Talon: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, Sal Cipriano, Trevor McCarthy
I mentioned this last time: I thought this was a completely pointless title. Brutally honest, here. There’s a catalog of hundreds of DC Comics characters who got a major shaft when the universe relaunched - they’re nowhere to be seen. So why, when so much is already available - when so many characters are terribly missed by fans, would DC decide to green-light something so new and seemingly trivial? I mean, the Night of the Owls event is over. The Batman book is moving on. The announcement of this title didn’t feel like moving forward, it felt like moving back.
Then I read the Zero Issue.
It was incredible, really. I knew, regardless of my feelings toward the book’s concept, that I could expect greatness out of Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV. Then, to see Guillem March’s awesome artwork thrown in as well? And Tomeu Morey on colors? It’s almost as if this creative team was tailor-made for me to enjoy. Wasn’t fair, the way DC got the drop on me with Talon.
So here we are now. Issue #1. Calvin Rose is his name, and he’s a former Talon for the Court of Owls. Seriously, if you’re interested in that whole story, get the Zero Issue…it’s very well-done. The story begins with Calvin base jumping from a Gotham blimp, having returned to the city, which he refers to as a “trap.” He finds an old train station building the Court built long ago and breaks in using his prior knowledge of their operations. His activity not only sets off new alarms, but alerts his presence to two people: a new, female Talon…and some mysterious old dude. Calvin and the femme Talon duke it out, impressively, until the old dude shows up and does away with the Talon, rescuing Calvin.
I love how Calvin’s got all these gadgets…he’s very similar to Batman in that sense. He pulls out high-tension wire and ties up the Talon with it, which was a very cool move. The look of the train station, including all the crazy hidden passageways, is really great. A huge credit to March and Morey. The action looks good too, and I suddenly miss Catwoman. Calvin moves with a similar grace, but he carries a power and a strength that Selina just doesn’t have.
The old dude introduces himself as Sebastian Clark, and he was the son of a target of the Court’s. His father wrote a tell-all expose book about the Court and tried to have it published. The Court, of course, said “No.” He’s the last living target involved with that scandal, and he has most of the means to wipe out the Court for good, thanks to their Batman-induced weakened state. He needs Calvin’s youth and strength to be the killing blow. We see Clark’s batcave-like setup (I’m assuming he’s still in the train station building? We never see where they are), and I started thinking this is WAY too much like a Batman story. I honestly couldn’t help it.
It’s true, I had a problem with the way it felt like old Bruce Wayne, unable to keep up the Batman schtick, mentoring a young Terry McGinnis to become the new Batman and continue the war on crime. Sure, the situation’s a little different…but how much different, really? I was expecting more out of this title, and not for it to be an organized strike against the Court.
I was hoping it’d be more of a fugitive story, with Calvin on the run in various towns. Give it an “Incredible Hulk” or “Werewolf” TV-show feel, where the character is always moving, and solving problems wherever he goes. Or causing more problems, whatever. This feels too planned, too familiar.
Talon #1, the verdict: So for anyone who read my Zero Issue review, you know I was hoping for something different with this title. I still think he should be the “Wolverine-on-the-run” for DC, and it’d sell like hot cakes (if done right). This definitely feels like a different twist on Batman Beyond, and I can’t decide if I like that or not. Hell, even Calvin Rose feels like a more “talkative, one-liner-making” Batman, just like Terry. However, let’s not go crazy on the criticism here. The issue IS good. The writing is solid, the art is fantastic. And it could be an interesting idea. I’m just worried that it might get monotonous, with striking against single targets as they cross them off their list (kind of like the new “Arrow” show on CW right now). How many different ways can you write that story? I’m sure there are many, but will this book survive to see all those? We’ll have to see.
(Photo Source: Comic Vine)