Sunday, October 27, 2013

Talon #12 Review

Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Emanuel Simeoni
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 23, 2013

Stronger Than a Locomotive...Really?!

I seem to give this disclaimer every time I review Talon, but I loved Talon.  Loved...past tense.  Since issue 8 the book's art and direction have taken a nose dive.  The Bane arc seemed like a thinly veiled setup for Forever Evil and more specifically, Arkham War.  This issue is the start of a new arc and the cover promises a teamup with Batman. Is this the start of better days to come?

Talon #12 tries to be a new start.  James Tynion IV brings readers up to speed a bit by showing hero, Calvin Rose, deal with the consequences of the last arc.  He also gives a brief history of the Court of Owls and a larger glimpse into the origins of the arc's main villain, Felix Harmon...The Butcher.

This is my main problem with this issue.  The Butcher was OK in small doses.  He was good in the role of a mysterious and brutal former Talon that the Court had to put on ice because he couldn't be controlled.  I don't need or want the specifics of his brutality.  Especially when they involve the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time (a young Felix holding then drooping a large locomotive train on a group of people from a scaffolding) or the cliche (burning down an orphanage).  We just had Bane and now it seems like we are getting Bane-lite.

Tynion also tries to give the characters more roots in Gotham.  We learn that Casey Washington's Father was a close Friend with Lucius Fox and Batman and Calvin have a bit of a meet and greet.  The first just seems a bit arbitrary and too convinient to make an impact.  The later is far to quick and makes Batman look like a jerk in my opinion.

The story itself is a setup for the Butcher-Talon throwdown and it does a decent job at that.  There is a reveal at the end that is ridiculous and may have long term fans shaking their fists in anger.

The art of Emanuel Simeoni is a mixed bag.  Some of his panels, especially the Robats and interior of the Batcave look great.  Calvin looks really good in his Talon costume as well.  When he is not in costume things start to go off the rails a bit.  In fact, ever since Guillem March drew the book (and drew it great), no one seems to be able to give a consistant look to Calvin's face.  In Simeoni's defense, the profiles and faces of all the characters in this issue look horrible.  That was not a backhanded compliment, by the way.

Bits and Pieces:

Talon #12 is a setup issue.  We get some background to bring new readers up to speed and a little story to push things forward.  However, most of this is ridiculous, cliche and/or infuriating to longtime readers.  The art is a mixed bag that shows the good and the bad that Emanuel Simeoni is capable of.  James Tynion only has a couple issues left on this book and I can only hope that he brings it around before the new creative team jumps on.  Unfortunately, the turn around doesn't begin here.


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