Without a doubt, the introduction of the Court of Owls villains into DC’s flagship Batman title was one of the most refreshing stories to come out of the New 52 when it launched. This sinister group of assassins, known as the Talons, went on to unleash their violent supremacy on Gotham City when the story arc culminated in the Night of the Owls crossover event, spanning across almost all of DC’s Bat-titles. The chapters that unfolded offered readers a memorizing glimpse of a vast and mysterious world in which the Court of Owls resided, teasing us as to what stories remained after the Night of the Owls concluded.
Thankfully for us, DC’s taking us back to the shadowy world of the Owls with the launch of Talon, a new ongoing spin-off series that brings us the compelling story of Calvin Rose, a former Talon who bravely decides to change the path once decided for him by the Court of Owls.
We’re first introduced to Rose as an abused [and abandoned] child, finding himself on the run from the horrors he’s endured. While on the run, we see Rose cross paths with Haley’s Circus, the infamous company of traveling performers that once helped to physically condition the one and only Dick Grayson, now known as Nightwing. As revealed within the Court of Owls story, Haley’s Circus was also responsible for secretly recruiting prospective candidates for the Court of Owls to then mold into the lethal assassins known as the Talons.
As we follow Calvin Rose through his training and eventual induction into the Court of Owls society, it is here where we begin to see Rose confront the morality of his path as he attempts to retake control of his life the only way he knows how, by again running from the horror.
Of course, things are never as simple as they appear when it comes to the Court of Owls.
Talon brings back together the writing talents of Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, both of whom worked incredibly well with each other while crafting the Night of the Owls crossover. In fact, Talon can easily be regarded as Tynion’s baby, with Snyder serving only as a “co-plotter” on the title. If the first issue is any indication of how the series will play out, Calvin Rose may be one of best new characters to come out of the New 52 relaunch and Tynion is really the one to thank for giving him such a strong debut. The artwork of Guillem March is a true asset to the title as well, capturing both the gritty and terrifying visions of a world as seen through the eyes of a [former] Talon. There’s no doubt March’s unique style on this series, as well as Tomeu Morey’s coloring, will both compliment and reflect the tone that Tynion and Snyder have set for the series.
Talon #0 is already one of the best spin-off titles we’ve read in years, which speaks volumes about the creative team when you consider just how young the source material is for the new series to branch off from.
Bravo, Mr. Tynion.
Writer: James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder
Art: Guillem March
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Guillem March
Release Date: September 26th, 2012