Thank God that Batman is still alive. I thought that he would have taken a nose dive! The Court of Owls are still around - and they are getting ready to hound - some very poor chap in a wig called Clive. Sort of. As Written by Scott Snyder; Drawn by Greg Capullo; and Published by DC Comics in April 2012.

So what’s the STORY morning glory?
'The Talon Strikes' is basically a lead in story to whatever 'The Court of Owls' are going to do next to Gotham City. Though, if what they have done to Batman so far is anything to go by! Oh boy! This burg is in a whole heap of trouble!

You see, this secret society has tortured the Dark Knight for quite some time now, holding him hostage, beating him up, before he just about manages to escape by the very skin of his teeth. Moreover, when he finally trundle's back to Wayne Manor, guess who he finds hanging around in the Bat-cave? No - not Alfred in a thong - a half-dead Talon with tubes stuck out of him, who Alfred salvaged when he received Bruce's distress signal last issue.

Oh! And while I am on the subject of distress, that's what Dick (Nightwing) Grayson becomes when Bruce tells him how Talon is related to him (click here for Nightwing 7 review). And so too will the people of Gotham City when... ahem... 'The Talon Strikes'... a lot of them.

To be continued...

What is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
As soon Batman is brought back to life, I liked his glib conversation with his girl-saviour.

GIRL: Wait!
BATMAN: Who are you?
GIRL: It's just... me.
GIRL: I am sorry, the jumpers were all I had. You flat-lined and this is my bosses van and...
BATMAN: I told you once already, leave me alone. And I mean it.

Like a seventies gangster flick in tone, huh?

What was the BEST thing about this issue?
Please note, I did read Nightwing 7 prior to reading this book, so the whole Dick / Talon connection knocked me for a six already. Still, whilst saying that, I did like the mirrored inclusion of that revelation in this issue (or is that visa-versa?), because this time it was more from 'Bruce's perspective' than Dicks.

What was the WORST thing about this issue?
Errr...? Hmmm...? There is that...? Or maybe...? Then again...? Oh! One minute! Got it. How did Alfred carry the Talon all by himself back to the Batcave? This issue is rubbish! How preposterous a notions! HAhahahahaHHAH! Sorry, I cannot fault this issue at all. My bad. 

What was the most CREATIVE thing about this issue?
STORY: Primarily I thought that the mirrored conversation with Nightwing 7 was a very creative instance to this instalment. But in addition to this, I also enjoyed Batman's evolving emotional demeanor throughout this issue, from weary, to scared, to roguish - very clean.

ART: I loved the way that artist, Greg Capullo, drew one of Batman's eyes more predominant than the other one in the initial half of this story. OK, I know that this may sound like a silly thing for me to like. It's just that it did give off the effect that it was meant to - 'a battle scorned warrior' - and gave Batman that 'Scarecrow look'.  

If you had to CAST TWO CHARACTERS in this comic book, who would they be and why?
ALFRED: This one is a no brainier for me. With Alfred, you need a smooth talking English gent who you can imagine tendering to someone with obsessive compulsive behaviour. Just add a tash to Nigel Havers from Brit-Soap 'Coronation Street', and well will have some tea mo-fo.

THE GIRL: For the young girl who saved Bruce, you need someone with that 'Tom Boy' look. How about a young Ellen Page? 

If this issue had a MOVIE TAG LINE, what would it be?
It's All In The Family Now! Owls' On A Rampage.

If this issue were a MOVIE, an OBJECT, or a piece of MUSIC, what would that be and why? 
Conceptually this issue was a precursor to something that is going to be big and dramatic. Plus it has some family connotations associated with it as well. 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith'? It does have a bit of a shouting match between Master and Student in this flick, huh?

FINAL thoughts...
BOOOM! Scott Snyder's Bat-Opus has finally kicked into its next gear; I just hope that all of this cross-over malarkey does not hinder what he has presented to us so far is all. OK, I know that I sound like a moaning Minnie. I am just a mite concerned that this cross-over will do what most cross-over's do - f*ck all.

Though I suppose we just have to wait and see, huh?   

MARKS out of 10? 9