Talon Volume 1: Scourge of the Owls

Collecting Talon #0-7

Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV

Artist: Guillem March

DC Comics, $16.99, color, 192 pages

I think it goes without saying that this book wouldn't exist without Scott Snyder's name on it. That being said, it's not a bad thing that it does.

For those coming in late, Scott Snyder is DC's latest wunderkind, the guy who's been writing Batman, the best-selling comic book in America off and on since The New 52 launched. And in that book he inserted a huge retcon into Gotham history that seems to have worked, of an evil organization called The Court of Owls that even Batman wasn't aware of until recently, when they tried to kill him and he bloodied their collective nose. And for centuries their dirty work has been done by assassins called Talons, recently turned into unkillable, almost unstoppable killers by some process I don't really understand.

But one of their Talons has rebelled. Calvin Rose is an escape artist who had escaped the Owls before the resurrection process, but only temporarily. After years of looking over his shoulder, he's decided to strike back while the Court is on the defensive (see the aforementioned Batman story).

But he doesn't team up with Batman, and he has few friends and resources. Which gives this series a real sense of menace. Rose isn't such a valuable trademark that he can't be killed, and he really is severely outgunned. If it wasn't for his escapist skills -- and the overconfidence of the Owls -- he'd have been dead 20 times over.

Which doesn't necessarily make this book a must-read. But it is an OK read. Call that a tepid recommendation, because so far it is. Maybe Volume Two will swing that up or down, because the cliffhanger ending this volume promises a serious change of direction.

As to the art, it's by Guillem March, who seems to have been heavily influenced by the Kuberts. That makes this an above-average but not spectacular book on art, just like it's an above-average but not spectacular book on story.

It is what it is, and what it is so far is OK.

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I thought the first issue was really strong, so I bought the second issue...and never got around to reading it. I wrote this one off as a "you can't read everything" hit for the team. Sounds like I didn't end up missing anything after all.

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