Thursday, March 29, 2012

Comic Review -- Batman #7: The Talons Strike! / Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion

Again, the stupid banner at the top.  Get rid of it, DC.  It's really unnecessary and insulting.  Save your ads for somewhere inside the comic, like a proper marketing monster, so we can either read or ignore them.  Stop blorting up the covers with non-comic related banners.

I do like the concept behind the cover design.  Deal with one Talon, and you've still got a legion more of them on the horizon, preparing to swoop down and finish what the first began.  It sets up a good foreboding tone for the story, and helps keep things tense.

Batman has escaped from the Court of Owls' underground labyrinth, though he is far from unscathed.  He's resurrected by the attentions of a girl named Harper Row, who he's apparently met before, and who he warns to leave him alone before storming off.  He's found by Alfred near one of the underground entrances to the Batcave, and waves off any medical care to go right into an autopsy of the Talon corpse Alfred found.  Meanwhile, the Court prepares what appears to be another Talon for a looming confrontation with Batman.

Nightwing shows up while Batman's examining the body, and gives him the basics about the Talon's abilities and how they work.  Bruce also reveals to Dick that the man on the exam station is his great grandfather, and that Dick was going to be chosen to be a Talon, had his parents not died and Bruce not taken him in.  He tells Dick that he now sees that Gotham is a stranger and an enemy, and Dick responds that neither Batman nor the Court is Gotham City.  Finally, we see the Court release a number of Talons at the same time.  Their goal: to retake Gotham City for them, and destroy Batman once and for all.

I'm continuing to enjoy the revelations Snyder brings forth in this story, first portraying the Court as this mysterious, ages-old thing, and then having them kidnap Batman and drive him to the brink of insanity, with Batman finally escaping and using his formidable mind to figure out the method behind their madness.  I'm not familiar with Harper, but her brief appearance raises enough questions that it's likely we'll see her later, hopefully in a more substantial capacity.  I'm definitely keen to see how Batman handles a squadron of Talons.  I have a feeling that he's suffered enough that some serious payback is in order.

I was a little miffed with one particular moment in the story.  Batman punching Nightwing.  From where I'm standing, it was at the very least, clumsily portrayed.  At worst, it was grossly out of character.  I can understand wanting to punch the little bastard in the mouth when he gets up on his high horse, but that doesn't mean you go ahead and do it, particularly when he's supposed to be one of your closest allies and adopted son.  Presumably, he did it to get the little owl deposit from his tooth--that is what happened, right?--but even that's not made explicit.  And really, was it necessary to hit Dick in order to get it?  I wasn't too thrilled with that scene, overall.

Artistically, I'm becoming a big fan of Greg Capullo's work.  The stark, gritty detail of his line work really helps the story pop, and really establishes the dark mood as well as the idea that the setting really is a dark entity all its own.  Again, the eyes he draws on his characters can really make an entire picture.  Keep the hits coming!

Overall, I'm very pleased with this storyline, and can't wait to see what's next.  I'm really hoping we get to see Batman make the Court pay for what they did to him, for coming to Gotham at all, and for just breathing the same air as him.  All that remains to be seen, but in the meantime, I'm pretty well sold on this storyline and eager to see where it goes.  Highly recommended.

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