James Tynion IV as a writer has a way of sneaking up on me every time I come across his one-shot stories in Snyder's Batman run and Tomasi's Batman and Robin line-up. He's currently writing the Talon series for New 52, and I've read six stories of his in total, and I've been enticed by his narrative style and approach so far, particularly because of the scope of horror in his tone. This issue #23.2 for Villains Month is exactly what I would expect from someone of his literary inclinations.
I don't think I want to talk about this issue too much because I don't want to spoil the story, considering the strength of Tynion's writing for the Court of Owls in this one operates within its air of mystery and suspense throughout the pages. What I will say is that the structure for the story was divided into four parts, allowing readers a glimpse of this centuries-old organization in different timelines, and how they have thrived. In present time, Gotham is being torn apart by a series of riots (which follows the aftermath of Forever Evil series).
The primary focus of the story is a father (and member of the modern court) who takes his daughter to the heart of the Owls' rich tapestry of historical importance over the ages, and make us all understand the necessity to strike back with a vengeance to keep control of their city, now more than ever. Tynion doesn't give up the game until the end of the issue, and it was worth the tension. Even as someone who doesn't really go crazy over the Owls as an addition to the Batman rogues gallery, this issue kept me on the edge of my seat! I believe this issue will appeal to readers who enjoy a good horror story every now and then in a superhero comic book, especially so when it's done excellently. Tynion surely delivers, and the combined artistic talents of Jorge Lucas and David McCaig provided us a wide range of versatility in illustrations. This was such a visually stunning issue, truth be told. Anyone who adored Scott Snyder's Owls saga will eat this up as well. The ending was a wicked twist and left me wishing I start keeping up with the Talons series one of these days..
*Lusciously dark and foreboding..