Up and coming writer Marguerite Bennett takes us back to the early 1900’s in this one shot to explore the life of a Talon!
Talon #15 is the story of a young man named Jonas and his journey to becoming a Talon. It’s a story that both begins and ends in the Labyrinth of the Court of Owls where he kills his predecessor and becomes the Talon for the Court. From here on out the story unfolds in reverse, going back and fleshing out his life. It’s the compelling choice of narrative by Marguerite Bennett that gives the effect that this is where his life would always lead to, and once reading it you can’t imagine his life having gone any other way. Jonas looks back upon his life and see’s there is just of one long stretching road behind him with no branching paths. For extra fun, the narrative is almost as seamless and compelling when read in chronological order.
“For every life a feather”, Jonas narrates during a flashback, delving into the Egyptian Mythology of Anubis and how he’d weigh one’s heart against a feather. He has a strong dedication to the mythology as he carves off feather shaped pieces of skin from his body to weigh against the lives he’s taken. It adds quite a bit of depth to a character that you only have a limited time to get to know and his various references to mythology flesh him out further, lending a strong sense of character that is well developed by the end of the issue.
The art in this issue was handled by Jorge Lucas and can best be described as atmospheric. He gave a dark, tense tone to the issue and his attention to detail was a real treat. While the entire issue looked great, the more out there panels were definitely the highlights of the issue, often achieving the right mix of both creepy and striking.
The Court’s Labyrinth was a familiar setup that we’ve seen in previous issues and it doesn’t add much to the history of the Court itself, however the quality of the writing and the approach Bennett took in telling the story more than make-up for it.
Taken on its own, Talon #15 is a compelling chronicle of the life of a Talon, but those who were looking to continue the story of Calvin Rose may be a bit let down. While it doesn’t rise above to do anything greater than it set out to do, it remains compelling from start to finish thanks to Marguerite Bennett’s writing and Jorge Lucas’ art. While most of Bennett’s work so far has been in one shot issues, she’s shown tremendous promise and has a strong and distinct voice that, while still rough around the edges, is certainly appealing and shines strong throughout this issue. One can’t help but wonder what she could achieve if she were given more room to stretch her legs in an ongoing as opposed to one and done aissues. Regardless, Bennett is proving to be a solid writer who, with more room to grow, has a lot to offer the DC Universe.