A review by pdz
Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (the New 52), by Scott Snyder

3.0

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The good:
The whole Owl design is perfect. I guess I'm a fan of the concept of owls because it feels a little more mythically proportionate to the Bat, and if they've used this animal previous in the Batman franchise, I'd never seen it before.
The single shot issue with Mr. Freeze steals the show for this whole edition, I think. It was a great glimpse into Freeze's origins. There's many creepy scenes with Freeze and his mother...
I also really enjoy stories where there's a side character who is interacting with the main force of a superhero story. For example, The Dr. Who episode "Blink" is great for many reasons, but one of the reasons it's so great is that we're going along with a character who is experiencing this force in their own world, and how they react to it. That's what we get with the off-shoot story of the girl working on the power grid. And it's great that DC included the bullying aspect into the story.
Greg Capullo's art is fantastic. The colors are great.

The bad:
I need to develop my vocabulary better for the things I like. I feel like I'm better at pointing out what was problematic with things rather than lauding the really good stuff.
In any case- The ret-conning of the whole City of Owls concept is painful. Alfred's dad had a hand in it. Bruce had an unborn baby brother. Dick was going to be tapped to be an executioner.
It's like they thought the whole Jason Todd being the Red Hood thing worked out so well that they can just keep lunging into Batman's past and slapping extra little bits on like Legos. I really did not care for any of those additions to the story.
The art difference between Capullo and the other artists here wasn't terrible, but I'm such a fan of the first style that it was jarring when we got to the issues where he wasn't the penciller.

In all, this was a decent Batman compilation with great action, mediocre dialog and mediocre plot and story. Definitely worth a read, but like I said, the gem in all of it will be the two stories near the end of the book.