Are you not sure where to start with the Night of the Owls event? Here’s the reading order I suggest:

It’s not perfect but it’s the best I can do. Be sure to check the comments at the bottom of the page because someone else might have their own suggested reading list that’s even better! There’s plenty of room to get creative with the reading order because books like Batwing and Batman & Robin can be read at any time without harming your enjoyment of the story (much like All-Star Western #9 which has no effect on the Night of Owls at all). However, I would recommend that you don’t read Batman: The Dark Knight #9 at all as that one definitely disrupted the flow of this event.

And if you want to lay out all of your Night of the Owls issues and jump from one book to the next, absorbing the Court’s reign of terror in chronological order, then this is how the Night of the Owls unfolds:

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

 

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

5:24PM  –   Catwoman #9:

The Court of Owls revives their Talon soldiers. One among the awakening army is Ephraim Newhouse, a disgraced Talon of the 1660s retired after the loss of a sacred blade. Ephraim was deemed too emotional and concerned with honor to continue operating as a Talon in his own time, but now, after being assigned to track down Oswald Cobblepot otherwise known as The Penguin, Ephraim sees redemption

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

Red Hood #8:

Tim Drake can recognizes that there is an eavesdropper and Red Hood, who is currently in Gotham with Arsenal and Starfire, has intercepted Alfred’s distress call. Tim tells Red Hood directly that the bat-family could use a hand

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

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

8:18PM     Red Hood & the Outlaws #9:

Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire stand over a frozen Chinatown. Mr. Freeze, on of the Court’s many targets, has enveloped the area in a sheet of ice. Starfire and Arsenal go to rescue the innocent civilians from the deadly cold and melt the ice. Red Hood orders his companions to stay out of his way as he confronts Mr. Freeze and the Talon alone. The Talon says that Mr. Freeze must die for choosing to no longer serve the Court of Owls. Red Hood enters the fray and subdues Freeze, but just when he believes he has the upperhand, the Talon called Xiao escapes into the now thawed city. Red Hood tracks Xiao down while Starfire and Arsenal bring down Freeze once and for all. Xiao stops the chase in a vacant lot once used by Haly’s Circus. Overcome with emotion of the life he lost to the Court of Owls, Xiao begs Red Hood for death. Red Hood abides.

8:20PM  –   Birds of Prey #9:

Kitana and Black Canary are being stalked through the park by an unstoppable Talon from the 1840s called Henry Ballard. Poison Ivy has already been badly beaten and Kitana’s blade proves ineffective against Henry’s regenerative power. When even Black Canary’s powerful cry does not cause Henry Ballard to waiver, the two women flee to a nearby cathedral to hide. Henry is soon to follow, but before he can ascend the cathedral steps, Starling crashes into him with her car and sends him crashing through the brick wall of the towering church. After the dust settles, Henry rises yet again

8:22PM — Nightwing #9:

As one battle ends, another begins as an unseen William Cobb pierces Nightwing’s chest with three throwing knives. Nightwing pulls the blades from his body and charges at Cobb sending the both of them crashing through a nearby window. They fall to the street below, but Nightwing is the only one who is wounded. Bleeding profusely and slowed by his injuries from the previous encounter, Nightwing must rely on his weaponry and his wits. He keeps Cobb talking while he works out a plan that involves the subway running beneath them. The pipes in the subway are packed with liquid nitrogen as a means of insulating the power lines. By leading Cobb underground, Nightwing is able to burst the pipes and defeat his foe with the cascade of freezing chemicals

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

8:53PM   —   Red Hood & the Outlaws #9:

Batgirl drags the body of Mary back to the roof and replaces the owl signal with the bat signal. Red Hood jumps onto the roof and discards an unconscious Mr. Freeze. Batgirl is grateful, but tells Red Hood that this in no way makes up for all of the insane acts he committed in the past and she would still rather see him behind bars. Red Hood laughs at her threat and leaves

9:03PM — Birds of Prey #9:

Starling fires every bullet she has into the Talon Henry Ballard’s chest yet still he throttles her neck. Black Canary and Kitana rush out of the cathedral and pull their friend from Henry’s grip, but Kitana is caught. Henry squeezes her shoulder with one hand, her head with his other, and twists. Before her neck can snap, a cable loops around Henry’s throat and pulls him away from his victim violently. Kitana drops to the ground gasping for air as the rest of the team looks up to the church steeple as Batgirl, just arriving on the scene, pulls Henry up the walls of the church by her grapple cable, using it like a hangman’s noose. The cable, however, is not designed to hold this much weight and it snaps. Batgirl informs the team that the Talons are slowed by cold. The Birds of Prey lead Henry to the Gotham Train Station and a freezer boxcar used to ship meat. There is a struggle to force Henry into the car and it looks impossible until Poison Ivy joins the fight. She wraps Henry around her plants and anchors him to her own body. On her orders, the Birds of Prey seal Poison Ivy in the boxcar as a means of trapping Henry and agree to thaw Poison Ivy when the time is right

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

11:59PM   — Judd Winick and David Finch squat over The Night of the Owls event and what comes out of them is…

12:00AM — Batman: The Dark Knight #9

The Talon, unlike all other Talons before him, regenerates from the gunshot to the head and lunges at Batman only to be thrown out the window where he crashes to the street below. Nightwing and Robin reunite with Batman while Red Robin flutters in the background. Batman orders his allies to find the Talon, but nobody does

12:02AM — Batman Annual #1

Not long after being admitted to Arkham Asylum, Mr. Freeze recovers his suit and escapes.

12:45AM — Batman Annual #1

Mr. Freeze flees to the Iceberg Casino where he retrieves his weaponry from The Penguin.

Spoiler
Besides the revival of the Talon in Batman:TDK #9, and the fact that it’s snowing in pretty much everywhere in Gotham except for Catwoman #9 whre it is summer, this is the only other major discrepancy. In Catwoman #9, Selina and Spark have been watching outside Penguin’s penthouse–not on the Iceberg Casino–waiting for him to step outside, which he never does. Here Penguin is apparently in two places at once

Soon after, Mr. Freeze heads to Wayne Tower to get revenge on Bruce Wayne and revive his frozen love, Nora. It is there that Freeze is confronted by Batman, Robin, and Nightwing who bring him down once and for all

2:03AM   —   Catwoman #9:

Catwoman and her partner Spark have been staking out the Penguin’s home for hours in hopes of stealing an antique knife. The knife completes a five piece set of which Catwoman and Spark have already stolen four. When they finally see a car leave, they assume it is Penguin and that the coast is clear but in actuality it is a pair of girls that Penguin had sent away so he could conduct business with the Russian mob. From his study, Penguin tries to make a phone call to the Russians when Ephraim enters and quickly eliminates all of the Penguin’s guards. Before he cuts the Penguin’s throat, he notices the blade that Catwoman has come to steal–it is the sacred blade that he lost all those centuries ago! Stunned by this twist of fate, Ephraim is taken by surprise by Catwoman who could not help but rescue a far over matched Penguin. Spark and Catwoman rip off Ephraim’s mask in the ensuing fight and Spark is nearly killed when Catwoman reasons with the assassin. She recognizes the pain and torment in Ephraim’s eyes and relates to his tragic upbringing. An offer is made, if Spark is set free then Catwoman will give Ephraim all five lost blades. As Ephraim agrees and as a man of his word he lets go of Spark. With a clear shot, Penguin opens fire with a rifle disguised as an umbrella and splatters Ephraim’s brains on the wall. Catwoman keeps her end of the bargain anyway and leaves Ephraim’s body, five forgotten blades in hand, on the roof of the G.C.P.D.

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