TALON 1 – Good, Great Even, but Utterly Unnecessary

TALON 1 COMIC COVERTALON 1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: James Tynion IV
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

I can’t cast one negative barb at TALON from a creative stand-point. Snyder is a tits writer and Tynion has a flair for both action and quieter moments of reflection. Together the team did an excellent job peeling back the psyche of former TALON (not an undead one just to be clear), Calvin Rose, as he returns to Gotham to see if the Court of Owls was truly caged and summarily put down by BATMAN.

Now, those that don’t enjoy Snyder’s reflections on history will be slightly annoyed. Personally, I don’t understand your gripes; I like how Snyder has always made Gotham a character in the mythos…but to each their own. The first two pages is very heavy on GOTHAM itself as we learn more about the Rogue TALON and his mission to regain his life before owls.

For as good as this is though, I still question the necessity and value of this project.

This book is a “Joey” not a “Jefferson.” For anyone who isn’t as old as Moses’ balls, I use these TV shows as an example of characters that were perceived to be too popular to contain within their parent properties. With the Jeffersons, good call. Joey, not so much. Some characters, some mythos, are better as garnish than the actual meal. I feel this way about the RED LANTERNS book as well. It’s not a bad book, just egregiously unnecessary in telling the grand story of the DC Universe or the pocket that is just GREEN LANTERN. I like my books to have weight and consequence on the Meta level. TALON just doesn’t give me that vibe, it feels like a schill based on popularity rather than adding anything further to GOTHAM or BATMAN.

Wafts of Azrael permeated my mind as I read each page and with that conjuration of nostalgia, I also was reminded of the bank breaking deluge of titles that permeated the early 90s.

The New 52 was supposed to be DC’s line in the sand on how many titles would be produced. Yes, we all bemoaned this many titles in September of 2011, but it actually was a pull back from the stable prior to FLASHPOINT. It was DCs caring hand reaching out to assist our beleaguered recession struck budgets.  Personally, I liked when 52 had a little more significance than a publishing count: the weekly book, the idea of 52 separate universes and other actual reasons for the number seem to have faded into the ether, but I truly believed the publish  number would stick.

In September I counted 57 books and this excludes anything Vertigo or some of the younger DC fare, hell I was even kind enough to take anything BEFORE WATCHMEN out of the count. That’s expensive. Sure, if you have infinite dollars and infinite time, there’s a nugget of goodness and at least one moment of enjoyment to be found in any DC book including TALON. However, if you’re an actual human being, you must be cautious of dollars and life really sucks up a ton of comic reading time.I just don’t feel TALON is one of those enduring characters that will carry weight through the DC Universe anytime soon, and for me that means I’m going to divert my 30 DC Titles a month budget or whatever it might be to books that I know are truly interconnected creating a larger cohesive narrative.

 

As a man who was clearly not a fan of the 52 moniker to begin with, I become even less enamored when the number loses all significance beyond a marketing slug line.  At a certain point I know our dollars will decide the fate of all books, to that end I give DC credit in its ability to cast away dead wood, but I also know this book will get readership based on the Snyder name alone. And in my mind a book without purpose and consequence cheapens its respective universe regardless of how it sells.

I also have a personal problem with this book since the 0 issue. Where the FUCK IS BRUCE WAYNE’S brother? When I picked up a book with one central protagonist in the COURT OF OWLS, yes I was fully expecting a resurrection of a character thought dead. I mean, this is kind of a serial staple, no? Instead I Get to meet Calvin Rose. Whose kinda cool…I guess.

If you’re the type to read comics by particular creators, buy TALON today. Your Snyder stalking will pay off in spades. But if you’re like old Optimous and want your stories to truly matter, to be part of a grander and more glorious design, you would be best sharpening your beak on the current “Death of the Family” crossover in the main Bat properties.

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