Advanced Review: The Owl #1 (of 4)



Writer J.T. Krul definitely captures the sense of the old pulp comics in this relaunch of a classic, the Owl, in his very own four-issue limited series. With one exception, I think this particular creature of nighttime vengeance stands a very good chance of being awarded his own title from Dynamite in the near future, judging by the strength of Owl #1.

You are immediately sucked into the world of crime and big-time gangs the crusading hero known as the Owl knew a half-century ago. The noir is almost dripping off artist Heubert Khan Michael’s mood-filled pages.

Then, 50 years later, the Owl again takes to the streets. But the man behind the mask, Nick Terry, is a man lost in time. (We’ll just mention a mystical urn and limbo and leave it to you to rediscover when Owl #1 hits stands in July.) Everyone he knew is gone, and he has no place in the world. Not to mention the fact that the city he loved is more desperate, dangerous and deadly than ever.

Krul’s message in these pages is not what challenge does the crusading hero face; the easier question is what challenges doesn’t he face?

Just a little background for spice: Terry was a cop in Yorktown, serving the people from sunrise until sundown, but that wasn’t enough for him. He wanted to do more — so he donned a mask and became the Owl. Using an array of gadgets, he fought the criminal element head-on. He even enlisted his girl Belle to become Owl Girl. Together, they lived, fought and loved side-by-side. But in the world of today, all that is over.

Heubert Khan Michael’s style and dynamic flair is just perfect for this limited series, keeping pace with the dark script of Krul at every turn. His reaction shots, his panel arrangement and poses: they all play true to the mood the scribe is trying to create.

The one problem: The appearance of an apparently new Owl Girl. What this will mean for Nick Terry is not known. We will just have to trust J.T. Krul on this one, and hope for a surprise. (Unless you are Batman, sidekicks are so 50 years ago.)

With power struggles in the city more violent than ever before, with more people suffering and murder a game, this brave, new world of the Owl is total chaos.

This definitely looks like a keeper!