The new series “Talon,” from DC Comics, is like if you took the best parts of why fangirls loved “Nightwing” and then cranked it up to 11.
Spun out of the labyrinthine shenanigans of the “Court of Owls”/”Night of the Owls” storylines in “Batman,” the story of Calvin Rose is very reminiscent of ronin narratives such as the movie “Ghost Dog.” A hitman for the “Illuminati”-like Owls, Rose one day refuses a mission — killing a two-year old girl (read up on last month’s “Talon” #0 for the deets). Realizing that he’s been working for Really Bad People all this time, Rose — one of many “Talons” — goes on the run for his life. And gets beaten up, chained up, naked, stabbed, drugged, etc. a lot. A lot.
Along the way, he finds a “mentor” of sorts in a mysterious man named Sebastian Clark — but who really knows who to trust in this paranoia-filled series? “Talon” takes the most gothic and weird elements of the very first “Batman” tales and establishes it as a default Gotham — something that the regular Bat comics, movies, and even books have all flirted with, but have never taken to this insane level.
As for Calvin Rose/Talon, I like him heaps more than Dick Grayson/Nightwing because I think Dick is just a smirking egotistical…you know. Ugh, years and years and decades of reading these Nightwing “hottest eligible bachelor of the DCU” stories — some which read like flat-out Mary Sues. To heck with that, I say. I don’t want to see my protagonist having a long-term relationship with a delightful orange-skinned alien who uses hair as clothes. I want my hero chained up buck-naked in the trunk of a car going over a bridge while a gaggle of creepy masked “Eyes Wide Shut” dudes watch from gigantic flat-screen TVs!
lesson learned: keep calluses on feet, avoid pumice
“Talon” is my fanfic dude of the hour (and you’ll never know my pen name, so don’t even try). Filled with nail-biting suspense and an intriguing leading man, here’s hoping it continues to be one of the most angsty, gothic, conspiracy-infused comics on the shelves.
Written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by James Tynion IV and Guillem March, “Talon” #1 hits stores today