So this is the story of a boy named Jonas, who would become the Talon that replaced William Cobb, and he got super into it. Here's the thing, the issue is told in reverse, and because that's a total pain in the ass for me to put down into words, I'm going to do this spoiler post in reverse of what actually happens in the issue, but chronologically forward.
So, in 1918, Jonas was living on a farm with his mother in Georgia when the Spanish flu came, and his mom went a bit nuts, believing the chickens brought the sickness, and killed each and every single one with an axe, which sort of screwed Jonas up. So, Jonas ran, and eventually came across Haly's circus, where he was found sleeping among many of the circus' dangerous animals. So, the circus added him as an animal tamer, given he showed no fear, which is what the Court took notice of.
So he gets brought in by the Court, and takes his training really seriously... a little too seriously, as he begins to go crazy with his indoctrination, believing himself to be the chosen one, or something like that. Dude carves owl feathers into the face on his skin, so it's safe to say he's a team player for the Court. So after years of training, he is put into the maze beneath Gotham, and ultimately passes his final test by killing William Cobb, taking his place, and believing himself to become a true owl.
I really like Jorge Lucas' art recently, he's show a wide range of stuff from Batman, Inc to this, and I really wouldn't mind seeing more of him in the future, given that the dude can draw some pretty crazy, twisted stuff.
I also am just a fan of the Court, so seeing more history of them and their Talons is pretty interesting to me.
This isn't something necessarily "bad," it's just that I noticed there are some weird similarities between this issue and the Lobo issue Marguerite Bennett wrote, mainly in the early narration. In both this issue and the Lobo issue, the inner monologue will often say one thing, then say another thing that immediately contradicts the previous statement. "I am thinking about my mother here in the Labyrinth of the Court of Owls. No, I am not." then "Sorry. Not Sorry" or "You think you know me... You don't know me." Then, like the Lobo issue, the monologue will often repeat statements to drive home a point. Again, I don't think it's bad, I just think it's weird, and I just hope it doesn't become a trend.
But for an actual point I didn't really like, we don't get a sense of why Jonas takes the indoctrination to the level he does. He goes pretty fucking nuts, and aside from watching his mom cut off chicken heads as a boy, I'm just not sure why he takes to the Owls to such an extreme.
The Bottom Line:
Let's not beat around the bush, this was an inventory issue, through and through. But just because it was an inventory issue, which by nature are pretty detached from any larger story, doesn't mean it was necessarily bad. If you like the Court of Owls, and are interested in their different Talons, then you'll enjoy this issue. The problem lays in the fact that we get to know this Talon is a bit crazy, but there isn't really a whole lot of reason given as to why he's so crazy. It was a good issue, just could have been a bit better.