Plainly put: if you liked the sewer beat-down scene from The Dark Knight Rises, then you’re going to enjoy Talon #11, but more importantly it’s a really solid ending to yet another entertaining arc with some very important developments for this series.

Now, I promise I’ll get a review up soon of Talon, Vol. 1. I really want to get people excited about this series with that review because I think we’re seeing a really great adventure unfold and I want Batman fans to give this series a chance so please, if you haven’t read an issue of Talon before do NOT start here. No, no, no. Go out right now and pick up the TPB of Talon Volume 1 that went on sale today (8/28). It’s one of the most fun fringe-bat-titles you’ll find and maybe one of the most fun books that DC is putting out, period.

It’s difficult to go into too much detail about what happens here because the issue is made up entirely of climactic moments. Right from page one things are incredibly intense so you need to pause for a moment, recall what you read last month (or better yet go flip through that comic to refresh yourself) and get in the right mindset because no time is wasted. We are running from the opening page and the sense is that anything can happen. As I’ve said before, with this series featuring so many characters who aren’t anchored by decades of DC mythology anyone can die at any moment and that keeps the book pretty fresh and exciting. There isn’t a protagonist in this issue who isn’t in a terrible situation and as a result we the readers are treated to some great life-or-death situations and a nicely done Bane monologue where he breaks down how different he and Talon are from one another. The best part? Not once does writer James Tynion make Bane say “I will break you.” or bring up the time he broke Batman. This is a very menacing Bane and you can practically hear Tom Hardy’s voice as you read the speech bubbles.

Spoiler
It’s all quite good except that I thought that Talon’s escape through the pipe and how there was no other obstacle between his team and the plane was all too convenient.

The big criticism I have for this issue is that I don’t think Szymon Kudranski is a good fit for the title. He has a very static style that’s great for crime noir or slower, moodier pieces like the Penguin Pain & Prejudice character study. He creates a dark, gritty atmosphere beautifully by employing so many shadows but Talon is a really fast-paced book that needs an artist who’s more action oriented. The fight scenes with Bane and the rest of his henchmen should have been more visually entertaining than they were. This had the potential to be one of the best books of the month but there isn’t a sufficient sense of movement in these panels, it’s all very stiff. At worst there were some panels where I could hardly make out what was happening.

Recommended If…

  • Bane is one of your favorite villains
  • You like Szymon Kudranski’s art
  • You’d like to see one of if not THE only regular DC title outside of the Justice League books to feature a natural lead-in to Villains Month
  • You’ve loved every other chapter of Talon (I do not recommend this if you haven’t been keeping up with this arc, it’s not a new reader friendly issue)

Overall

Tynion delivered an action-packed finale to Talon’s time on Santa Prisca, but Szymon Kudranski’s static style didn’t give those action scenes the energy they deserved.

SCORE: 7.5/10