Batman: The Dark Knight: Judd Winick, David Finch, Richard Friend, Sonia Oback, Steve Wands, Jeromy Cox
What a cocktease. Poor Tim Drake is stuck over in the awful squalor of Teen Titans right now, and has no opportunity or solo book to take on a Talon of his own. I honestly have NO clue why the hell Finch decided to draw a cover with Tim on it fighting a Talon…when NOTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS IN THE ISSUE.
That’s right, folks. This cover is an outright lie. Tim makes literally ONE panel of an appearance in the entire issue. And that’s a severe disappointment to anyone who’s, one, a fan of Tim Drake, and, two, stopped reading this title a while ago and bought this issue for the hope of seeing him take on a Talon. Both of those people are me, by the way.
However the name of Judd Winick under the “writer” credit does give me hope. I’m a fan of his other books. We start with Lincoln March, mayoral candidate and Court of Owls target, killing his would-be assassin. Kind of a strange way to start the issue, I think. To show us that there’s no threat of the target’s death. Doesn’t that kind of diminish the suspense? The thrill?
Well, we get a glimpse at the origin of this Talon, Alton. Yeah. His name is an anagram of his title. Good thing these guys aren’t concerned with secret identities. Could you imagine if Bruce went out nightly as Crube? Or if Batman’s alter ego was Tanamb? (The b is silent on that one) I didn’t think it made sense for the Ringmaster to set Alton in a burning trailer. He comes out all burny and crisp. Does the Ringmaster understand the damage fire does to the body? He should…he runs a circus! It could have permanently ruined Alton’s muscles or eyesight, therefore making him useless as a Talon. Wouldn’t the Court kill him for that? Is that a risk the Ringmaster would take?
I understand that they’re trying to replicate the success of Nightwing’s Talon’s origins as a child. But I didn’t feel it. Apparently, interestingly - speaking of Nightwing - this is the Talon that existed while Dick was being recruited in Haly’s Circus, as a boy. That’s a cool little tie-in that I didn’t expect. This was also the first Talon to run into Batman. It’s a really cool Talon, I will admit. I found myself liking his burned look, and his Talon costume. He could be a really good contender for that upcoming Talon title that doesn’t need to exist. I would like to see him there.
What’s REALLY confusing is why the Court is targeting Lincoln March. I won’t say why, just in case anyone hasn’t caught up on Snyder’s Batman title.
Batman starts fighting the Talon, and says this stupid-ass line.
Talon: “Death is but a wound.”
Batman: “Then you’ll be wounded!”
…WHAT?! The writers may change on this book over and over, but at least Batman remains consistently out of character.
Batman: The Dark Knight #9, the verdict: Here’s what I think happened with this title…David Finch started it off, and he screwed it up so totally that no amount of talent brought in can fix it. He cursed it. It’s the Curse of the Finch! See, I can create a crossover event involving birds too. I have no clue why this book is still around. It’s been so incredibly bad since the beginning, and it’s endured this whole time. As Ra’s al Ghul once said, it “has become a breeding ground for suffering and injustice. It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die.” (100 points if you said that out loud in Ken Watanabe’s voice) Meanwhile, really quality titles are getting hacked down instead. Screw you, DC. The continuance of this title is a disgusting tragedy to us fans, almost as bad as Finch’s art.
(Photo Source: DC Wikia)