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Interview: James Tynion IV Talks TALON

We catch up with one of DC's newest writers to discuss his work on Talon and what readers can expect to see in the series' third issue and beyond.

We are currently two issues into TALON, the latest DC series being written by James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder which centers around a character named Calvin Rose. For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, it is an off-shoot of Snyder's work on the 'Court of Owls' story arc. The series features Rose, a former Talon and a man by the name of Sebastian Clark. Each of these two men wants to enact their revenge on the Court of Owls, but they have two very different means to that similar end. If they want to take down the Court, they are going to need one another. We recently caught up with the series' writer, James Tynion IV and asked him questions about the current series as well as questions about what characters readers can expect to pop up in the coming issues.

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Comic Vine: You and Scott both came up with the idea for Calvin Rose, Right?

James Tynion IV: Absolutely, yes. Back when they were first talking about the TALON series, Scott and I sat down and debated whether or not we wanted to dig into. We went home separately and came up with a few ideas and then from there we started building the character and the story we wanted to tell. It's been a really fun ride and it's been great introducing Calvin to the world. I love the character and I think he comes alive a little bit more in each issue.

CV: In the first issue we find out that the Court of Owls and their Talons are still very much alive and continue to be a threat in Gotham even though they have been weakened by Batman. How do you plan to continue integrating them into Calvin's story and for how long?

JT: Well, for the how long we're going to have to wait and see a little bit, but I think really the first two issues set up who Calvin was and what his real mission is going to be as the series progresses. The next few issues are really going to show him out on the attack for the very first time. We're talking about a guy who spent his life on the run, and is kind of antithetical to everything he has done before to not turn around and fight. So, this is something he's going to have to adjust to, as well as working with a collaborator in Sebastian Clark. I think that the Talons and the Court -- as we see them in the next few issues -- are certainly going to notice that this old, wayward Talon has turned his attention back to the Court and is going to start some trouble, and they are going to have to retaliate in a way that Calvin never would expect and it's going to put him in a very dangerous position in the issues to come.

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CV: The Talon that appears in the first issue to attack Calvin Rose, will she return to pose a threat to Calvin in future issues?

JT: After the fight with Calvin in that issue, Sebastian neutralized her. We will find out further down the line that she has been picked up and moved over to Blackgate [prison] along with the other Talons who were apprehended, but we are going to see a number of Talons in the next several issues including ones who are sent directly to fight Calvin as opposed to ones who are simply protecting the assets of the Court, like the Talon we saw in #1 and the many more that were implied later in the issue.

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CV: By the end of issue #1 we saw the alliance forge between Sebastian and Calvin, but is this everything? We did receive a brief explanation behind Sebastian's motives to take down the Court, but will we be learning more about the character?

JT: Absolutely. Sebastian is a key character from issue #1, on in this series. He is going to be the sort of the vision aster of Calvin's work in the next…all the issues to come. His relationship to Calvin is key to this series and we are going to see that it's not exactly an easy relationship starting with issue #2, their first real mission together. Neither of them are used to working with another person so they are going to come head-to-head a little bit, and their relationship will develop from there. There is a lot more to come about who Sebastian Clark is and what his relationship and animosity to the Court is, and that all started in issue 1 and continues in issue 2 and beyond.

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CV: So this is a related question, how would you describe their relationship and how do you plan to mold it?

JT: Well, I would say that it is antagonistic at first just because they aren't used to operating with a partner. What Sebastian Clark is going to want is someone who is going to do exactly what he says and follows the missions he's planned out to a 'T,' and Calvin hasn't had to listen to anyone in over 7 years and he doesn't like the idea of someone sitting at a computer, telling him what to do. That's really going to reign on them even though they have very similar goals and aspirations…We'll see them come together after that adversarial relationship because they both want the same thing in the end, although they want that thing for different reasons.

CV: In the preview for the third issue of the series we see Calvin fighting a blonde woman. Can you tell us about who he is fighting and why in these few pages?

JT: Issue #3 is going to bring us to New York City where Calvin is going to run into people from his own past. These are people related to his past in New York City, so I can't reveal to much about it just yet but I think there are a whole batch of characters that come into play starting with issue #3, including the two you see in the preview and they are not too happy to be seeing Calvin when he first arrives.

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CV: So they know him previously then? There's a history there?

JT: I think we'll have to wait and see there…they are aware of him because of his history in New York City.

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CV: So Calvin, like Dick Grayson, has a connection to Haly's Circus. Do you plan on integrating the Circus into his story, and how important is Haly's Circus to him.

JT: It has a very close place to his heart. Because, essentially, over in NIGHTWING Kyle Higgins has been playing with the connection between the Court of Owls and Haly's Circus, I didn't want to double dip into that too quickly. But I would say that there is history to explore there in the connection between those two characters and their relationship to Haly's Circus where both of them started to form into the men they are today.

CV: Any plans to incorporate -- no pun intended -- Calvin into the Bat-Family? Do you foresee any team-ups between Calvin and Batman or any of his supporting characters in the near future?

JT: Well, I'd say first we're going to have to see how Batman feels about someone running around Gotham and the whole DC Universe wearing a Talon costume especially after the event in Batman in the last year. We're going to see how Batman feels about what Calvin's up to in the next batch of issues, but I don't think he's going to be joining the Bat-Family just yet, I'd say.