Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: David Finch
Company: DC Comics
Sadly, the copy that accompanied the solicit for this issue stated that it dealt with the return of Red Robin as he faces down against one of the Talons. The cover of the book seems to support this. In truth, none of that actually happens. The entire book is more or less devoted to the life and times of a Talon. It's basically more of the humanizing nature of the men behind the mask that we've seen in Batgirl and Red Hood. It isn't particularly bad, in fact the work here by Winick (who's stepping in to pen this issue), is by far the best of the batch of that kind of work. Still, I don't think it's necessary and it takes away from the Terminator mentality and the threat that they present that seems more prominent in the main Batman title. Finch's artwork is just that, Finch's artwork. Personally, it has never really resonated with me, but there's nothing wrong with it. His anatomy is fine and the readability is easy and approachable. There is a choppiness to some of the line work, but that's simply his style. All in all, it's a decent issue, but much of it isn't needed in the long run.
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Company: DC Comics
Not exactly what you would call essential reading for the Night of Owls crossover, but Gray and Palmiotti handle the tie-in in about the best way possible. Instead of making an entire issue about Hex & Arkham taking on a Talon and subverting the story that they have been telling, they cleverly weave both things together into a single cohesive tale. We get a conclusion to the August 7 story, while at the same time learn how the Court weaseled their way into the lives of the elite in Gotham circa this time period. Moritat's take on the Talon is great too. The Western meats almost Steampunk vibe sings on the page and has that quintessential coolness to it. Really, every panel that he provides here packs a wallop of a punch, as Amadeus Arkham finds out. Gray and Palmiotti have done a hell of a job keeping the momentum in an upward swing with All Star Western. Adding in characters like Nighthawk and Cinnamon and pitting their frame of mind against Hex's makes for such a fun affair. That and having great artists on both the main feature and the back up doesn't hurt either.