Comic Books


Deep beneath Gotham City lies the Court of Owls’ deadliest trap – and Batman has fallen right into it! Can he escape, or will he perish in a maze of nightmare?

Enter the labyrinth, Batman – if you dare!

Variant cover by ANDY KUBERT
B&W variant cover by GREG CAPULLO

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 94.6%
Avg Rating: 4.8
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. Easily the book I look forward to the most every month. Pure brilliance, never lets me down.

  2. Hard to believe Batman doesn’t know there is a secret labyrinth in Gotham….But I guess that’s why the word ‘secret’ was invented.

    • Hey, that’s what is great about this story arc: Batman isn’t prepared for this like he always is! 😀

    • I’ve been loving this but I agree with TNC. It’s a bit hard to swallow that Batman didn’t know about a secret labyrinth beneath Gotham AND a hidden 13th floor in every Wayne building. Maybe one but not both. But I’ll roll with it because Snyder is killing it.

    • I’m looking at it that the Court has been leading Bruce Wayne way from there activities throughout his career. If he ever got close, they could cause a crime spree somewhere else causing him to be distracted.

      Bruce Wayne is one millionaire with a lot of resources. The court of owls is an unknown number of high society types. They must have considerably more resources.

    • Yeah that’s a good point. Be interesting to see how far back Snyder connects the Court of Owls to Bruce’s past.

    • The 13th floor thing seems like something Kid Bruce would have investigated right away. I know I would’ve. 😛

  3. been having a great time with this. Not much to say besides that. =)

  4. I can’t freaking wait for this!!

  5. I’m liking this but I’m afraid that the Court of the Owls thing is going to get old. I like well enough it so far, but then I heard that Snyder’s going to keep with it and turn it into a long running saga with a crossover and with backup-story flashbacks and whatnot. I dunno.

    The Owl Court is cool and all but I don’t think it has enough depth to it to warrant that many issues. Morrison’s “Black Glove” organization was very similar, and he was able to keep that underlying evil group interesting for years, because he knew just how many clues to reveal here and there. With Snyder, on the other hand, everything tends to get expositional and over-explained to death, so I’m not looking forward so much to him writing an entire history of this organization. That could get awfully tedious.

    But, I like the run overall and am still having a good time with it. In no small part due to Capullo.

    • “I dunno”

      You said it right there! Don’t worry about liking disliking things that don’t even exist for you to like or dislike yet. Like or dislike the things you have now (or this Wednesday), and then change your purchase habits if necessary. BUYING COMICS IS FUN AND EASY. 🙂

    • I’m pretty sure the back-up is only running in the last four issues of the court of owls story, #8-11.

    • I think you’ll find that the backups aren’t going to spoil the mystery at hand, they’ll just be giving a new perspective from 30-some years ago from the perspective of Jarvis Pennyworth. I don’t think you guys will be disappointed, as the Court’s always going to be pretty mysterious. Just you wait and see!

      -James Tynion IV (Co-Writer of the Backups)

  6. Here here!! Don’t hate prematurely!

  7. Just enjoy the ride bro!

  8. Did the Black Glove and the Court of Owls know about each other?

  9. Court of Owls and Talon are some serious bad a%# new concepts for the Batman!! I wanna see this thing really blow wide open in this issue.


  10. I’m sure it will be uncovered, but why has the Wayne family never been made aware of the Court of Owls? They must have been the ultimate outsiders in the Gotham society power circles. Thats my biggest question so far…

  11. This is secret society done right. And there’s a labyrinth!!

  12. I wonder if Night Owl is part of Court of Owls and that is how Watchmen will be incorporated into DCU!!

    • Oooof. I sure hope not. (And I say that as someone who appreciates Watchmen, but doesn’t care too much for it. I’m looking out for Batman on this one.)

    • @ AmirCat: Woah… don’t ever mention that again dude. That’s blasphemy!!!

    • I was wondering if it had any links to Owl Man from Earth 2

    • This is obviously a set-up for Damian to become the DCnU Owlman.

    • first off, watchmen rocks. book and movie.
      but, i dont think they should touch it. they should stay true to that work of art and allow it to remain perfect and timeless. besides, im sure snyder wants something all his own.
      however, i really like the idea of a connection to owl man of earth 2 @zeppo. prolly never happen, though.

