Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Talon 15, originally released January 29th, 2014.
Patrick: When I wrote up the first issue of Talon, I lamented the fact that Calvin Rose’s origin story was less precious in the light of the other Talon origins we’d read just a few months prior. What’s more, origin-story-overload was starting to strip the Court of Owls of its mystique. New series writer Marguerite Bennett introduces us to yet another new Talon, but distorts and twists his back story, almost daring the reader to try to get something meaningful out of it. Ultimately, both the character and the author reject the importance of this origin narrative. It’s a fascinating concept that seems stubbornly resigned to its own unimportance. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Talon 11, originally released August 28th, 2013.
Patrick: When I was a kid, I used to think that Jedis were the coolest thing in the whole world. Why wouldn’t I? The only examples I had of Jedi were either too old or too young or too evil, but I loved Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. They’re so rare that we never saw a Jedi in their prime — and that scarcity made them precious. Of course, that all changed in 1999, with the release of Phantom Menace. As the prequels rolled out more and more Jedis, I became less and less enamored with them. This is obviously a function of a lot of things — I was getting older, the movies were getting shittier — but chief among them was that the Jedis just weren’t a valuable commodity anymore. I feared the same thing would happen with Owls and Talons in this series, but instead I find myself overexposed to a different type all together: the hulking man-monster.
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Talon 10, originally released July 27th, 2013.
Patrick: There’s a moment during this issue where one of Bane’s mega henchmen, code-named The Wolf-Spider (because he’s terrifying), tells Calvin that there’s nothing he can do to stop Bane’s army from destroying the Court of Owls. Calvin gives his blessing – there’s nothing in the world that would make his life easier than the utter annihilation of the Court. It’s a funny moment, and one that seems like it is frustratingly close to a workable armistice between the Talon and Bane’s henchmen. Alas, we’re talking about characters named Talon and Wolf-Spider, so the fists keep flying. Back in Gotham, Casey escapes from Harmon’s torture dungeon and gets herself arrested by honest cops in order to protect herself from the Court. It’s an issue of unlikely alliances teased, embraced and broken.
Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing Talon 9 originally released June 26th, 2013.
Shelby: I’m a total sucker for magic tricks. As a kid, I obsessed over David Copperfield specials; as an adult, I understand it’s all a matter of misdirection and slight of hand, but I still fall for it every time. The magic of expecting one thing, but finding something else never grows stale for me. “Misdirection” is a label that can be applied to both this issue of Talon, and the title as a whole. James Tynion IV has continued to subvert our expectations with this title, making us think we’re reading one kind of story when it turns out to be another entirely. And, just like any slight of hand, the smallest little hiccup can knock the whole illusion askew. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Talon 7-8, originally released April 24th and May 22nd, 2013.
Shelby: We need to remember that the Talons are bad guys. I know, we’ve got Calvin here fighting the good fight against the Court, and we’ve got Mary working with the rest of the Birds; that makes it easy to forget that we first met the Talons as a sweeping wave of indestructible killing machines, hellbent on assassinating whomever they were pointed at. This title started out with Calvin’s unique position of being a Talon on the lam, a man with all the training needed, but unable to go through with the final process that would truly transform him into the Talon he was meant to be. In issues 7 and 8, all that is going to change; hold on to your butts, because things are getting complicated. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Talon 6, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Patrick: The Empire Strikes Back came out two years before I was even born. That means I never lived in a world where “No, Luke, I am your father” was a surprise. It’s not even like there was a specific moment that it was spoiled for me: these character relationships were communicated to me through osmosis. But shock-value be damned, I still think it’s a killer scene. The lightsaber fight, the screaming, the music — it’s a powerful conclusion to the best Star Wars movie, no matter how many times you see it. Whenever I encounter these Big Reveal scenes now, I always wonder how I’ll feel about them when the shock wears off. In case my musings don’t make it obvious: spoilers ahead. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Mikyzptlk are discussing Talon 5, originally released February 27th, 2013.
Shelby: Anytime there’s some sort of big upheaval, you usually here the phrase “a return to normalcy” bandied about. When some serious shit goes down, we the people just want things to go back to the way they were before everything went wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s just no going back, as proven by the history of the phrase itself; it was first used by Warren Harding in reference to World War I. Instead of the return to normalcy he was looking for, we got the Great Depression and World War II. So, what do you do when, try as you might, there’s just no going back to normalcy? Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Talon 4, originally released January 30th, 2013.
Shelby: Starting a new comic book has got to be a tricky affair. Your story, your character, could potentially end up part of cannon forever and ever; there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. As a creator, you have to balance between giving the book the time it needs to grow roots and keeping the readers interested long enough to have that kind of time. Take too long getting to the point of the book, you’re gonna lose your audience: slap something together, and you don’t have a character with any sticking power. With all that in mind, is it a problem for Scott Snyder and James Tynion that I’m still not sure where this book is going? More importantly, does it matter if I’m enjoying the ride?
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Talon 3, originally released January 2, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Trust is both extremely hard to gain and to easy to lose. One can work for years to gain the trust of another simply to lose it all in a single encounter. The main characters of Talon, Calvin and Sebastian, have both been put in a position where they need to build trust between one another. In the world they live in, dealing with the enemies they deal with, that can be a very hard thing to do. It’s funny then that series writer James Tynion IV also finds himself in the position of building a trust with his audience. Getting new comic book characters to catch on with audiences is tough, especially considering all of the well-established characters that are out there. Convincing your audience that you have an interesting character with a story worth telling is essential for the success of said characters. Even having Scott Snyder (who is, admittedly, very hot right now) on board with a story credit doesn’t guarantee success, so it’s important that Tynion quickly builds trust with his audience and convinces them to stick around for the long haul. As for myself, I’m not sure if Tynion has convinced me quite yet, but this issue certainly goes in the right direction.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Talon 2, originally released November 28th, 2012.
Patrick: We spend an awful lot of time on this site unpacking different histories: publishing histories, character histories, creator histories and the bizarre intersections between. Talon is uniquely positioned embrace as much real or imagined history as it possibly can, all with a plucky young hero at the center. But also at the center? A stuffy old man who thinks he knows better. But before it all gets too heady, let’s melt a room full of gold treasures!