Talon has been solid from the beginning and it's been great since issue #3, but now, we are drawing near the end of the first arc. Calvin Rose is face to face with the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, Sebastian Clark appears to be a traitor, and Bane is coming to break Talon. It's a shame that more people aren't buying this series, but I am hoping that the introduction of everybody's favorite back-breaking luchador will give this book some much deserved traffic.
Does this issue prove a grisly end for Talon or does our hero still have some tricks up his sleeves?
In this issue, Casey turns the tables on Sebastian Clark and Calvin takes a trip on a rocket.
This Is How Comics Should Be
If you want to find the way to my heart, surprise me. I love a good narrative twist, and this issue delivers.
Though there were certainly a few things I saw coming, there were just as many surprises in store. Casey Washington continues to be an admirable character by refusing to play the part of a victim. Calvin has an encounter with another hero in this issue that I simply did not see coming, and their encounter was extremely satisfying. The appearance of Bane would have been a complete shock if not for the cover and Tynion's (current writer of Batman, Detective Comics, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Talon) story in Detective Comics #19, and the end of this issue will almost certainly leave you in shock.
I was not as happy with Guillem March's (former cover artist for Gotham City Sirens, Catwoman, Huntress, and Azrael and interior artist for Batman and Batman and Robin and current cover artist for Legends of the Dark Knight and interior artist for Talon and cover artist for Vertigo's Django Unchained) pencils as usual. March has never been in the running for my all time favorite artists, but he has done a solid job and created some flat out beautiful images over the course of this series. Here, March also has some nice images, but quite a few panels felt off or simply not as polished as usual. For instance, the image where Calvin is thrown from the rocket looks a little bit goofy.
The End? (Spoilers for This Section)
The issue ends with Calvin having his neck snapped by Bane implying the Calvin Rose is dead. Now, I happen to know that getting your neck snapped does not equate to death, but most writers don't seem to know that, and a snapped neck does mean you are paralyzed, so even in the best case scenario, this is still a game altering move against Talon if all is as Calvin's frozen in shock stare would imply.
Normally, I would say that Calvin cannot possibly be dead. Though the Talon series has not been a hit by any means and is definitely one of DC's poorer selling comics, it still has sales well high enough to keep it from fear of cancellation, and we know many future issues are already solicited, so Talon must go on, mustn't he? There is obviously the chance that Bane somehow faked the injury or managed to do some extremely difficult blow that merely simulates the effects of death. Writers can always pull out the, “I had a special piece of armor that saved my life, and I just pretended to be dead,” move. However, it is actually possible that Calvin has bit the dust.
What makes this a plausible scenario is that invincibility has always been part of the Talon myth. Granted, you have to go through some sort of process and be revived, but if Tynion decided to take the story that direction, he would have a fairly easy method. However, I hope this does not happen because this would seem to take away from Calvin's fundamental humanity, and at the moment, he seems very human and very relatable.
1. It was pretty obvious that Calvin had convinced the other talon to join him, so Talon's escape from the intro trap was pretty predictable. It did provide for a nice little fight scene though.
2. I'm betting that the rocket would launch quickly enough to have ripped Calvin's arm out of socket.
3. Between Sebastian Clark being evil and the attempt to make Skitter evil, the message comics teach is pretty clear. If you look evil, you are evil.
4. I did appreciate that the creative team remembered physics which is sometimes rare in comics. When an object you are riding on suddenly slows, you get thrown forward.
5. Casey Washington might be the coolest mom of all time.
(Spoilers until Conclusion)
6. The entire interaction with Batman was amazing. Bruce so needs to be taken down a peg every once and a while.
7. How did Clark get the special Headmaster Owl mask? I thought it was destroyed in issue #2. Also, I thought Clark was probably going for the special mask because he wanted control of the Court for himself way back in issue #2, but I failed to put it in my review, so I can't claim bragging rights. Take my word for it.
It doesn't get much better than this. Good action, crazy twists, fun characters and a solid story? What more can you wish?