Night of the Owls reading order (Part 1)

I’ve been getting quite a few questions on Twitter and in the comments here at Batman-News about what the reading order is for The Night of the Owls crossover event. From what I’ve seen so far, the only issue that rocked the boat was “Detective Comics” #9, which should be read after “Batman” #9. But if you want to read the whole series in chronological order, then this is how the Night of the Owls unfolds:

The Night of the Owls: An Hour-by-Hour Breakdown

(Keep in mind that the Night of Owls is not yet over. I will make a new list next week to include “Birds of Prey”, “Catwoman”, “Nightwing”, and “Red Hood & the Outlaws”. The week after that, I’ll add “Batman: TDK”)

4:30PM —   Batwing #9:

David Zavimbe works with Lucius Fox at Batman Inc. Research & Development on aquatic upgrades to the Batwing armor. Lucius convinces David and his partner, Matu, to attend a Batman Inc. fundraiser being held later that evening

6:02PM   —   Batwing #9:

The Batman Inc. Gala is already underway. David’s discomfort around high society is made worse when he sees Prime Minister Mathew Kalu, a megalomaniac from Africa who is practically a warlord. Disgusted, David avoids Kalu and walks to the other end of the party

6:07PM   —   Batgirl #9:

Balloon bombs strike Little Jakarta. Batgirl confronts the 1940’s Talon, Mary, on a burning rooftop. Mary wins the fight but leaves Batgirl hanging for life on the rooftop’s edge. Batgirl pulls herself up and is left to question why she was spared

7:01PM   —   Batman #8:

Bruce Wayne, recovering from his capture in the Court’s labyrinth, is gazing out the windows of Wayne Manor alongside Alfred when several Talons infiltrate the grounds. Alfred flees to the cave while Bruce fights the intruders room to room all the way to the roof. Ultimately overwhelmed by numerous foes, Bruce escapes to the cave’s armory where he and Alfred inspect a microdrive found in one of the Talon’s gauntlets. Outside the armory doors, Talons have made their way into the cave. William Cobb, a restrained Talon Bruce and Alfred have been examining, is cut free from his bonds and the hoses of coolant keeping him sedated

7:04PM  —   Batgirl #9:

Jim Gordon is threatened by a mysterious Court of Owls member. If he lights the batsignal tonight, Barbara and countless others will die

7:32PM  —    Batman #8:

“Get the hell out of my house.” Batman exits the armory wearing a massive suit of armor. A brutal battle begins outside while Alfred lowers the temperature of the cave from inside the armory. The Talon microdrive is deciphered and proves to hold a hit list. The names on the microdrive are numerous and include the likes of Jim Gordon, Victor Fries, Mayor Hady, and Lucius Fox among others

7:38PM —   Batman & Robin #9:

Robin is walking through the sewers of Gotham with a metal detector in search of a jetpack Alfred had hidden away under the city for Damian to find

Batwing #9:

1850s Talon, Alexander Staunton, starts a fire in the kitchen. David smells smoke and investigates. He not only finds the room consumed in flame, but three waiters lying dead on the floor. David races back to the R&D department to suit-up while Staunton slaughters everyone in his path

Batman #9:

City Comptroller, Betty Park, is murdered inside her own home. Gotham City Deputy Sheriff Michael D. Davis is taking a bath when a Talon enters. The talon ignores Davis’ pleas to be spared and eviscerates him. Kane County Supreme Court Justice, Jan Spitz, is cut down in the park while going for an evening jog. Gotham Public advocate, John Lee is stabbed to death while sitting in traffic. Miguel Guadalupe, the Speaker of the City Council, fires a gun futilely into the chest of his Talon Assassin as he is gutted. Bill Keep, the Head of the City Planning Commission, writhes on the floor with five blades protruding from his back

7:40PM   —   All Titles:

Alfred puts out an emergency call to all allies of the Bat presently in Gotham. The call is heart by The Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, The Red Hood, Red Robin, and Batwing who all rush to save the highest priority targets

Nightwing #8:

Nightwing is already at the GCPD and informs Alfred that Gordon is well protected by of cops and that Mayor Hady is only five minutes away. He leaves for City Hall

Batwing #9:

The guards protecting Lucius Fox are stabbed through the back and fall dead. Just as Lucius is about to be executed, Batwing enters and he and the Talon, Alexander Staunton fight. Staunton proves to be quite unstoppable, but his blades are no match for Batwing’s heavy armor. Seeing no other way to bring Staunton down, Batwing fires explosives into Staunton’s limbs. Incapable of regenerating his arms, Staunton is utterly helpless. Lucius Fox is safe for now

