Talon #0

 

Talon reveals the enigmatic humanity of an assassin

Talon is written by James Tynion IV, but according to the author credits in the back of the book, the plot was written by James Tynion IV AND Scott Snyder. So the story is the result of the combined effort of Snyder and Tynion IV, but ultimately, Tynion IV is responsible for the scripts of the book.

I just had to get that out of the way, because on the front of the book, it lists the creative team as Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Guillem March. It’s kind of misleading to have Snyder’s name first, so I’m glad I looked in the back of the book to see what the credits actually had to say about the creative process of this new title.

This book focuses on a modern day assassin-turned-rogue, formerly employed by the Court of Owls. He was picked up as an orphan by Haly’s circus and trained as an escape artist by one of the best in the world, and if you read Nightwing during the Night of the Owls arc, you know that Haly’s circus was basically a talent farm for the Court of Owls, ensuring that their assassins would not only be highly trained in acrobatics, combat and escape, but also be family-less circus folk, who will A) do anything for attention from a parent figure and B) won’t be missed by anyone but the ring master.

The most interesting thing about this #0 issue was the erratic timeline. There were several different periods of time addressed throughout the issue, but it all fit together surprisingly cohesively. The different time periods are his past, showing his induction and training within the Court’s organization, the present, showing Calvin Rose in his post-Court life, working construction on a bridge, and his short tenure as the Talon, during which he refuses his grotesque assignment.

The book is constantly jumping between time periods, but every page accomplishes the goal of revealing Calvin’s personality, ethics and abilities as an escape artist. But as I said before, all of the time-travel does the story justice and flows smoothly.

The conflict of the story so far is that Rose never completed his first assignment (assassinating a baby), and so he fled from the Court’s clutches and now we presume that he will be a hero that tries to undo the Court’s actions. But as we see in this issue, the Court wants Rose back, and surprisingly, they don’t want him dead. This part of the story didn’t make much sense to me. I understand that each Talon of the Court is a huge investment of time, money, resources, etc. but if your assassin is so free-spirited and ethical that he can’t even completely his first assignment, I think it would be time for the Court to admit that they made a mistake and either kill him or let him go. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything that they can do to change his mind, or to force him back into the role of Talon/assassin. They have no leverage. Because he was a circus bloke with no family, and was raised in a crime organization for the bulk of his life, he’s probably got some severe social issues, and lacks in the friends/family department, the qualities that super-criminals ALWAYS go for when they are trying to weaken theirĀ opponents. The only possible thing I can think of that the Court could do to persuade Rose to take up the reigns again as Talon is to just kill kill kill innocents on his behalf until he pledges to come back, and they can try harder to brainwash him. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this title plays out in the coming year. Who doesn’t love an ethical killer??

–John

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