By Scott Snyder, James T Tynion IV and Guillem March
From the pages of the Night of the Owls crossover comes this new series Talon, written by Scott Snyder and sometime collaborator James T Tynion IV… kinda. I was reluctant top buy this issue as I am trying (unsuccessfully) to cut back on my pull list, but it was heartily recommended by Zack Smith so I felt compelled.
As a continuation of the Night of the Owls story, this is marginally connected. As a first issue, it feels a bit incomplete. However, neither are marks against the comic which is full of some great ideas and a compelling new character, Calvin Rose.
Raised by a cruel parent, Calvin learned to escape from any trap by necessity. Flashbacks show the excesses of his father’s brutality that placed the young boy in traumatic danger at a young age. Young Calvin ran away to discover a home at Haley’s Circus, the same place the Flying Graysons took their fateful fall. After a special private performance, Calvin is recruited by the Court of Owls for special training.
Replacing his predecessor as the prize Talon, Calvin is turned into an expert assassin, but it turns his stomach. Too late he learns that he has not found a new home, only a new trap that he cannot escape from. As his situation becomes more complicated, he risks everything by betraying his new masters after refusing an assassination order involving a young heir and her 2 year-old daughter. Calvin’s life is one of non-stop trouble. The Court of Owls is determined to gain control of their wayward agent, leading to Calvin narrowly escaping certain death at the hands of another Talon.
Set several years in the past, the timeline of this story is a little perplexing. I’m confused as to the character’s status in the current day as I’m pretty sure the Court of Owls was dissolved in the aftermath of the Night of the Owls. Not a big deal as continuity doesn’t have a large part to play in this issue, but it can be distracting.
The story of Calvin Rose adds a level of drama and depth to the Batman universe that is welcome. I’m always happy to see new characters and I get a real old-school Manhunter vibe from this one. I can’t help but feel a reminiscence to the DC Explosion back in the 1970’s where new life was breathed into the DCU with rapid fire succession. I can only hope that the same mistakes that DC experienced then won’t be repeated here as this series has plenty of potential.
The script is excellent and I am excited to see where this series goes, but to honest, the artwork by the talented Guillem March is the real pull for me.
I also picked up Aquaman #0 which I will review later, but I have heard of a number of other good zero issues such as Rose and Thorn and Team 7… anyone have any suggestions or favorites from this week?