“Talon” #2 checks in at an historical tour stop of some architecture when James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder guide the Talon into the inner sanctum of the Orchard Hotel. For purposes of the story, Sebastian Clark, a former Court of Owls member, is guiding Calvin Rose, our heroic Talon. The duo possess as a loose partnership that is built on need more than admiration or respect.
That partnership is roughed up around the edges as Tynion and Snyder inject just enough subterfuge and empower each of the men with individual agendas that may or may not align to their common goal. Rose substantially relies on Clark, who doesn’t quite reveal the entire story to Rose. “Talon” #2 features three characters (Rose, Clark and an adversary) throughout the first seventeen pages of the book, but that doesn’t mean the story is light or breezy. Rose and Clark exchange information throughout, giving the reader an extremely convenient entrance to their relationship at the risk of becoming overly expository and excessively wordy. Tynion and Snyder do a decent job with the dialog, but the characters speaking those lines need a little more development to become interesting. That banter is convenient for a narrative purpose, but it continues throughout the story even after Rose uses a clinking sonic gun which seems to be less audible than Rose’s conversation.
Juan Jose Ryp’s unusual and striking art nouveau-influenced drawings are clean and crisp, precisely detailed and well constructed. The tight linework undoubtedly makes work easier for Tomeu Morey, who fills the pages in with setting appropriate colors. Given the street level nature of Calvin Rose’s adventures, Morey’s earthtones and Ryp’s drawings are a nice choice for the story. Capped by Dezi Sienty’s suitable lettering, “Talon” #2 provides a clean, full read.
Talon-on-Talon action makes for an interesting enough fight, but the stakes in this story are not high or intimate enough to process them as anything more than collateral: bits of story present for the sake of progressing the grander narrative. Additionally, Rose’s accomplishments don’t strike me as impressive. The story is a little Indiana Jones, a bit Batman and a little more Nightwing, but not enough of a variation or blend from those sources. I can certainly see the appeal “Talon” may have to Batfans looking for more Court of Owls stuff, but personally, Calvin Rose doesn’t offer anything more for me that I couldn’t find in the pages of “Nightwing.” While “Talon” #2 is a decent comic book, I don’t think it does enough to separate itself from so many other comics.