For those wanting more of the female Talon Batgirl met in issue #9, this issue should be quite satisfying. We learn that this Talon has been incarcerated, with less than humane treatment, even for a wanton terrorist and criminal. It turns out, as with all Talons, she wasn’t given much of a choice in choosing her line of work, which makes her a somewhat sympathetic figure. We also learn that none other than Catwoman has taken it upon herself to bust Talon out of prison, for reasons that aren’t quite made clear, at first.
This plot thread inevitably meets up with Batgirl’s inquiry into recent arsonist attacks that have taken place throughout Gotham, involving the destitute. Speaking of which, I thought it was a nice touch to show just how unique Barbara’s, um, methods can sometimes be from her fellow Gotham crime fighters. It turns out they all have a common enemy who is hell-bent on destruction and murder. Will all three of these very different personalities – Batgirl, Catwoman, and Talon – be able to work together to take down this threat… or will they eventually be forced to rip each others’ throats out? That’s the main crux of this issue that everything hinges upon.
While the story itself is well-told and the characterizations are spot on, as usual, I couldn’t help but feel something was missing from this annual. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I almost felt as if Batgirl herself was absent in this issue, in a way. Or her usual spunky attitude, anyway. It actually felt like Catwoman was more the main character here than Batgirl… which is all good, I suppose, since I’m a fan of her’s, as well. We do get to see a more heroic and humane side to Selina, which I thought was nice.
Admira Wijaya’s lifelike art definitely adds something special to this issue and it really felt like I was watching a movie, at times, but I have to admit that I’ve been spoiled by Ed Benes’ pencils lately. His absence was most assuredly felt. Wijaya’s no slouch, though. Make no mistake about that. It’s just that this realistic sort of art makes everything and everyone look stiff, whereas traditional comic art compliments action sequences better… if that makes any sense. The sudden switch to Daniel Sampere’s art on page 26 doesn’t help, either, as the style is noticeably different. That’s one of my pet peeves when I’m reading a comic: when they change artists midway through the story. It’s distracting to me. Don’t get me wrong. Sampere’s art is fine enough. It’s just that it clashed with Wijaya’s. Whatever happened to an artist completing an entire issue?
While this was really only a minor criticism, the issue was still enjoyable. Amazing, in fact. It was great to get a continuation of Batgirl #9 and I actually hope to see more of this Talon in the future, as well as Catwoman playing a more heroic role. I just sort of missed Batgirl this issue. 7.5/10