Batman & Robin #9:

Damian eagerly wants to return to Wayne Manor and defend the batcave with his father. Alfred orders the boy to save the 42nd Adjutant General of Gotham, instead. Damian reluctantly takes on the task, straps on the jetback and flies into the night

Batgirl #9:

Balloon bombs strike the GCPD. Batgirl rushes to the scene where she finds the Talon, Mary, standing on a rooftop, again

7:45PM   —  Nightwing #8:

Several guards and Mayoral aides are beheaded by a Talon at City Hall. Just as the Talon is about to slice Mayor Hady in two, Nightwing burst through a nearby window to intervene. Taking one of the Talon’s blades for his own, Nightwing and the assassin sword fight for the life of Sebastian Hady. After impaling his blade into the Talon’s chest, Nightwing buries one of his eskrima sticks in the assassin’s eyesocket, ending the fight for good. But just as one battle ends, another begins as an unseen William Cobb pierces Nightwing’s chest with three throwing knives

7:51PM    —   Batman #9:

Wearing the “Owl-Buster” armor, Batman beats down the group of invading Talons in the cave as the temperature drops below freezing. The cold temperature is greatly effecting the performance of the Talons, but Batman’s armor is being torn apart piece by piece

8:26PM    —  Detective Comics #9:

Talons break into Arkham Asylum and seek out their target, Jeremiah Arkham

8:36PM    —  Batman #9:

Just when all seems lost for the Dark Knight, the drastic drop in temperature causes the slumbering bats in the cave’s lowest level to awaken. The swarm of bats explode from an adjacent chasm and overwhelm the Talons. Batman ejects from the armor and puts down every remaining Talon. Knowing that there is no time to waste, Batman immediately revs up the Batmobile and speeds away to Arkham Asylum

Batgirl #9:

Gordon defies the orders of the Court of Owls and triggers the Batsignal, but the symbol of hope is not seen in the fiery Gotham sky. The Court has replaced the bat with a symbol of their own which glows eerily on the night’s sky as more bombs float by on a collision course with Gotham’s buildings. On an adjacent roof, Batgirl sweeps the leg of Mary, who falls onto her own airborne explosives. With her dying breath, Mary writes why she did not kill Batgirl in Little Jakarta– “I hav mask 2 I understand”

Batman & Robin #9:

At the Barrens, Damian locates and joins Major General Burrows and his unit. Damian rallies the troops and sets them all in formation. They fire upon his orders perfectly, but the plan is a failure. Every soldier is killed and Damian is forced to take on the Talon in combat. As the Talon is giving a speech to Burrows about his family history, Robin fires a grapple through the Talon’s head and loops the connecting rope over a tree. As the Talon squirms from the overhanging limb, Damian picks up the assassin’s dropped sword and returns to finish him off. Burrows is safe

8:51PM   —   Detective Comics #9:

Jeremiah Arkham is cornered by two Talons when Batman swings in to the rescue. As Batman fights the two assassins, Jeremiah flees down a hidden passageway. From his sanctuary, Jeremiah releases all of the inmates to fight the Talons as well as Batman. He then retrieves the Black Mask and returns it to Roman Sionis. Sionis uses the mask’s magical properties to control the inmates, forcing them to kill the Talons and Batman. Batman tracks down Sionis and stabs the forehead of the magical mask, ending Sionis’ control over the Asylum’s residents. Jeremiah triggers a sleeping gas in the open sectors of the Asylum, putting down all rioting convicts and Talons alike when the barricaded door behind him explodes. Batman stands in the open doorway. It takes only a single strike to subdue Jeremiah and Batman slingsthe unconscious doctor over his shoulder

9:49PM   —   Detective Comics #9:

Batman drives away from the Asylum with Jeremiah sitting in the passenger seat. Nightwing communicates with Batman over the radio to inform him about the fight with William Cobb, but Batman doesn’t have time to hear it. He’s going to drop Jeremiah somewhere on the way to find the Birds of Prey and from there he will track down Mayoral candidate Lincoln March

11:02PM   —  Batman #9:

Batman rushes into Lincoln March’s campaign headquarters. He opens the door to March’s office to gunfire as March shoots his assassin in the head. Batman enters and finds that although March fought off his own assassin, it was too late. Growing out from the center of March’s chest is the handle of a knife. As March slips away, he hands a note to Batman. There are three names written on the piece of paper, each belonging to someone March believed to be a member of the Court of Owls


See a mistake anywhere? Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments and I’ll fix it when I update the list next week