Now, correct me if I'm wrong, after all it's been a while since I was a kid, but wouldn't it be more normal for a child to run away screaming if a strange, heavily armed, adult came into their room? I know for sure I as a kid would have run screaming for my parents, not stuck around learning poetry. Usually the prospect of learning poetry, even from an unarmed adult, would be enough to have sent me screaming.
The Court of Owls has most certainly been overused, but since they're the big Secret Society for the DC universe at the moment (where the bat-books are concerned) I guess they aren't going any where anytime soon. The problem I have with this issue is that it spends so much time on the history and methods of the Court rather than focusing on current events. Let's be honest here, we aren't exactly strangers to the history and methods of the Court of Owls.
Most of this issue feels like padding leading up to the final reveal. I know it's trying to build atmosphere and all that. But it falls flat by retreading material any reader familiar with the Court of Owls already knows. I do, however, enjoy the build up towards the first Talon, but I would have much prefered that the filler material leading to the reveal that the first Talon would be released actually showed us something new. Or maybe have the first Talon story be completely contained in this one issue.
The fact that the story will carry over to the regular Talon issue is a bit off putting. The Forever Evil event has thrown all the regular books into chaos, with storylines left unfinished. And I'm not going to lie, I think that's actually kind of briliant. It's a chaotic time, and how best to make sure your readers feel that chaos than by throwing off their regular reading schedule.
The "little girl killer" was of course ludicrous. I don't know what comic books (and some movies) obsession with little kid killers is, but I, as a healthy and full grown adult, just can't find them threatening no matter how creepy their masks are, or how pointy their knives are. I'm pretty sure I can take any kid, even if they are coming after me with a knife. So anytime I see an adult in comics taken out by a homicidal child I just can't take it seriously. Ever.
Overall I think this issue was okay. The vignettes weren't terrible, even if they were something we've seen before. And the final reveal is interesting enough. I still recommend treading with caution for anyone that's tired of the Court of Owls.
Batman and Robin #23.2:
Reviewed by Derek Bown