  13. They are about to go nuts with this Court Of Owls stuff. I’m about to go and read the previous issues again. I actually was enjoying Detective more when The New 52 first jumped off, but now I’m loving this just as much as Snyder’s Detective run. Well almost…

    This is definitely a POTW contender. Before I even read the solicit.

  14. Shut up and take my money! Seriously.

  15. I dropped Batman after issue 2 (just didn’t grab me and cash is always tight!), but the way people are talking up the crazy art design of this issue, I think I might pick it back up. Here’s hoping it’s not too confusing with missing those three issues.

  16. Love the fact that the Talon ripped off Batman’s utility belt before kicking his ass down into the labyrinth. In my opinion Batman is best depicted as having to rely on both his wit and guile and not just his utility belt. Best book out there by far.

  17. Just read an advance review of the book. Sounds like a shoe-in for POTW this week!!

  18. I’m as obliterated as Bruce after reading. Ugh!

  19. the first of the new “52” i started to read and just based on this series i went out and pre-ordered plenty of the others. scott at the min is my top writer i look forward to more of his work

  20. Holy shit Batman

  21. I’ve been really enjoying this and it is the only new DC title I have stuck with… but with the coming price hike, crossovers, and other B.S. I’ll probably drop it unfortunately. DC loves to ruin a good thing through greed. With so many bat titles, just leave it alone, let it be great, and save the games for the weaker titles that need them. Really cooled me off on a series I was enjoying.

    • Wow, I hope you don’t make important decisions in your life with such inadequate information. Watch out for dropping knowledge:

      -The price hike is due to additional backup stories co-written by Scott Snyder with art by the amazing Rafael Albequerque. I don’t know about you, but that’s worth a dollar to me!

      -Snyder (the architect of the crossover) has publicly stated that the “crossover” is designed in a way so that you truly do not have to read any books you aren’t currently reading. Scott seems like a straight-shooter, so I believe him!

      -I’m not sure what you mean by other B.S., so I can’t help you there.

      I mean, if you’re just looking to paint DC as greedy, I can’t say anything to change your mind. But the choice you’re describing above seems based on bad/inadequate information.

    • Yeah, I’ll go ahead and make my own decisions and I am well aware of the situation. Thanks.

  22. holy shit! this issue was really really impressive.

  23. I’m still disoriented from reading this. I need a nap.

  24. This was very disorienting on the iPad, you found yourself turning the page to read it correctly, then the iPad would shift it again

  25. Am I the only one that had all the pages(minus the adds) printed upside after the vertical pages?

  26. My shop pulled that alternate cover for me! Cool! Can’t wait to read this one.

  27. Did anybody read it digitally on a PC? If yes, then HOW? Would really appreciate some help, otherwise I just bought something I can’t read. 🙁

    PS. Tried rotate the screen with graphics card software, but it screwed everything up and I barely could get it back to normal.

    • I just wrote a short review warning people of this. It feels like amateur hour on Snyder’s part which is very painful to say considering Batman’s my favorite of the New 52 titles, let alone of everything I look forward to each month.

    • Yeah they dropped the ball on the digital version of this. I would suggest taking screenshots of the pages and saving them on your hard drive, using an image viewer to rotate the images.

  28. This issue reminded me of that issue of Alan Moore’s and J.H Williams III’s Prometha that had the pages twisting and turning where you had to turn the comic around to as you read. Clever trick.

  29. Gawd this was good – hadn’t considered the problems people reading it digitally would have – seems like someone at DC would have caught that problem before printing…

  30. It’s great when Batman is allowed to face an actual obstacle instead of just punching people in the face

  31. The shop I go to, the entire shipment of this book was damaged! Damn you UPS!

  32. This book alone is LITERALLY the reason why print > digital media.

    I’m not hating on digital comics, but i don’t see how you will get the full feel of this issue on a tablet.

    • it doesn’t prove one is better than the other, but it does prove that when you design or write something with the final user experience in mind you can do really cool things. If Snyder and Capullo decided to create a story optimized for tablets using panel views as a reveal device, that would be equally amazing, and would not work at all in print. Its pretty obvious this story was designed for one format instead of two.

