straight into the full issues FF did later on. If this will be done anything like that, which it sounds like, I’m perfectly happy.

      It’s a shame though so many people have bad experiences with back up stories…

    • @martinNL–it was well done stuff, but i didn’t care for any of the Commissioner Gordon and James Jr. stuff he did in Detective. I know its “burn you at the stake” sacrilege to say that, but i never found much enjoyment in those stories. The stuff he is doing now is much more the type of Batman story i’m looking for.

    • @wally If only I had that fire burning now 😀

  5. I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve – I’m totally excited for this and I for one am happy to pay a buck more for this level of awesome.

  6. This is sweet! You got Albuquerque doing art with a newcomer that, as Snyder’s track record has shown, have been great…..This is going to be a great summer event.

    Having said that, not sure if I want to buy a Tony Daniel or Batgirl comic so hopefully it’s all nicely contained in this title without feeling like a huge gap is missing. Also, I have no qualms about buying this for an extra dollar because I was shocked this wasn’t a $3.99 book at the jump.

  7. That’s a nice looking Batman design Albuquerque did.

  8. I’m loving Snyder and Capullo’s Batman, but have no interest in a crossover with the other Bat-books. I won’t buy them. I’m disappointed to learn that chapters of the backup story will alternate between Batman and Detective. I guess I’ll only read half of it.

  9. Eh, I won’t be picking up Detective until it’s at least even half as good as Batman. I would have tossed that Detective #1 straight in the trash had it not been going for a decent little bit on ebay at the time.

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    My fingers were hovering over the keys. I’ve used it before though.

  11. Well, since I find that each new issue of Batman is over far too soon I am more than happy to drop the extra dollar on this sweet addition…especially with art like that.

  12. God damn, this guy is amazing.

  13. Well, I was bummed when I read about the price increase. I am a sucker for awesome though, and DC had my extra buck when they mentioned Albuquerque. This sounds like it will be cool as Hell. I agree with you guys, I hope we don’t have to read EVERY batbook to get the story. As Ken mentioned above, if Snyder says that won’t be necessary I believe him.

  14. 8 extra pages for a buck * YES

    Albuquerque * YES

    New writer introduced/approved by Snyder * YES

    Very excited about that news! This is better than what I expected. I’ll have to wait and see how excited I’ll be about the whole crossover event, but I’ll reserve judgement until we know more about that. Love Rafa’s art, esp. that second pic. And quite surprised no-one seems to have said anything about the awesomeness that is Capullo’s #8 cover.

  15. Sounds good and I’m all in, but I wonder if this is too much with Batman: Leviathan coming out in 2012 too. A Clandestine Organization with its “Claws” in everything out to destroy Batman and the Bat-Family. I wonder if Bruce’s ultimate strategy is to Pit the Court of Owls against Leviathan so that they destroy one another. Ooooh! Someone write that one down!.

  16. YESSS!!

    Albuquerque on Batman?! It’s like a late Christmas present. That I’m paying an extra dollar for. But whatevs. Can’t wait!

  17. I’m down. As long as it’s good. But with Scott Snyder, it’s almost always good. I don’t see why people are complaining. It’s extra stuff. The money doesn’t make that much of difference either. It’s an extra dollar. It’s not like its a whole lot more. Anyway, looks great and I am looking forward to it.

  18. I love Scott Snyder and his Batman run so don’t take this as a knock. But The Court of Owls feels so similier to what Grant Morrison was doing with his Black Glove storyline. A mysterous organization thats been around for decades, with ties to old-Gotham and the Waynes, begins an attack on Batman, I wish Snyder could somehow acknowaldge Morrison’s story in the appropiate place to just help give a sense of cohesivness.

  19. I was weary about the extra dollar but I’m not anymore!

    As long as they don’t have the backup continuing into Detective, which I have no plan of reading, that is…

  20. Scott just cleared up where the backups will appear:

    @Ssnyder1835: NO. ALL IN BATMAN RT @Doughboy1917: @Ssnyder1835 love your Batman! Are your backups going to alternate between Batman and Detective?

    Looks like the CBR report was wrong about the backups being in Batman and Detective. That’s good news.

  21. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    UPDATED: With words of assurance from Scott Snyder.

  22. Nice I can move forward now with taking Detective off my pull list

  23. Alberquerque’s Batman is unreal. Good God.

  24. I love Scott Snyder and have not been disappointed by one thing I’ve read by him, but I think it’s safe for him to dial back a bit from all the press releases where he pretty much tells people what’s going to happen in the books. I know he has to sell the books, but I’m really feeling less is more at this point.

    On another note, I cannot wait for Alberquerque’s art in a Bat book!

  25. Curious to see how long this crossover will run. Dark Knight Rises comes out in what, July?

  26. Sounds really cool, did not know alfred’s father’s name was jarvis, I find that pretty funny. Could just be me though.

  27. I have been a fan of Scott Snyder’s work only within the last year and a half. Started with American vampire, moved on to Swamp thing, and now on Batman (Batman is one of my favorite characters, if not my number 1 favorite. And he’s killing it, awesome freaking work!), And bringing Albuquerque to the book, will be staggeringly good. With his unquestionable love for the character in the book he’s working on, I can’t see him leaving it in unworthy hands. Change inevitably is always good.

  28. i’m usually the first to bitch about price, but a back-up with rafael seems well worth it.
    my only concern is that the story is going to be taking place before there was a batman. so we wont really be seeing rafael draw batman, right? when i saw his batman i was overjoyed and then saddened by that realization. hope im wrong.
    maybe there will be enough owl ninjas to make up for it. fingers crossed

  29. I’m trying to wait for the next story arc to start reading this book, but with all the hype it’s making it difficult to wait.

  30. AHHHH! I love love love this news.

  31. Really looking forward to this. Bring on the owls!