When we first started The New 52 one of the things we were most excited about was the limitless number of possibilities for new stories as we moved on through our first year and for years beyond that. One of the most intriguing elements going forward was the potential to show that even though these were fresh takes on our characters, they all share the same universe. This May we are taking the opportunity to show that The New 52 is a shared universe in a couple of different ways. First of all we have the epic NIGHT OF THE OWLS story across the Bat-Books as the Court of Owls attacks Gotham City. You can follow different parts of the tale in Batman #9, Batman Annual #1, Detective Comics #9, Batwing #9, Batman and Robin #9, Birds of Prey #9, Batgirl #9, Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, Catwoman #9, Nightwing #9 and All-Star Western #9 (which takes place in 188- but still in the same universe as the rest of our books). Next up we have a game changing battle royal in THE CULLING which pits the Teen Titans and Legion Lost teams against N.O.W.H.E.R.E! This is a tough fight for our heroes so they're going to be sharing a lot of pain in addition to their universe. Follow the action in Teen Titans Annual #1, Teen Titans #9, Legion Lost #9 and the all-new Ravagers #1! Ravagers isn't the only new series launching this month and we'll have more on those titles, NIGHT OF THE OWLS and THE CULLING on The Source any minute now so keep a look out. As a final bonus for all of you that have wanted to see exactly how our characters interact in The New 52 (and because we love it too) you'll see quite a few quest stars in May. We'll be following up on this too, but you're gonna love Suicide Squad vs. Resurrection Man, Frankenstein's hunt for Animal Man, Blue Beetle squaring off against New Guardians and O.M.A.C. beating the tar out of Justice League International in a story that wraps up in The Fury of Firestorm. All of this promises to make May a whole bunch of fun and we can't wait for you to see it.
The “Night of the Owls” is coming this May, pitting the extended Bat-family against the deadly Court of Owls. A shadowy secret society with roots that date back to Gotham City’s earliest history, the Court employs a cadre of timeless, sinister assassins known as Talons to execute its malevolent will. “I thought about owls for a minute, and the hooded owl sprang to mind,” said BATMAN artist Greg Capullo about the creation of the original Talon. “So I gave him a hood like an executioner. As for the lines of the suit, I let the thought of birds guide my hand. An owl design simply made sense.” For the earliest of the Talon designs – appearing in Gotham City of the 1660s, and resurrected to battle CATWOMAN – Capullo did some historical research to capture the proper aesthetic. “I Googled garb and weapons from the period to get the right feel,” said Capullo. “I mixed, I matched and modified what I’d seen into a design that looked dangerous.”
Stay tuned to The Source all this week and next to see the various other Talons that will rise to menace Gotham City during the “Night of the Owls.”
BATMAN #5 has sold out, and will be going back to press for its second printing. From the critically acclaimed, fan-favorite creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the issue pits Batman against himself; trapped in a deadly maze deep beneath Gotham City, he must fight just to stay sane in the Owls’ nightmarish labyrinth. But turnabout is fair play, and this is just prelude to the Bat-tle royale that’s coming in the “Night of the Owls” crossover event this May.
The second printing of BATMAN #5 will be on sale in comic book stores on March 7, 2012.
Coming this May, BATMAN ANNUAL #1 features the hotly anticipated introduction of Mr. Freeze into DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. But what is the icy villain’s role in the machinations of the sinister Court of Owls and their plot to control Gotham City? Is he friend or foe, ally or enemy?
“Mr. Freeze is a character full of pathos and tragedy and at the end of the day, he's one of Batman's deadliest,” said writer Scott Snyder. “So as you can imagine, I'm very excited to be able to do a story that establishes him in the new DCU, with rising stars James Tynion IV and Jay Fabok. This will be tale that really digs into Freeze's psyche, explaining his connection to the Court of Owls in the present, and exploring dark secrets about his past. Really thrilled to see what you guys think!”
Critically acclaimed for his work on the ongoing BATMAN series, Snyder will be joined by artist Jay Fabok for the oversized issue, with James Tynion IV co-writing.
Expanding the story of the “Night of the Owls” and introducing one of Batman’s classic rogues, BATMAN ANNUAL #1 is not to be missed. Check out Fabok’s cover right here on THE SOURCE.
Friendless and alone, the Dark Knight is currently under attack by the Court of Owls in BATMAN – but the “Night of the Owls” is coming, and Batman will turn the tables on the sinister secret society. Anticipating the epic Bat-family crossover event coming in May, Scott Snyder spoke about the story to come.
Head over to COMIC VINE for an exclusive first look at the cover to BATMAN #9 – a thematic mirror of the distinctive cover to BATMAN #4.
And then check out an exclusive page from BATMAN #6 at IFANBOY.
"I don't want to give away too much, for a long time now, we've seen Batman struggling to disprove the Court of Owls, Batman on the defensive,” Snyder told THE SOURCE. “But with ISSUE 6, that starts to turn - there's no denying the Court anymore, and Batman is going to come at them with a vengeance. Expect the Court to fight back though, in a big way... It's all going to escalate into a war for Gotham City, with some big and game-changing surprises coming up along the way very, very soon. And again, thanks so much to all of you from team Batman. Ok, to Gotham!"
It's the End of the World!!!
In other words, Happy New Year 2012! This is the year that when December 21 hits, keeping any resolutions won't matter because it all goes apocalyptic!
So what's our mood here at DC? To paraphrase our pal Alfred E. Neuman from MAD, "What, us worried?"
Hardly. Doomsdays are what makes for great stories, and even a cool character here at DC! This just gives us fodder for story material.
So as we start our 5th issues, the end is penultimately near on JL's first arc with Mr. Apokolips himself: Darkseid! Catastrophe strikes in STORMWATCH, and Superman and Grifter will be picking up the pieces in their respective books.
And the coming months look no better for our heroes as the Court of Owls reaches out with their Talons, bringing an end of days to the Batman family. There's a bitter cold end for the Flash when Captain Cold hits Central City. What does it mean to the future when the Teen Titans and Legion Lost meet, or when O.M.A.C. comes to JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL? What happens when the first vampire rises? Will JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and I, VAMPIRE fall? Is there any hope as the all-consuming Rot moves across ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING?
Yup, like I said, the end is only the beginning. This is going to be a great year for DC Comics! Enjoy the Cataclysm, everyone. We are happy to bring it to you!
-- Eddie Berganza, Executive Editor