Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SPOILERS: Talon #9

So, in the interest of time, go read last week's Birds of Prey #21 post for the context of what's about to happen.

Mary leads Calvin to the Court's lab, where there be dead people Calvin can put in her costume, and fake her "death." Calvin thanks Mary for her actions, and urges her to fight the good fight, because he doesn't know just how good he'll be able to remain, as he leaves, and brings by Mary's "body" to Wycliffe, before being sent to find and kill Bane and his former mentor, Sebastian Clark.

Before Calvin leaves for Santa Prisca, he gets Wycliffe to allow him two minutes alone with Casey. He lets Casey her daughter is alive, at the very least, kisses her, and tells her to remember everything he's taught her. And off Calvin goes to Santa Prisca!

Calvin parachutes down to the island, avoiding the auto turrets which shoot down anything from above, and manages to infiltrate and disguise himself amongst Bane's ranks. Going through the prison Bane grew up in, Calvin passes by the Professor's lab where he sees all sorts of venom experiments going down.

Calvin gets spotted alone by a group of men, and to preserve his cover, follows them to a meeting with Bane, who is none too happy that the intruder's body wasn't found. How does Bane discipline the man who has failed him? By stomping his damn head in, because that's how Bane rolls. Sebastian is there too, and he ends up questioning the lengths of discipline Bane went to, which leads Bane to tell the rest of his men to escort Sebastian back to his quarters, because he's the boss.

This little escort gives Calvin a pretty good opportunity to blowdart the other guys, as he reveals himself to Sebastian, who is pretty surprised to see him.

Back in the Court's base, Casey manages to get one of her arms freed, and pulls out a fake tooth from her mouth, with a morse code transmitter in it. The code gets transmitted to Anya and Joey, who we met earlier in the series, who've apparently just been chilling on a beach, waiting for the call.

Back in Santa Prisca, Sebastian, although surprised to see Calvin, doesn't believe Calvin will actually kill him, because he's not a killer. Well, Calvin has other ideas, because now he knows just how much all the crap in his life is due to Sebastian, so he's willing to make an exception. Sebastian on the other hand has a few cards up his sleeve, one of which being one of the venom freaks Wolf-Spider, who comes to his aid.


The Good:

As always, I just find Calvin to be a generally enjoyable character. James Tynion writers his voice in a very clear cut manner, his motivation is clear, his conflicted nature is evident, etc. That's always been one of the most impressive traits of this book, is how quickly and well defined this brand new character became in a relatively short amount of time, and it remains true to it's tenth issue (remember, it started with #0). I also enjoyed the fact that Casey didn't come off as completely helpless, having picked up a few tricks from Calvin, and going as far as pulling her own tooth out. So having her be active again? Pretty good to me.

Bane's curb stomp was pretty brutal in a equally entertaining way.

The Bad:

For the most part, I like Sepulveda's art... He's no March, but it works. His facial expressions aren't my favorite though, and the drip of spit coming from Casey's lips after the kiss... just gross to me. 

I wish we could have seen how Casey actually got her arm free, because we just turn the page, and it's there... (I've been corrected in the comments!) One would also assume that Felix Harmon would have gone back into the room after Calvin left? What's he going to do? Eat and sleep? He's dead!

Finally, I think because this guy Wolf-Spider, since we only saw him for like a panel or two in Detective #19, him showing up as a last page cliff hanger sort of just falls flat.

Okay, really finally... the Birds of Prey stuff? Pretty nonexistent. So nonexistent that I had completely forgotten about it, and had to come back to type this up after I finished The Bottom Line section. To Tynion's credit, he does blow by it pretty quick, so it doesn't waste too much time.

The Bottom Line:

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I really enjoy this series as a whole, and as one would expect, enjoyed this issue. It did the somewhat impossible of keeping the Court of Owls fresh and interesting, and still manages to do so, almost a year in, by taking the story to Santa Prisca and involving Bane. Talon is much more than a book just about the Court of Owls, and this issue really illustrates it with it's character work, and outside elements from the rest of the Batman universe. All in all, another really fun issue from the Talon team.



  1. I think that what could be mistaken for a drop of drool from Casey's mouth is actually an escape tool. That's how she breaks free. But I admit the art is misleading.

    1. Looking at it closely, I think you're right.

    2. Glad to help. I too was confused at first. ;)
      Great review by the way. I've really grown to like Calvin. A really great addition to the DC universe.