Using the names Lincoln March gave him, Batman tacks down the Court of Owls to the house he first searched for them in when he was a child. When he arrives he finds the entire court committed mass suicide. Later, her realizes that something about the suicide isn’t right. He tracks the true culprit to the Willowwood Home For Children, where he discovers a shocking secret.
In the backup story, Alfred’s father continues to tell the story about the Wayne family being targeted by the Court of Owls, and the event that led to the reveal in this issue.
(Spoilers discussed below)
I’ve always been against additions to the basic Batman mythology. I wasn’t a big fan of the Black Hand arc because it called back to a part of the story I for one think should be left well alone. Saying things like, “Batman’s father may not have died,” playing around with the past just doesn’t have the impact the writer intends. Readers mostly just roll their eyes and wait for it to be retconned. The only constant is that Batman’s parents died, and then he became Batman. Anything else is just needless fluff that will be forgotten eventually.
Revealing that Bruce had a brother feels like that kind of needless fluff. After years of “big reveals” anything like this just feels like it’s trying too hard to grab our attention. It’s an exercise in futility to pull this kind of twist.
The fact that I can’t remember if this was properly foreshadowed isn’t helping its case. It might have been, but it’s been ten months since I started reading this series, so I honestly can’t remember. If it wasn’t properly foreshadowed, then shame on you Batman 10.
Nonetheless, we’re looking at the end of the arc, and I wish we could have gotten a climax involving the villains we’ve been following this whole time. Pulling a different villain off right at the end of the story just doesn’t feel satisfying.
That aside, and I know I say this a lot, but I did like this issue, even if it doesn’t feel like the climax we needed for the whole story. I definitely continue to recommend Batman too anyone remotely interested. If you’re going to read any Batman book, you might as well make it this one.