Talon #13 is the penultimate chapter in creator James Tynion IV’s run on the series so, of course, it’s not a new-reader friendly issue. If you haven’t ever read a Talon comic before but plan on it, then I recommend you exit out of this window now, go pick up Talon, Volume 1 and start from there. This is a series that’s had a very good ongoing story that should definitely be enjoyed from the very beginning. However, while I loved the way this title started and even tossed it back into the monthly review rotation, I do wonder if it might have had its “jump the shark” moment a few months ago. Still, Tynion raises the stakes enough in this issue and gives us the sensation that this is definitely THE END (It isn’t. The series will be taken over by Marguerite Bennett one month and then Tim Seeley the next, but after that it might be over, sure. I can see this getting canceled soon after Tynion leaves) that I’m still hanging on for the ride.
This issue begins by showing us what has become of little Sarah Washington, who was abducted by the court a few months ago (our time, probably a few days or so comic-time). Meanwhile, Calvin Rose is hunting far and wide for any sign of what has become of Sarah and the leader of the Court. And those aren’t the only stories on a collision course! We also have Felix Harmon (who is drawn WAY bigger in this issue, which is saying something) and Sebastian Clark plotting to destroy The Court and all of Gotham as well. It’s a pretty big and bold storyline with plenty at stake, however those stakes do feel somewhat meaningless since the events of Villains Month and Forever Evil has spoiled the fate of Gotham and Bane (boy, did that storyline fizzle out in this title or what?).
The quick pace and overwhelming sense of the world crashing down around our hero should be entertaining for longtime readers, but at the same time I still feel like I’m not having as much fun as I should be. Felix Harmon is too gigantic and one dimensional, Sebastian Clark is someone I just don’t care about anymore ever since he apparently died at Bane’s hand and then showed up alive and well and arriving way ahead of schedule of Bane (seriously, how did he make it back to Gotham before Bane?), Casey Washington is about to become a cyborg and I’m in no way excited about that, the brainwashing of Casey is happening much too quickly (she was all “I miss my mommy” on the first page and then by the end of the comic she was screaming for Calvin Rose’s head), and worst of all, these Talons keep popping up. I swear, when the series first began, Sebastian made described the situation like a finite one but more and more Talons are always arriving on the scene whenever our villains find it convenient.
I just… I really WANT to like this book and see it go out on a high note, but I’m just not feeling it. I think it might have “jumped the shark” the moment Bane showed up and snapped Calvin’s neck. That’s when this fun thriller became too big for its britches and started to get bogged down with tie-ins and whatnot.
The artwork by Emanuel Simeoni is okay for the most part. I found the action sequences to be lacking, the size of Felix Harmon fluctuated drastically from panel to panel, there was a rather corny scene with hearts filling the background, and Sebastian Clark really doesn’t look anything like he did back when the series first began. We can definitely tone down on the golden motion lines, which make every action look like the Fourth of July. Talon looks like he delivers a Falcon Punch in a couple of scenes. But as for the setting and the quiet moments things are rendered rather well and there’s quite a bit of detail and life to some of the establishing shots.
- You’ve been reading Talon from the start
- You want to know how Tynion’s run will end
Although I clearly have my problems with what’s been happening in the series lately I do think that this issue has a terrific energy and sense of purpose to it and is something that longtime readers should check out simply so that they can see Tynion’s send off. I’m excited to see what Tynion has planned for his finale but this issue was definitely “just okay” for me as many of the elements felt quite familiar. I might be falling out of love with this series and I’m thinking about moving it back to the “Trade-wait Reviews Only” pile. Buy it if you’ve been reading from the start, skip it if you haven’t.