Welcome friends, criminals, vigilantes, lunatics, Gothamites, and assorted Bat-people, to another installment of my comic book review column! This time around, I’ll be breaking down the first issue of a series and character that flew straight from the pages of Batman’s epic “The Court Of Owls” and “Night Of The Owls” storylines and into his very own ongoing book! Once one of the Court Of Owls very own living weapons, he now seeks vengeance against his former masters, all while trying to remain a step ahead of their efforts to regain their lost asset and bring him back under their control. WHO WHO am I speaking of and making bad owl puns about, you ask… why Talon, of course!
Talon #1 is a $2.99 DC Comic, originally released on October 24, 2012. Talon #1 was plotted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, written by James Tynion IV, with art and cover by Guillem March, colors by Tomeu Morey, and lettering by Sal Cipriano. This issue also has two variant covers.
The issue opens with Calvin Rose, a former escape artist and a former Talon for The Court Of Owls, who escaped their control seven years prior and has been on the run from them ever since, explaining the first time The Court took him to the Metropolitan Terminal, its information and records center, in his internal monologue as he endeavors to infiltrate the building in the present day. His goal, to sneak in and see if network activity on The Court’s system had truly ceased, in the wake of the tremendous blow dealt to them by Batman and his allies during the “Court Of Owls” and “Night Of The Owls” storylines. No sooner does Calvin make his way inside, than a security system scans, identifies, and denies him access and deploys one of The Court’s active Talons to kill him. A mysterious older gentleman on the other side of town has also been informed of Calvin’s activities. Back at the Metropolitan Terminal, Calvin is fighting and running for his life against one of The Courts current breed of enhanced unstoppable Talons. After fighting the Talon to a standstill, he temporarily gets the upper hand over of his would be killer but not without taking some punishment himself. Calvin later awakens in the care of the same older gentleman who had earlier been alerted to Calvin’s activities at the Metropolitan Terminal; the man’s name is Sebastian Clark. Sebastian is the son of Erastus Clark, who wrote a book about The Court Of Owls and their secret history; The Court, naturally, killed his father and destroyed his life, and he was forced to flee to Europe. Here in the present in an extended scene with LOTS of exposition, Sebastian explains to Calvin that he plans to seek revenge on The Court and that Calvin’s help can be the key to rip what is left of The Court apart. He wants Calvin to be his secret weapon, using his skills and knowledge of The Court to bring them down once and for all. Sebastian also explains The Court wants more than to just kill Calvin now; they want to turn him into another one of their undead Talons. After explaining to Calvin that The Court has tracked down Casey Washington, a former target whom Calvin parted ways with The Court over, and it is only a matter of time before they come for her just to draw him out Calvin agrees to work with Clark to destroy The Court Of Owls.
To the art department, my Talons! Guillem March’s art is great throughout. I became quite fond of his work during his run on DC’s New 52 “Catwoman”, and my favorite strength of his shines nearly as brightly here on Talon #1 as it did in those issues of Catwoman. The strength I refer to is his ability to draw facial expressions and emotions and give the characters a real sense that they’re “acting”; he also excels at depicting actions scenes with great fluidity. The colors of Tomeu Morey are very good and nicely convey that classic dark and gritty vibe of Gotham City that we’ve all become so accustomed to over the years and in the other Bat-titles currently in DC’s publishing lineup, that sort of dark that makes you look over your shoulder. The biggest knock I have against the art is the fact that Calvin Rose pretty much looks exactly like Gambit, especially in the suit he’s wearing at the beginning of the issue.
Overall, I enjoyed Talon #1 and feel it is a good addition to DC’s Batman Family of titles. The “Court Of Owls” storyline that Calvin Rose and this series spun out of was a modern classic that crafted a long and detailed history for The Court Of Owls and its Talons. This title is a natural extension and continuation of that established history and the next chapter for both The Court and its former enforcer.
I give Talon #1 3 Long-Boxes out of four.
All images are property of DC Comics/Warner Bros.