Talon #1

Written by Scott Snyder & James T. Tynion IV
Art by Guillem March
Cover by Guillem March

Reviewed by Steve Seigh

From the imagination and pages of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman comic of the DC New 52 comes Talon #0. Written primarily by James Tynion IV with creative input from Scott Snyder himself, Tynion is giving us a layered and intriguing character to add to the Batverse. Talon #0 is a comic that will immediately gel with already established fans of the Court/Night of the Owls Batman event and even manages to usher in new readers by being an honest and true beginning to something dark and sinister.   

I’m pretty well convinced that Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV share some sort of telepathic link with one another. I say this because Tynion IV’s writing style is more or less a mirror for Snyder’s talented wit and way with words. Though, this isn’t to say that Tynion IV is just some sort of Snyder knock-off. His words are more like a most gracious compliment to all of the ground work laid down by Snyder and Capullo’s established mythos. The book’s title character, Calvin Rose, as I’d mentioned earlier is a character that within one issue has already been established as one that is complicated to pin down, making him one of the most interesting new characters to come out of the DC New 52 #0 issue roster. 

I could be wrong, but I don’t remember a character more memorable than Calvin being added to the Batverse in quite some time. We’ve had a few new villains throughout the series, and anyone with their eyes glued to the internet knows that soon The Joker will be making his triumphant, though mutilated return. But because of the hard work dedicated to the crafting of Gotham’s latest and most diabolical threat, The Court of Owls, we now have an army of worthy foes for the Bat and his constituents to battle.

The dread of Crime Alley will spread throughout Gotham like a corrupt fog and the owls will ascend from above to punish the wicked.  The Owls will sharpen their claws and polish their beaks, the whole time with a thirst for blood that only the guilty of Gotham will sate. Calvin Rose is better trained, more compassionate, and the most likely to be able to bring his treacherous family down from the inside. As a fan of Batman and now Talon, I can’t wait to see how this all plays out in the coming issues. 

VERDICT:

I think that things inside of Gotham just got a lot more interesting with the addition of Talon #0 to the Batverse. The book feels like something that’s already established in the Batman series and is more than a compliment to the efforts of the series’ writers and artist over the past year. If you’re at all a Batman fan, or perhaps just want a great new anti-hero to latch onto than Talon #0 is your book. 

* This review was written while listening to the album Amputecture by the band The Mars Volta.

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One Response

  1. RepStones

    Great book. Allow me to get my disappointment out of the way first. I had was kinda hoping that this title would be based on the adventures of the Talon we witnessed being humanized in Red Hood and the Outlaws #9.
    I don’t know if you read it or not, but there’s a beautiful little scene between Jason Todd and a Talon named Xiao Loong.
    The Talon appears to kneel before Red Hood and requests that he end his miserable ‘unlife’. I had hoped against hope that this was actually the Talon we would be reading about, the Todd didn’t end him. Also the fact he was a Japanese or Chinese Talon i thought would bring a cool Samurai flavour to the title. I’m assuming now, that actually, yes Todd did kill him :(

    Anyway, that is absolutely not a criticism of this new title or Tynion and Snyder, that is just me waffling. As to this new book – what a great opener to a new ongoing series. The first page whereupon we are given a brief biography of this Talon. His brutal upbringing, what his father did to him and yet also the perseverance the young boy is imbued with had me thinking this guy could’ve been a Robin – and thats before we even get to the fact that he joined Haly’s circus. It’s an interesting plot point that this new Talon, Calvin, is a master escape artist which, we are informed, isn’t the usual skill set the Court of owls looks for in their Talons. Obviously his expertise came to good use in this opener and will no doubt do so in the future of this series.
    Guillem March’s art is solid, he’s not really an artist I’ve encountered much much i think, have you? He is brilliant at close up facial depictions and that one panel where Calvin’s recruiter from the Court of Owls shows up is creepy as hell. March manages to make him look like an owl, whilst still being unmistakably human, albeit an ugly one. You’re right that Tynion does seem to have a Synder-ish instinct to his writing. My one criticism is that he’s a little more predictable on this than i think a Snyder solo run would have been. That said, its a minor quibble.
    Another interesting aspect to this Talon is that he hasn’t had the immortality serum pumped through him, that we see earlier talon’s infected with. So our anti-hero here is not of the undead variety of Talon which seems incongruous given what we’ve read during the Court of owls arc but perhaps makes it easier for readers to empathize with. The Bruce Banner-esque quandary our Ex-talon finds himself in isn’t original, but the fact he’s being hunted by such a great new addition to Batman’s rouges gallery does add an extra dimension to the mix. i really wanna see another epic Bat-verse crossover now where this good talon swoops in to join the rest of the Bat family and lay a Gotham smackdown on some unsavoury mofo’s.

    PS – leave Gambit alone :)

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