as for issue #10's big reveal, i like it, mainly b/c Snyder's certainly done his research, and has tied things together in a way that, while tweaking them as allowed by the DCnU reboot, still seems to make a sort of sense in the context of past DC continuity.
it's not like this is the first time there's ever been a
pre-Crisis, it was revealed back in World's Finest in the 70s that there was such a character. from dcuguide.com:
The second son of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and the younger brother of Batman. As an infant, Thomas Jr. had suffered head injuries in a car accident, and had been confined to Willowood Asylum for life. Upon his escape, he was manipulated into becoming the assassin known as the "Boomerang Killer" until Batman learned of his existence and exposed the mastermind behind the killings. Later, Deadman took possession of Thomas' body to resume his career as an acrobat. Batman tracked down the ghost and demanded that he relinquish his hold on the demented man. When Deadman temporarily left the body, Thomas, Jr. saved his brother's life by taking a bullet for him. He died a hero.
reference, which Snyder reuses here, tweaking the "origin" from car crash to premature birth, but leaving the rest and adding his own creepy twist with the Asylum's decline post-death of the Waynes. and again, he uses the "manipulated into becoming an assassin" angle again, although now weaking it into he was brought into the Court, which he then manipulated to basically turn himself into an assassin. and what better role fo him to fit into than as an Owl, as, has been noted here already,
Thomas Wayne, Jr. is/was the other identity of Owlman on Morrison's Earth-2/the antimatter earth back in post-Crisis continuity, and as Owlman originally was created way back when in the 60s as the Batman analogue because owls were known predators of bats
, which again wraps right back into Snyder's mega-story.
so yeah, it's real soap-operaey...but it's been done in a way that Snyder has obviously put a lot of thought into it. he's cherry-picked bits and pieces of old continuity and tweaked and twisted them into something new (yet that still feels like "a remembering", as Snyder has Bats discuss in the issue) and enjoyable, which is exactly what a good serial-comic storyteller should be able to do. i think the soapy element is easily forgivable here because it's been so well-crafted. and it makes me that much happier that
Dr. Hurt in Morrison's whole Black Glove/R.I.P. stuff didn't end up being Thomas, Jr.
, as i often saw theorized on the web. b/c i don't trust him to have made it make as much sense as Snyder seems to hve.