“Talon” #1 takes new character Calvin Rose, as established last month in “Talon” #0 — a spinoff concept of the Night of the Owls storyline — and introduces a journey for him to complete. James Tynion IV, with Scott Snyder on co-plotting duties, establishes a rich history for the character and establishes a quest to test him for the future. This issue is all about introduction and it does a clean job of setting down the first steps for the long path moving forward.
There isn’t a great deal known about Calvin Rose and the writers do a lot of work to open him up to us as much as possible. This requires a lot of text, but by the end of the issue, readers have a better knowledge of Calvin — a previous Talon for the Court of Owls who saw the light and ran away. So far, Calvin comes across as a unique insertion to the DCU. There is a snarky side waiting to be explored and his action chops do the job. His history as an escape artist offers up plenty of avenues to explore, though it will have to work hard to not become a fainter echo to Michael Chabon’s masterful character The Escapist.
The central fight of this issue between Calvin and a female talon left behind by the Court is energetic and showcases the abilities and drive of both sides well. As a sequence to progress the narrative it works well, but here it is presented as the central element and this leads to the issue lacking depth on the whole. After the fight, Calvin meets an older benefactor who will be a major support in the ongoing battle against what is left of the Court. I can’t help but feel this title will benefit greatly from a supporting cast with their own objectives and storylines. The seeds are here and signs point to this becoming a tidy little offshoot Bat title that holds its own.
Guillem March delivers a tale that feels like a superhero action romp without looking like one in any generic sense of the matter. March brings subtle elements to his character designs to give them the opportunity to look different in a variety of situations. In moments this looks like a horror comic instead of a Bat title. The images and acting are smooth but panel composition sometimes feels needlessly convoluted. A more smooth and clear page structure at times might actually aid the storytelling.
“Talon” #1 is a new Bat title spawned from a concept from the last storyline and runs with it for all it’s worth. This isn’t just another person with a Bat on their outfit fighting crime, Calvin has a different MO and a whole new mission to accomplish. It’s refreshing to see the Bat universe expanded instead of being replicated. With this issue’s exposition and player movement, the stage is now set and dressed for what should be a great superhero vengeance tale.