Secret societies, elite assassins and conspiracies… it sounds like a Dan Brown novel, but in this case it’s actually the center of the new Batman series and these are the first seven issues that launch Bats into the new 52! Writer Scott Snyder is fast becoming one of DC’s biggest guns with his history steeped mystery plot. Who are the Court of Owls? What is their agenda? How long have they been pulling the strings of Gotham’s elite and why do they want Bruce Wayne dead? To help put the picture together for us, Greg Capullo, formerly of Spawn fame, has drawn fantastic illustrations just short of conclusions that lead us along like a moth to a flame. His usual high caliber graphics are here for fans who know his past work, but now he seems to be bringing a sense of maturity to his pages. More than just pretty pictures, Capullo seems to be integrating a better flow and sense of storytelling with his layouts and a clarity that seemed absent from his cluttered and claustrophobic Spawn artwork. This book is like a chapter two to Snyder’s Gates of Gotham, replete with history of the city you never knew, a great jumping on point for new readers and an ironclad advocacy for the upcoming Night of Owls crossover.