REVIEW: Talon #0

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As if there weren’t enough Bat family books put out by DC, a new one is introduced during Zero Month and its name is Talon. Is this book worth your hard earned money or is it another unnecessary title? Major Spoilers has your review to find out!


TALON #0
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Guillem March
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Editor: Mike Marts
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Talon: The Court of Owls has been hidden in Gotham for years, and recently made themselves known. But where do their assassins come from?

MOST APPROPRIATE

If there is a title that is the most appropriate for DC’s Zero Month, Talon would be it. Although it could be argued that this is be a number one (let’s be honest, that’s what it is), the book benefits from release at a perfect time to introduce a new character and a new title. I thought that Talon was going to be just another forgettable Bat book, (as I’m sure many of you did), with a character that wasn’t needed or worth reading. Is that true? Well, yes and no, but is it a good book? Most definitely.

We’re introduced to Calvin Rose, a man who ever since he was a boy has been great at escaping situations, both literally and figuratively. At a young age he joins Haly’s Circus and is recruited by The Court of Owls to be an assassin but realizes how evil they truly are and flees. He soon learns that escaping the grasp of The Court is harder than he thought. I tried to go into this book with an open mind and as little preconceptions as possible. We’ve seen new characters introduced to the Batman universe before (Azrael) and get their own books that have been less than stellar. But I finished reading Talon I and was pleasantly surprised. Snyder and Tynion give us a character with a uniquely compelling background. While Snyder’s influence is felt here (dark and disturbing scenes, some involving children), the credit has to go to James Tynion IV for making this book an entertaining read. Calvin is lost in the beginning, soon recruited by The Court of Owls to be an assassin, but turns into a noble person who just wants a normal life. I was sucked into this book within the first couple of pages. We see more of the inner workings of The Court and just how evil they are. All of this was a welcome expansion on the glimpse of the Court we were given in Batman. You get a strong feeling about Calvin by the end of the book and I found myself wanting to know where his story is headed.

But it’s not perfect. I felt like Calvin’s origin has been shoehorned into Batman’s world. By placing him in the very same circus that Dick Grayson was a part of, it seems too convenient. The Who’s Who in the back of the book says that The Court recruits specially skilled candidates from Haly’s Circus. As we learned in Batman, Dick himself was one of these candidates. This seemed odd to me. Why this circus? What makes these children so special? Maybe it will be answered in the future but for now it’s a mystery. Back to the question of whether this book was needed or not. I would have to honestly say no. There are enough Bat titles put out and another one seems like more excess. Turns out this one is worth a read, maybe even a purchase. The background on The Court of Owls story is a good addition and Talon’s presence could turn out to be welcome. None of that takes away from the fact it is a good book and deserves a read.

DYNAMIC AND INTRICATE

Guillem March’s art is as beautiful as ever. The minute I saw the first page I knew that the art would elevate this book. His storytelling is dynamic, with great angles and perspectives along with intricate details. From the lines and wrinkles on the old man who recruits Calvin to tiny pieces of armor to knife handles, it’s all there. The full-page shot looking up at Calvin as he carries Casey Washington and her daughter out of a building lets the reader literally look up to Calvin as a hero who has chosen the right thing to do. Colors are mainly cool in tone, with browns and blues making the red blood pop all the more. The quality of the art matches the quality of the writing.

BOTTOM LINE: PLEASANTLY SURPRISED

I was pleasantly surprised by Talon #0. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. With an origin of a character that is likeable and appealing with beautiful art that complements the story, this issue was a great read. Whether you think another Bat book is needed or not, this is a book that should definitely be picked up. Give it a shot and you might just be surprised too. Talon #0 gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Reader Rating

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