Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Guillem March
Other info link: Here
I picked up Talon issue zero for one reason and one reason alone, I like Batman. As a Batman reader I couldn't help but feel like even the most desperate spin off deserved a chance. After a few days of fermenting on the shelf I finally decided to read it when my good friend Miss Twincal told me that I was a thing of wonder.
I opened the mysterious issue to be greeted with the story of Calvin Rose, the only man ever to escape the Court of the Owls. Mr Rose (a daft name, I hope theres a reason behind it) wants to go about his business and be left alone but those Owl folks don't want to let him off the hook just yet. An assassin is sent out to return Mr Rose to the Court.
We begin with a flashback and are treated to another when Calvin is in hot water. It wastes no time getting into the story with its Highlander style flashback explosion storytelling. It looks like we are going to see more and more of those darn Owls and I think it maybe a much more interesting take than the one in the core Batman title recently (not that that was bad)
The story is a wonderfully indulgent one that while taking time to form a story doesn't feel like a prelude. As this issue appears to be set a few years ago in the timeline I have high hopes to see how this Talon has effected the Court as they have progressed to the recent Court of the Owls story arch. Will Talon turn out to be a key unseen player?
The writing is rock solid and the pace of the book is nothing shy of perfect. March's art hits all the right buttons and manages to stay exceptionally clear and somehow bring an almost rustic look to the character making him strike me something of a farm boy hero in nature without the help of the dialogue. To be honest, as first issue's go this is a master class and its not even a number one, its a Zero and that's a great move. Throwing a title this good into the middle of an otherwise pointless event makes this the stand out title of the month for me at least.
As much as I was dubious about the need for a spin off character I get the impression that the whole Court of the Owls story could have been a setup for this character rather than he being a spinoff from it. Intentional or not it gives this character credibility that her may not deserve. However, with writing this strong and art this rich I can't see how Talon can fail to be a hit. will it be short lived or is he going to be a big player? lets hope the unfortunately named Calvin Rose can keep it up.