Talon #17 – Spoiled
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
I write this review in mourning for a comic book that didn’t even make it two years, but I have loved every issue. Talon #17 is the final issue in the series, leaving our intrepid Calvin Rose in the comic character lurch. I digress, however, to give his final issue, a proper send off.
Talon opens with Calvin and one of his allies with a past just as checkered as his own locked in a passionate kiss. For fans of the series, this will initially shock you, as Mr. Rose is partially defined by his love for another woman in the series. Taking a moment to actually READ some of the words on the page, you find that he is using the air in his lungs that his undead body cannot properly use to keep her alive through the onslaught of poison gas triggered in the previous issue. Lord Death Man, a sometime Batman villain, is nearly upon them when he gives into the gas and collapses.
Upon the dissipation of the noxious fumes, Dr. Darrk, the lead scientist in the facility, triggers a fire purge of the entire building. Our protagonist and partner now have two objectives, stop the Phoenix Protocol and make sure Lord Death Man doesn’t escape. Obviously, they split up.
The most interesting part of this comic is Lord Death Man. Apparently he is a martial artist with an eidetic memory and he is CRAZY! The monologue that rattles out of him as part of his witty banter it incredibly entertaining. My favorite quote from the comic slips from his lipless mouth.
“Everything I’ve ever learned, I retain. From the Dim Mak technique,…to the name of every single Pokemon. AND their evolved forms!”
Talon’s partner, the former League Assassin, Anya Volkova finds herself in a losing battle against Dr. Darrk which leads to a defining moment of the whole series really. Anya is willing to kill dozens of blank babies meant to host Ras Al Ghul’s soul in the future to keep Calvin alive. Because he is a symbol of redemption to those who never had a choice in what they had been molded into. Anya makes a deal, and the babies are safe, Lord Death Man is returned to captivity, and our intrepid escape artist is “cured” of his regenerative immortality.
The comic ends with Calvin Rose proving his edge has returned. With a life to lose, his skills return to their peak, and his team of operatives working for the rescue of others rushes off on their next adventure.
Now, of course I am a fan of the series and I am sad to let it go. I do have a gripe with this final issue. Every writer tries to find ways to make their characters more cool and more interesting. This can be done with powers, enemies, and intense moments. Sometimes it works, like in an earlier Talon comic, Calvin Rose slips a pair of hand cuffs Batman created that not even Batman could escape. Infamously, the classic television show Happy Days tried to do this with the Fonz. The notorious “Jump the Shark” episode, and concept, was created. In this issue, Calvin Rose literally throws a shark at Lord Death Man. I’m not sure if it was in an attempt to be cool, funny, or some combination of the two, but I felt it really “Tossed the Shark.”
My rating: 4.5 / 5