Batman The Court of Owls
By Jamil of Jamil's Comics
Batman is the protector of Gotham city. He is also one of the smartest people on the planet. As a child he heard the myths of the Court of Owls of Gotham, but he put it aside as just that - a myth. Little did he know the same organisation would be targeting him as their next victim; or that the family Wayne has a long history with them.
[Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!! - I know many do not want to know about great surprises before they read the stories themselves, so I am warning you, if you are one of them, please stop reading now. There are major spoilers coming up.]
Young Bruce Wayne lost his parents when a mugger Joe Chill shot them down in a street. The police failed to capture him, and young Bruce vowed to avenge them. Years of training and hard lessons made him into the Dark Knight. At first he did suspect that his parents' deaths were part of a Court of Owl's scheme; but he soon gave up on that theory. But he could not ignore the myth any longer when the Talon, the Court's assassin comes after him. Writer Scott Snyder spins a web of possibilities about the nature of the Owls. And some of those possibilities are quite exhilarating.
What is the link between the Owls and the Family Wayne? Why was Alan Wayne, way back in the 1920's, so afraid of the Owls? Did they have a hand in the death of Bruce's parents? Why did they go after Dick Grayson (first Robin) to recruit him?
[Final warning: Spoilers coming!] Rumor has it that Thomas Wayne Jr is making a big splash in the pages of Batman soon. Who is he you ask? That is a tough question. The most popular Thomas Wayne Jr is from Earth-3, where he is the super-villain Owlman. There are many alternative earths in the DC universe and on them, many alternative Batmen. The stories of multiple earths started when in the epic Flash #121 (1961) Barry Allen discovers there is an alternative Earth. In Earth 3, Thomas and Martha Wayne had two sons. Bruce and Martha Wayne were killed by Joe Chill, but Thomas Wayne Jr survived and became the villain the Owlman. So, is the Earth-3 (although his most popular story is called JLA: Earth-2 by Grant Morrison) villain involved in the Court of Owls, or is there something even more surprising?
Here is another possibility. On Earth one, Batman found out he had a brother his parents never told him about - Thomas Wayne Jr, way back in World's Finest Comics #223 (1974). Thomas Jr was mentally ill, and was institutionalised when his parents were killed. Many decades later he escaped and went on a killing spree. Batman and Superman intervened; and by the end of the story in WFC #227, Thomas Jr sacrificed himself to save his brother Bruce. Now, in comics, we know there are few deaths that actually last. Could it be? Could Batman's brother be back in the DC universe? Is he the mastermind behind the Owl? Just Imagine!
Games have been made into comic books for quite a while now, following the footsteps of iconic movies like Predator and Alien. One such release is Halo: Uprising. The four-issue comic is set between Halo 2 and Halo 3 and was released in 2007. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev, the first issue sold out within 24 hours.
With the Earth at war, the story focuses on two human characters in Cleveland. There were worries about the portrayal of Master Chief who doesn't usually waste words, but the issue was solved by using him more in the cameo role, with him being his usual laconic self.
One expects Zeppelins and war stories to go hand in hand, but the piece selected this week had a well-executed story. For next week, our topic will be "Forest on the Other Side". All submissions need to be sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.
By Mashiyat Rahman
As I stared at the deep blue skyline, hoping to discover a new constellation, my life flashed before my eyes. It wasn't a very good choice for a distraction, since the questions I had been avoiding kept finding their way towards my mind. Did I cause this break out of utter chaos? Was I responsible for this war? I could not answer myself, for I was frightened of the answer itself. That was when I noticed it. A dark silhouette against the moonlit sky, floating mysteriously. My heart skipped a beat, but I convinced myself not to panic.
In this remote village, rebelling was something we could only dream of. Freedom from our German captors was a thought that never hit anyone's mind, except mine. But did I know that my reluctance towards being withheld as a puppet would cause the others to revolt, too? No. My one protest may give birth to a war between us and our so-called masters - that was something I did not know. I was told to run away before I underwent a terrible mishap. But I couldn't. How could I abandon my own village? Since I was the cause, I prepared myself to face the consequences. Lying down against the grass, I thought about how my life changed over just a matter of days. A few days ago, I was an innocent prisoner, but now - I am considered a criminal by my puppeteers. Although I did not know I was behind it, I turned out to be the reason why all the other captives mustered enough courage to put forth a rebellion. I thought this might bring us independence… but a gut feeling was continuously reminding me of a coming catastrophe. The Germans were bound to take some action or the other against our turmoil-filled village; or, as we have known it for the past two years, a jail without bars.
Suddenly, I noticed the dark figure grow larger. It must have been getting closer to the ground, but I still could not comprehend what it was. That was when I noticed a tiny, dark pear-like object being dropped down from the larger figure. IT'S A BOMB! Before I could attempt to escape this weapon of mass destruction, I felt a large blow. A blast of white, followed by sheer darkness, enclosed me. My sense of touch told me I was gushing out rivers of blood, but the shock of the pain made me numb. Forcing myself to keep my eyes open, I realised that my village was no more. The last thing I saw while taking in my last breath, was the distant shadow of the Zeppelin, floating silently across the sky.