    • I first read this on my iPad and I got the full feeling just fine.

    • I have to disagree a bit. I actually enjoyed the disorienting effect of having to read pages upside down and/or sideways. It worked to help me connect with Bruce’s situation.

      Not trying to be an apologist, just sharing my experience.

    • The difference is that the print version was designed to keep you going in circles, where you kept going back to the beginning of the labrynth, and reading in circles until you realized they were fucking with you. It was fantastic.

    • @Josh: That happened on my iPad too.

    • @josh @conor Same thing on my iPad I just locked screen orientation with the toggle switch and kept having to flip the ipad around it was AWESOME!

    • No shit. That’s fantastic.

    • I’m apparently the only idiot that just kept the iPad still and spun himself around the bed.

    • I agree with Wally. If talented writers and artists chose to design their comics with digital reading in mind specifically, they could create stuff that blew away any print reading experience, let alone print comic experience. Each format has its charms, neither is “better” than the other. I personally read half my books in print and half digitally, and will lean heavier on digital as time goes by – but that’s primarily for space conservation and price-saving reasons.

      As for BATMAN #5, I bought a print copy because friends “warned” me it was an issue that should be read in print, and I loved it – but now I read that I could have loved it digitally, too. Oh well. Love is love, said the cat.

  33. Mine too. I really liked. I have a sneaking suspicion that Scott Snyder might be a genius.

  34. This was fucking amazing! Not sure why the screen flip was a problem for some people though on digital. I read on my iPad and once I realized what was going on i just flipped the lock screen orientation switch and BAM iPad turning craziness. 5/5 POTW!

    • After reading through a few reviews I can see where this would be annoying if you were reading digital on something other than an iPad though. Looks like desktop users are up a creek with this one issue.

  35. 83%+ PotW? man, it’s issue #3 all over again:)

  36. Well I’m back on board now. That was pretty unique and interesting.

  37. I used Conor’s method and moved the iPad around a table (and the screen lock feature works as well) and had a ton of fun with this issue. Pretty surreal and crazy. This was a great issue, and i just want more. Lots of credit to Snyder and Capullo for running with conceptual experimentation. Great stuff.

  38. Is 90.6% a record for a Wednesday community pick?

  39. Call me the minority here, but I really didn’t like this issue.

    • When something’s riding a 94.3% potw percentage, I think it’s fair to say you are in the minority.

      Nothing wrong with that!

    • I thought this issue was technically impressive but just like the rest of the series I’m still not invested in the story. I’m not sure I can explain exactly why I can’t buy into it. Everyone here loves it so damn much I feel like there’s something wrong with me. But at least there’s another dissenting opinion 🙂

    • At least I’m not alone haha. I can see the craft that went into this issue, but it just came off as kind of gimmicky to me. You can totally get what want to get across without having me flip the book upside down. I totally get what Snider was going for, I just don’t like it.

    • I felt it was a bit gimmicky as well. I felt that even though the court of owls may be getting under bruce’s skin, i dont think he would already go that far into madness even if this was a dream sequence.

      I have read a lot of comics in my lifetime and i am pretty sure that this issue does not break new ground like everyone is making it out to. The ASM issue that came out after the torch’s death with marcos martin on art was similar to this issue but so much more ground breaking.

    • @WHATTHEDAST: Who said it was groundbreaking?

    • Showing a contrary view against an overwhelming internet majority in 2012…
      *lights a pitchfork and gives the dissenters 15 second head start*

    • i’ll say it. this is groundbreaking

    • This issue isn’t at all ground breaking, but that’s fine. This was a great issue on its own, mostly due to the great narrative sequence of Mad Bruce (plus that exposed eye…that was key).

    • the ground is broke. i still see it cracking into the sunset
      yippy ky yay
      snyder should be billed for all this broken ground

    • @tomistommy. You totally get the point but you were flipping the book around and around? I mean maybe i dont get it and you got it.. but i was kind of thinking we werent supposed to turn the book at all. For a moment i thought of turning the book.. but then i thought.. you know what… I think this is supposed to be read as it was presented?? am i right? Makes it feel more strange if your reading it backwards.
      I dont remember anything like this ever being done before… When was something done similar?

