New 52 – Talon #0 review

Talon #0 is worth taking a gander at, especially if you loved The Court of Owls storyline from Batman.

This review is going to be pretty short since I’m still away from home and barely found the time to read these books, but let me say that Talon has real potential. Of the four books I read this week, this is the one that stands out the most. Tynion made a character who is likeable and interesting and Guillem March’s art looks great. It’s nice to see his pencils again after he left Catwoman recently.

One of my biggest problems with Snyder’s Court of Owls 12-parter was that in the end the Owls never had a sense of purpose. They wanted to take over Gotham, but it was never clear why now was the time, how they would hold onto Gotham with all the world watching, and what they wanted from Gotham after they took it over. This book could very well explain what the court’s goal is! But that’s not he only reason I’ll keep tuning in. If Tynion can keep this from becoming a typical superhero book and avoid comparisons to Azrael then this could be a bold and exciting series. Think The Fugitive, but he’s running around in the DC Universe. There’s also a MacGyver quality to the series because the main character is an escape artist who will likely find himself in deathtraps frequently.

However, even though this series has a lot of potential for the future this issue does stumble some. The most daring escape the character makes is totally glossed over without any explanation as to how he did it. Anybody can write a scene like that. Showing him free as a bird in the next panel gets the point across that the guy is good, but it’s not very entertaining.

Even worse, the thing he escapes from is the labyrinth from Batman. You know, the one Batman himself couldn’t find a way out of until he blew up the floor? I don’t like that this guy could escape something Batman couldn’t. Was there a legitimate way out of the labyrinth had Batman found the right path? Anybody can find their way out of a labyrinth. It’s easy. You place your hand firmly on the wall to your right and start walking. Eventually you will reach the exit.
And his change of hear to a being a good guy comes about far too easily. After years of indoctrination from childhood a character like this shouldn’t have such an aversion to killing. Even in his first initiation he’s very hesitant and I didn’t find that believable. They court has been turning children into monsters for centuries and they could only be getting more proficient at it.
And what is the point of having him murder the previous Talon? I though that they liked to freeze the old Talons so they could use them again one day. If this is typical procedure then they should be fresh out of Talons by now.
Lastly, the attack on the main character made very little sense and was simply done to have an action scene and give readers an example of the sort of fun escapes our hero will have from issue to issue.
The court wants him captured and brought back to work for them. So the assassin they send to bring him in chains him up, tosses him in a car’s trunk, and kicks it off a bridge. In the end he says he just did that for fun and to see how capable Talon really is. It’s kind of pointless and it adds to the muddled motivations factor of the Owls. Shouldn’t they be smarter than this? Don’t they know you catch more flies with honey than vinegar? Don’t they realize they stand a better chance of convincing the nice former assassin to work for them if they behave LESS evil? As it stands, the Owls are still a not-so-smart, but very sinister organization.

It’s an introductory issue plain and simple. It shows why you should sympathize for the main character, how he got to be such a bad ass, it proves that he’s a good guy at heart, and it gives an example of some of the cool action scenes you can find here that you won’t find in many other comics. I won’t be reviewing any more issues of this until it comes out in a TPB, but for now I can say that everyone should pick it up and give it a chance. It could be a fun and original comic or it could be Azrael 2.0. Only time will tell.

SCORE: 7/10