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Having narrowly escaped the clutches of the Court of Owls, Batman is recovering from near-fatal injuries dealt to him by the Court’s dominating assassin, Talon. Safe within Wayne Manor, Batman is unaware a small army of Talon-assassins are about to invade his home in order to kill him.
This issue begins with some excellent narrative by Scott Snyder which surpasses the pencils of the series’ artist, Greg Capullo. However, the thoughtful and artistic words are quickly abandoned in favor of the Talons’ all-out assault. While this might sound ideal in a comic book, this emergence of multiple Talon’s is actually a step in the wrong direction for the story. Talon was unique and terrifying and foreseeably one of the few modern additions to the Batman’s rouges gallery beside Bane and Hush.
However, to immediately mass-produce the character causes the reader to begin to think of him not as the man who nearly killed Batman but as cannon fodder, a fate which invariably happens to anyone in a comic when they’re hanging out with thirty other people dressed exactly alike. This issue, in effect, manages to undermine Talon, who has been one of the best introductions in DC’s New 52.
And perhaps someone else out there is as confused as I am in regards to how all these newly-awakened Talons are fully trained. The previous Talon had just finished training, so we know these Talon’s don’t wake up ready to go. If they aren’t as capable as the previous Talon, how is the reader supposed to find it alarming that there are so many of them? For all we know, it’s the equivalent of thirty people who just awoke from long comas, and it’s safe to say Batman could take thirty coma patients, isn’t it?
The previous revelation that Nightwing, the original Robin, was also intended to be a Talon assassin was very interesting. The hope that will be explored soon gives readers something to look forward to. For even though Snyder’s Batman is still cunning and formidable and Capullo continues to prove why he was such a good choice for the title, this issue in particular doesn’t do much more than dilute a marvelous villain.
Also, Batman emerging in Robocop armor really just struck a note of confusion to stop the readers from asking, “What’ll happen next?” and instead ask, “What’s happening right now?”