    • well never mind.. i guess i have my answers..

  40. Wow. Snyder’s Detective and Batman have been the best comics I have read for the last year.

  41. Can you guys make it possible for us to give this more than 5 stars? This issue was un-freaking-believable.

  42. Wow. I’m dumbfounded. That was PURE genius. I actually got the chills at the point where you turn the book upside down. Snyder plays with the page like Tarantino plays with film. He’s done things I’ve never seen before. Once in ‘Tec, and now twice in Batman.

    • It was a wonderful use of the medium, but make no mistake — but this is not the first time a comic book writer/artist have used that trick.

  43. 95.2% POTW!? Good lord!

  44. i’m still feeling a lil’ loopy and very well may be jumpn’ the gun here, but i think this is the best comic i’ve ever read.

    drugged water, flashing lights, endless maze.
    i truly felt like i was there. i was turning pages the wrong way at times and reading out sequence, so i would go back and re-read and then get lost again. then making it back to a place i had already been. so i experienced, at least partially, the redundancy of the neverending circles and the revisiting of familiar yet terrifying places. i felt bruce’s horror. what a helluva way to put us in batman’s boots for 15 minutes.

    brilliant. genius

  45. There were a lot of good books this week, but none of them were close to this. Absolutely loved this.

  46. I wish I could give it a 10. I’m kinda too freaked to go to sleep. Nothing was overtly frightening about it, but reading it made me super uneasy. Snyder killed it.

  47. Holy sweet baby Jesus! Best comic of 2012 thus far. I got chills reading this and seeing Bruce so vulnerable.

  48. I like the story and art, but this issue was a huge pain in the ass to read digitally.

  49. The Death of the Batgod. Thank you Scott Synder, it was great reading a DC book where Bruce isn’t ten steps ahead of everyone.

  50. Once this is done and collected in its intended format this is going to be one hell of a read to behold, digesting it chapter by chapter like this is like Chinese water torture some times…. just . want. the . whole. thing. now.

    another great issue.

  51. I wasn’t a fan of this issue, but have loved this story so far. I agree with TomiH above that Bruce doesn’t have to be 10 steps ahead all the time but he really has lost it here. I could see him becoming disoriented and troubled (as I was having to turn the comic sideways and upside down for a few pages) but not this much; maybe I don’t know as much about Batman as others after all these years but I’ll still be here next month. However, I hope things pick up next time.

    Also, I find Damian being so worried hilarious. Here, in Batman, he’s desperate to find his father and in Batman and Robin, he’s desperately trying to get away from him (have a theory about that, though). Seems contradictory but I’m getting a kick out of it

    • I think Bruce’s losing it was well justified. He mentioned he’d been in there 10 days already. Besides the frustration of being stuck that long & probably having run through all of his detective moves unsuccessfully – you also gotta think about dehydration & then when he does take a sip from the fountain, I read it as they did indeed put a hallucinogen into the water, just to F with him.

  52. Number five is my first issue of the new series. I read it in the comic store. Then I got super pissed off at myself for not buying it sooner. Now I’ve got four other issues to hunt down.

  53. Wow, I’ve never seen a PotW percentage this high. And I fully agree.

  54. Very cool issue, atmospheric, I dig. Reminds me a little of when Judge Dredd was at the end of his rope in The Cursed Earth, always intriguing to see our hero haggard and beaten by, well, a lack of food and water for one thing.

    The strongest issue in Synder’s Batrun yet I’d say, which is good after issue 4 felt a little weak to me. But this is ace, and I can’t wait to see where this story takes Batman next month.

  55. I liked this issue, but turning the pages upside down to me was just silly. I think Snyder is great and I love his work on Swamp Thing too, but around here it’s like he could take a shit on a page and everybody would say it was brilliant work ya know?

    • has he ever put out shit work? i started reading him when he took over TEC and then i moved on to AV, swamp thing, severed and finally batman. issue #2 of swamp thing was probably the worst thing i’ve read from him, mostly becuz it was a huge information dump(ha ha).
      i wouldnt say everything he’s done is brilliant, but it’s not too fuckn’ shabby either.

