While the move into the New 52 managed to invigorate a lot of ailing characters and introduce a lot of great but lesser known artists to the mainstream – among them Swamp Thing and its writer Scott Snyder – but it is only now with the third wave of the movement that the 52 will truly be new; Talon, the first all new book with the first all new protagonist will be the first ongoing project of new but promising writer James T. Tynion.
For this title though Tynion hasn’t scripted a brand new story but stuck to something a little safer, sticking to what he knows. No, as far as I know James was never the on-call assassin for a shady cabal but Tynion is still a Talon; he was raised within the convoluted confines of Scott Snyder’s Court but has now escaped and is using everything that he learned there against his old owner, the student giving the master a real run for his money.
I daresay that the majority of the people that pick up this book will be doing it because of Snyder’s Batman, they will be fans of the fantastic Night of the Owls run and want to see more work in that vein despite his abandoning of it. With his tale of an escaped owl assassin with a personal agenda Tynion takes up the pick and manages to mine more story from that rich streak in a style that is similar enough to Scott’s to satisfy Snyder fans but still strongly his own, which is what we all really want to read.
Talon makes extended use of narration, is tricky with the details of when this is being said, cuts up its scenes out of sequence and dives right in with the creepy imagery; the first panel is particularly chilling but it doesn’t take long before the book elicits its second or third gasps of even greater strength. As this is a zero issue it mostly serves as an introduction to the concepts and characters of the book, which are both all new and so actually required an origin issue, but from what I’ve seen Tynion seems to have also taken a note from Snyder in regards to serialization; the story here seems as if it will very soon become a big one indeed.
As for the characters though, they are a little less clear at this stage and the ensemble cast a little less fleshed out than I maybe would have liked. Humanizing the Court and their Talon’s seemed terribly against purpose on paper, they were both scary because of just how little they showed on the surface. There is though something very fascinating about the sociopathic divide required by an assassin and the patience needed to put together a conspiracy like this one, so I have hope that come the comic proper more time will be spent diving into these themes or something equivalent.
As a fan of his work in the Batman back-ups and the awesome annual i expected Tynion’s half of the issue to be strong, however he isn’t the only person responsible for the book. The art by Guillem March on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. Personally I was only familiar with his work from things like the Catwoman controversy and upon first glance his preference seems to be for drawing similarly sexualised females but none of that comes across here.
While their styles are very different – for one March is much more detail orientated, his panels packed with visual intricacies – the art here feels like it is within the family of Greg Capullo’s, which only works to further strengthen the fact that this tale is a part of that same universe. His Talon’s look like they belong to the same unit as those in Batman. Despite all of the darkness and detail though the comic is visually very clear and the layouts clever but never at the cost of comprehension; which is necessary since the art tells a story alone, while Tynion’s narration adds another on top of this.
I’d be lying if I said that either managed to match or better their counterpart’s comics, but I don’t think that failing to script as well as Snyder or sketch as well as Capullo is really much of a criticism; it’s the equivalent of describing a film as less than The Godfather. Of course this also isn’t even issue one yet and if I’ve learnt anything from Snyder it’s that good stories get better the bigger you let them become. This bird has only just left the nest but at this rate it will be flying in no time and I know that I’m gonna give it some.