It’s the end of James Tynion IV’s run on the series he created and if I could say one thing about this issue it’s that it’s definitely not dull! Last month’s episode set up a pretty explosive finale with Calvin Rose (partially) injected by a Talon-killing serum, Felix ready to torture him to death, brainwashed Sarah eager to cut his throat, Sebastian and the Court of Owls ready to do… something evil that I don’t quite remember anymore, and the all-new cyborg Casey Washington and her friends blowing the doors off the place and coming to the rescue. So how does it all come together here? Well… good, but a little too conveniently.

Casey, who still doesn’t have an eye-patch or glass eye or anything covering up her open socket, is simply too powerful now that she has that robot arm which can apparently produce whatever tool she needs at that moment be it a dose of some serum to slow down the poison that’s killing Calvin, a sedative for her daughter, or a giant Talon-dismembering laser beam. After you see what she’s capable of here, you have to wonder if the Court of Owls stands a chance any longer! I mean, if the series wasn’t getting canceled, I imagine Casey could just walk around blasting every Talon to smithereens, who cares about Calvin anymore when his girlfriend just became one of the most deadly characters in the New 52?

Other characters show up at just the right time to offer a helping hand as well and there are some things done simply because they look cool and other things done just to ensure that if the series ever does get to come back again that certain characters are still alive to see it happen, but even with those complaints I was still entertained by this issue. And while bringing down all of the bad guys seemed a little too easy, what with basically everyone else bringing down the bad guys while Calvin watched, I was still mostly okay with it because it was just so nice to finally see the Court and its excommunicated members get their comeuppance. I’ll be more specific in spoiler tags about the things I disliked, but I don’t want to ruin the ending for anyone here.

Spoiler

  • I was happy to see Felix get cut to pieces and felt that Casey deserved to finish him off more than Calvin after everything that Felix did to her. I was NOT happy to see that his character was still alive at the end of the comic. I thought that was ridiculous and obviously only done just so the character could be reused again in the future. I really don’t think Batman would make an effort to bring Felix back to life even if his head and body were still trying to grow back together. 1) The growing back together shouldn’t even be happening I feel. That seemed like we were changing the rules about how Talons die. I thought cutting off the head was good enough? If that’s the case, then the Talon that Damian brought down during the Night of the Owls ended up fusing itself back together and is still on the loose. 2) Felix is really already dead. All of the Talons are sort of un-dead. Why waste the time and money to make sure he heals properly and then place him in suspended animation, which seems like cruel and unusual punishment. And if you disagree with that, then I guess the other question would be, why don’t we just place all of the inmates of Arkham Asylum in the same kind of confinement if it’s A-Okay for Felix?
  • Why not just throw the cryo-bomb and then leave the room like the rest of your team did? I thought the scene where Calvin opted to light himself on fire and then ignite the freeze-bomb was poorly thought out and essentially just an excuse to make him all burned-up and bad ass looking for the remainder of the comic. If everyone else in his squad was able to exit the room in time, then he probably could have as well.
  • Was anybody else worried about little Sarah being tranquilized twice in a row? She’s only like 6 years old and was sedated twice in a span of mere minutes. Didn’t really seem safe
  • 3 Weeks Later? The ending of the book takes place 3 weeks later and I’m not sure how this fits into the whole Forever Evil timeline. I guess when Bane was confronted by the Secret Society, he and his crew just vanished for a month or so and then Forever Evil finally began after this issue?
  • It’s 3 weeks later and Casey still doesn’t wear an eyepatch or a glass eye? Not only is that unpleasant to look at, but couldn’t that get infected?
  • One of the things that made me happiest about this issue was we got Leslie Thompkins involved! I thought that employing her to help with Sarah’s therapy was a stroke of genius.
  • While I like the hopeful ending of this comic where it is revealed that Casey’s team and Calvin himself are being recruited by Batman Incorporated I also have a HUGE problem with it– There isn’t a Batman Incorporated anymore! It’s a good ending that’s very optimistic about the future of the series’ characters, but it just doesn’t seem to fit with what happened in the Batman Incorporated title. The whole point of Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated conclusion was to reset Batman back again with no more Batman Inc. and no more Robin. Just Batman, Alfred, and the cave. Last month’s Batman & Robin #25 most recently restated the fact that Batman Incorporated has been shut down, but I suppose that it could only be shut down publicly while it continues to operate from the shadows. Or maybe this is just what we do with canceled characters now? Getting recruited by Batman Incorporated is our comic book equivalent of “We sent the dog off to live on a farm to run and play and be happy!”

Far and away the biggest flaw of this issue is the artwork by Emanuel Simioni. It’s a shame to see this series start out looking so good under Guillem March’s pen and then end off looking so poorly detailed and often inconsistent. There are panels where it looks like Casey has both her eyes back again, other characters that look different from page to page, and absolutely vacant backgrounds. It’s such an eventful finale but the artwork failed to pull me in as much as it should have.

Recommended If…

  • You’ve been reading this arc from the start
  • You want to see how Calvin Rose’s story ends– there really isn’t much incentive to continue reading the series after this issue though
  • You are looking for a little more closure from Batman’s own Court of Owls adventure

Overall

Talon #14 is a satisfying albeit overly happy ending that ties up all the loose ends, but it’s dampened by some very lackluster artwork.

SCORE: 6.5/10