INTRODUCING A NEW CHARACTER to a universe of established legends can be one tough task. Legends cast long shadows.
One such legend, Batman, comes bundled with a cast of villains — from the Joker to the Riddler, Catwoman to Bane — perhaps just as popular as he is.
So if there was one title that might have an especially huge challenge establishing a new baddie, it was Batman, which makes the success of the recent Night of Owls storyline — and the introduction of the Talons — that much more impressive. Not only did DC Comics and Scott Snyder introduce such an imposing adversary, but they’ve also gotten a new title out of it to add to the “New 52” mythos.
James Tynion IV will team with Snyder to tell the story of Calvin Rose, the escaped Talon who is trying to become his own man in Gotham while eluding the group of assassins he once fought alongside.
Comic Riffs caught up with Tynion to discuss Talon No. 1.
DAVID BETANCOURT: Where does the Talon stand in regards to his loyalties?
JAMES TYNION IV: This is a story about Calvin Rose, who has broken away from the Court of Owls. He’s the first person to escape the organization while being a Talon. He’s refusing to go through with assassinations that they were forcing him to do. The “zero” issue ... showed him leaving the Court.
This issue [#1] brings us to the present, where we are in modern day [and] the Night of the Owls storyline has just happened. He’s coming back to Gotham. They’ve [The Court of Owls] been hunting him ever since he left, he wants his freedom.
[THE ‘TALON’ DEBUT: Scott Snyder’s ‘Owls’ spinoff takes flight ]
DB: In the future, is this a character who will frequently appear in other Bat books because of his connection to the Court of Owls?
JT: Right at the start, we’re looking to establish his own little corner in Gotham and the DC [Universe]. He can stand on his own with his own supporting characters as he digs further. Once we’ve established the character and people are digging him, I’m sure you might see him around the other Bat books. There are small convos on that happening, but we want to build this as a lasting corner. And if we succeed, then we’ll see Calvin hanging with the other guys.
[SUPERMAN’S NEW TEAM: Snyder and Jim Lee join forces on new title]
DB: New characters aren’t always guaranteed for success. How much does the success of the Night of Owls storyline factor into the success of Talon?
JT: Honestly, quite a bit. This was a major story. One of the biggest in the New 52 and Scott [Snyder] had an idea to come out of that and introduce this new character who could stand on his own — who’s a character we really do think has potential [and] longevity. ...
Of course, a book like this [needed] a story as big and great as Night of Owls. It’s going to make its own case for existence very quickly.
[SCOTT SNYDER: Vampires, Vertigo and collaborationg with Stephen King]
DB: Any possibilities that the Talon will have to deal with anyone from Batman’s rogues’ gallery?
JT: I’d say, not right at the start. That’s always a possibility for later on. We’ll see some of the Bats before the villains.
DB: What’s it feel like working on a new character spawned from an incredibly popular storyline?
JT: It’s a tremendous responsibility. I’m honored to have the chance to do something totally new in the current landscape of the DC Universe. I’m just getting started in this field and am eager to make a play for myself and to be able to go wild and create my own corner with Scott’s help and guidance as my first effort at DC is an incredible honor. ...
I’m doing everything I can to make sure it’s a great series, and that it’s the type of series that I would want to read even if I wasn’t writing it.