Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Talon #1 (December, 2012)

Hearing that the Batman had brought down the Court of Owls, Calvin Rose returned to Gotham City to see if he truly was free. Entering their headquarters, Rose set off an alarm that drew the attention of two very interested parties. The first was a female undead Talon, who survived several killing blows in combat with Rose. Calvin finally stopped her by stabbing the Talon through the head and shocking her brain with the conducted electricity of a Taser. The second interested party was Sebastian Clark, who killed the still twitching Talon by pouring liquid nitrogen on her head. Clark then took the injured and soon unconscious Rose back to his secret lair.

Erastus Clark had written a book called "The Secret History of the Court of Owls: The Truth Behind Gotham's Most Frightening Folk Tale." He and everyone else who had ever come into contact with the book were murdered, except his son Sebastian, who survived under an alias with the sole remaining copy. Now aged, Sebastian Clark had used his technology and connections to learn more about the Court of Owls than any man alive. While the Batman had struck the cultish operation a hard blow, they would surely recover unless the offensive was pressed while they were weak. Despite his protestations, Calvin Rose was eventually convinced to do what Sebastian Clark himself could not-- act as the agent of the Owls' destruction, "Ripped apart by one of their own talons..."

"The Gotham Trap" was by James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder on story, Guillem March on art. There's a phenomenon with TV show pilots where the creators put all of their heart and soul into that positive first step, then totally stumble on the second. This was that. Picking at threads from a Batman Family crossover like a vulture snacking on a corpse, the heroic Talon battled a villainous Talon again as they talked about how secret and unbeatable the Court of Owls were some more. An arch exposition spewing supporting character was thrust into the narrative as good Talon acted like an idiot to maintain trumped up drama. Despite reams of exposition, I as a non-Batman reader felt like I was missing important details that the writers assumed I should know, despite this being a solo series that I had read every issue of to this point. The artist only got to draw three characters in this story, and I got tired of looking at them after a while. In the end, good Talon finally accepted his life's mission, which I thought he'd already done in #0, as well as donning the horrible official Talon costume I'd forgotten he was stuck with because he looked decent for two issues without it. This comic effectively undid all the good will built up by the debut.

New 52's Day

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