Artwork by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
It's been a few months since Scott Snyder has given readers much exposition in the pages of Batman. Of course, this wasn't bad at all. In fact, issues five and six were some of the more cerebral issues in recent history. But it's nice to get a little more framework for the coming "Night of the Owls" crossover event. At the end of the last issue, Bruce finally escaped from the Court's labyrinth and his own nightmares. Back at the cave, Alfred found the body of the Talon in the ice of the Gotham River. And because Batman almost literally never gets any sleep, he goes to work immediately with the autopsy.
The Talon is discovered to be a reanimated corpse doing the Court's bidding. Throughout the "Court of Owls" arc, the Talon's strength and voracity have been shockingly powerful, so it's nice to get some explanation as to why. Snyder throws a curveball this month by identifying the man as Dick Grayson's great-grandfather, William Cobb. After a weird emo-meltdown from Nightwing in the cave, Bruce matches a tooth of Dick's to a tooth of William's, confirming Bruce's suspicions that Haley's Circus provided agile young men to the Court to be trained as Talons. Bruce's quick connections feel a little sloppy in execution. One moment, Bruce is explaining the reanimation process (similarly sloppy, but this time because Snyder rushes through it), and the next, Nightwing is lambasting Batman for trying to shake him up.
Next month's Batman and Nightwing both act as prelude issues to May's giant "Night of the Owls" event, and from the looks of the last few pages of issue seven, things are about to get a lot more messy for Batman.