Talon #10 is probably the worst issue of the series, but even so, it was still a solid story, so that's actually quite a compliment for the amazing integrity displayed by the newest series in the Bat Family. Still, I do hope this issue avoids the pitfalls of the last. The story of last issue lingered on one long fight scene which ended up feeling like inconsequential filler. The latter part of the book had the Calvary arrive to help Talon escape Bane's forces, but even so, it wasn't the most compelling of tales. On the other hand, Casey Washington managed a daring escape that required her to flee into the arms of police custody which is a risky position since the Court of Owls have contact everywhere. Now, both our heroes have to escape, and while Casey will seek solace in the cape of the Bat, Talon will have to use his new found strength to tear an opening through Bane's men and make it to safety.
Does Talon #11 provide a satisfying second round between Talon and Bane or is this young series already running out of ideas?
In this issue, Casey Washington's rogues take on Bane's generals, Talon faces the Breaker of the Bat and Casey Washington gets an assist from Batman when face to face with the Butcher.
Back on Track
I'll admit that I was a little bit nervous after the last issue. It wasn't bad, but it was a step down from Talon's regular quality, and I've been so disappointed in James Tynion IV's work on RHATO that I was beginning to worry about this series as well. Thankfully, Tynion reminded me that he still has what it takes to produce good adventures stories.
This issue is almost all action, but it has a nice mix of dialogue to go along with it. The balance between the two is about right, but I did feel that some of the dialogue was a bit too wordy. I know that heroes and villains have a tendency to smart off to each other before a battle, but some of these conversation went on for a page or more, and that's a bit excessive. There were many moments ripe for a line like, "Are we going to fight or are you just going to talk me to death?" but despite this, it was still pretty fun. Another minor quibble is that we see a lot of Casey Washington's crew but it has been so long since we've seen them that I can hardly remember their abilities or personalities. It's hard to know how to take comments and actions from heroes who are mostly unknown. Still, it's as good a time as any to get to know these characters, and I enjoyed their scenes even as I struggled to remember who they were.
Calvin is the guy who really shines in this issue. Last issue, he got his butt kicked even with his enhanced strength and healing and he didn't even put up much of a fight. This issue seems to start off that way as Bane gives Calvin a rather good smack down, both verbal and physical, but by the end, Talon reminds you of why he's the star of the show.
There were some other mistakes here and there, but nothing that broke the story.
1. I don't usually like Szymon Kudranski's (former artist for Detective Comics, Pain and Prejudice, and Streets of
Gotham and current artist for The Dark Knight, Detectitve Comics, Talon, Image's Spawn and Avatar's Farmhouse) work, but I found I did like it acceptably here. It's still a bit loose on details and over reliant on shadows for my taste, but it worked well enough to be enjoyed. I think a big part of that probably goes to Jeromy Cox (former colorist of Catwoman
and Vertigo's DMZ and current colorist of Talon, Superman Unchained and Justice League Dark) who is one of my favorite colorists. Whereas Kudranski's work in The Dark Knight feels like little other than bright whites and dark blacks, Cox finds a way to give Kudranski's work some more dimension.
2. Bane stands like eight feet tall in this. He could have a great career in the NBA.
3. Anya seemed to talk a bit too much to her opponent. That's one of those examples of a whole page just being used for taunts. It did give a little back story though, so I understand why it was done, but it just felt a little off.
4. We should never see another editorial reference in a comic ever again. My patience for them is all gone. They completely break the flow of the story.
5. I can't decide if the poor transmuted Green Beret is more funny or sad. I think it ends up being sad, but a monsesterous hulk breaking through a wall and singing a garbled Star-Spangled Banner is...well, it's hard too take seriously. It was a mixed moment.
6. It was cool to see Bane be defeated because of his pride. He is so emotionally tough because he was put through the fire at a young age, yet he think all others who are not like him must be weak. Underestimating Talon was his undoing.
This wasn't my favorite issues of Talon, but it was a fun ride and a nice transition point for the next arc. One of the best things about this series is that it constantly shifts the status quo. I can't wait to see what happens next.