    • Yeah I like him too. I mainly just didn’t like the upside down pages is all. My other point was simply that I think people are going overboard. I’m not saying it sucks either but when you say its the best thing you’ve ever read I’m thinking you may be exagerating a little.

    • i think he’s in that “infallible” phase of his new writing career…by that i mean, he made a big splash and its playing at such a high level that fan buzz is off the charts and everything he does is hyperbole-ed to an insane level…..right now he does no wrong, and its well deserved, cause his stuff is killer. We’ll see what happens, when his first ho hum arc comes….thats the inevitable test.

    • I agree with your analysis.

    • i’m not exagerating. i really think it may be the single best issue i’ve ever read. i love the “silly” upside down thing for reasons i’ve already listed.
      besides, what are you comparing it to? what’s the single best issue you have ever read?

    • I have no idea what’d be the single best issue I’ve ever read or the single issue that I liked the best? For batman I really liked the dark knight returns and I liked the millers work on daredevil reborn also. When I was a kid I really liked claremonts x-men more recently I liked mark millar on the ultimates. I’m not qualified to say oh this is the best comic I’ve ever read I’m not an expert really just a fan so idk I like a lot of dc right now. I figured you were exagerating but I guess this is really your fav comic of all time that you’ve read, that’s cool, I liked it too.

    • it’s definitely up there.

  56. I was few issues behind on this book and just finished #5. Great book. Easily in my personal top 5 books to read each month now. I have been a fan of Capullo’s art from his days at Image on Spawn. I do like Scott Snyder’s writing but I am not as familiar with him as I am with Greg Capullo’s work.

  57. This would have been POW for me if it was’nt for believe it or not Catwoman?! This title is a masterful piece of work since issue #1 and has not slowed down. The artwork and the potrail ofBatman against this new enemy is something I have never seen and I am really drawn into it. The book ends way to fast and I keep wanting more as a great book should!! This received a 5 rating from me and just missed POW. I think this court of owls seems almost like a mixture of two or three of Batman’s rogues working together on him: Riddler, Scarecrow, and Bane. I am probably way off base but it really seems to feel like that and the ending of this issue was like what?????? The Talon seems to have been able to get really close to Bat’s and best him way to many times and the only villian/rogue that has ever gotten that close to really hurt Bats was Bane. I now it’s a New DCU however; this would be a great way to establish these three as bad, bad, baddies?? Just a thought..
    Anyway, all around one of the most complete titles in comics ever.


    • I read Batman first and thought “This will be the first time I give PotW to something other than Catwoman!” but then I read Catwoman… haha. Good to know there’s another one out there somewhere.

    • if catwoman is, in yall’s opinion, better, then i need to check me out some catwoman. i read the first issue and liked it,(the arguments about her being oversexualized are hilarious to me. those people come off as snooty tight asses to me) but i didnt have room in my budget for it. perhaps it’s time to shift around some money and titles if it’s as good or better than this

    • Well… wait. Catwoman is my favorite character and the reason I read comics at all (a friend let me borrow the brubaker run and on) so I am extremely bias and just happy to have a new catwoman solo book. Plus, I love gritty sex and violence.

      That having been said it is really good with amazing art. But I doubt you will like it “better” than Batman, haha.

  58. Scott Snyder is fast becoming one of my favourite writers. He is doing some great work with The New 52 books he has under his wing.

  59. Even though BATMAN isn’t my favorite current comic book title (though it is up there), this is the only single comic issue in recent memory which has gotten a 5 star rating from me on this site! I’ve reserved the 5th star for books which go the extra mile, do something extra creative, or just impress the hell out of me — and BATMAN #5 did it. Yay for Snyder & Capullo!

  60. Batman #5 is just flat out amazing. Scott Snyder is starting to become one of my all time favorite Batwriters. Hope he and Greg Capullo continue to keep up the good work

  61. one of the best issues so far. the whole labyrinth under gothom was awesome. and seeing batman himself go insane.
    plus the epic layout when the pages flipped and went sideways made me feel like i was there.

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