Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPOILERS: Talon #17

Lord Death Man is a'comin' as the cave he, Calvin and Anya are in, fills with poison. Having no actual use for the oxygen in his lungs, Calvin "gives" it to Anya, as they escape while Lord Death Man succumbs to the gas... temporarily, of course.

When Calvin and Anya catch their breath, Casey radios in to inform them a little bit about their new friend in Lord Death Man, and despite him not being part of the mission, Calvin can't allow himself to let LDM escape, and goes after him, while Anya goes deeper into the facility, looking for a way to resurrect Calvin, all under the watchful eye of Dr. Darrk.

Calvin finds LDM shortly after he comes back to life, and the two start to fight. LDM realizes that Calvin isn't going for the killing strikes, and eventually just starts to literally laugh at Calvin's attacks, eventually knocking him out and impaling him with a knife to the heart.

When Anya gets deeper into the lab, she eventually comes across Dr. Darrk, and given her past with the League of Assassins, the two of them have history, and exchange verbal (and physical) blows, after Darrk begins to flood the cavern Calvin and LDM are in.

Being undead himself, Calvin comes back shortly after being impaled, which LDM takes notice of. Seeing how similar they are, LDM does the whole "let's work together" thing (only crazier) with his new pal "Golden Ducky." Calvin declines the offer, and properly introduces himself to LDM by throwing a fucking shark at him, and round two begins.

Back at the other fight, things are pretty evenly matched until Anya pulls out her trump card, you see, while the self destruct sequence (which Darrk disabled) was ready to blow the lab up in smoke, Anya discovered on room that would seemingly be unaffected, thus probably pretty important to the League, and Ra's al' Ghul. What is this room? Well, it's full of little developing babies, which Anya believes to be new vessels for Ra's but if you're in the know, they're Damian Wayne clones. So, realizing she needed leverage, she put a bomb in the room, and has got her finger on the trigger. With Darrk out of options, he's forced to talk business with Anya, meanwhile the one exit from the cave is sealed off, and LDM fails to escape.

Cut to some time later, Calvin is attempting the same escape as he did last issue, only he makes it this time. Why? Because he's alive again! With his life restored, Calvin thinks about taking it a bit easy, but a mission to rescue someone from Intergang pops up, and that notion is short lived. But how did Anya bargain with Darrk to get Calvin's life back? Well, since Darrk was under his own less-than-suitable returned from death situation, he was offered a better option than his bio-suit... The Talon formula.


The Good:

Lord Death Man really stole the show these past two issues... Just blabbering on about pokemon, the Colonel's secret recipe, household cleaning supplies... It's fucking crazy and it's great. Through all of LDM's madness, Seeley actually manages to make a pretty apt comparison between the two by bringing up LDM's predicament about having no escape after being launched into space, unable to die, similar to Calvin's predicament of not being able to escape a horrible fate with death. I was expecting LDM to be fucking nuts, which he was... but not to make thematic sense, which was a surprise. 

The Bad:

What actually happens with the resurrection process really gets washed over, I mean, there's not a single page on it. I guess this could be due to the lazarus pit's status in the current continuity being up in the air, are they still around, have they been destroyed, who knows... That's one of those weird things that's from Morrison's time in Gotham, but has been kind of left unanswered in this new continuity. Regardless, I thought it was just kind of jarring for it to all be skipped over, especially how Darrk also takes to the Talon process, which I thought needed that whole tooth pumping stuff into the body thing. Whatever... comic science isn't exact.

Also, for someone who wants to be alive again, Calvin should probably get his shit together, because he would have been dead during that first fight with Lord Death Man.

The Bottom Line:

Talon was a great book, and I'm really happy to see that despite a writer taking over with the last two issues, it came to a conclusion with thought and care rather than someone hastily slapping something together at the last minute. Tim Seeley managed to not only write an entertaining conclusion (aided by Lord Death Man's gleeful madness) but also figured out a way to tie all the elements he was working with together to cap off all the great work that has been done defining who Calvin Rose is as a character, all the way back from issue #0.  While I'm sad to see this book go, it definitely went out on a high note.


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