Battle of the Birds
I'm not sure how I feel about the switch from Jesus Saiz / Javier Pina to Travel Foreman. It definitely works well for this specific story. Instead of the smooth 'secret agent' feel of the 'first arc,' we get more of a creepy horror vibe. The opening double page spread is absolutely awesome, and the tatters of this Talon's outfit make him look so creepily badass. But a lot of the facial expressions are really off, and some of the body proportions are a bit wonky. But the action has some really cool flow to it. I don't know. Foreman's definitely better suited to a less traditional more horror oriented comic.
Like a good Night of the Owls story, this one DOES do something a little different. We get to see a bit of what this Talon sees, and that's just awesome. I'm not sure if he's a little more broken, or if all Talons are this messed up, but he sees his opponents as if they were more suited to his time period. And Katana looks like a demon. It's a really interesting idea, and seeing his narration as he attempts to rationalize things from the present day keeps things interesting, and surprisingly doesn't paint him in a positive light.
The characters are all really well utilized here, Katana's inability to absorb a soul from the Talon, Black Canary's shock as Talon takes a Canary Cry at point blank range, Starling's Tim Burton focused jokes... and the Talon provides a proper level of antagonism. It takes all five of them to take him down, and even then they need to rely on taking advantage of a weakness to put him out of commission.
I feel like the editor's note that points out that the church they run into was the same one from the first issue was obnoxiously unnecessary. Black Canary pretty much points it out in the least expositionary manner. She explains it in a way that flows nicely, and makes you feel clever if you notice it... you know, if it hadn't been pointed out to you.
Then the story creates a hook to the next arc in a really awkward way. "Oh by the way, I made a promise to Poison Ivy, so the next arc is totally going to deal with that." Yeah, THAT'S a clever way to hook the next arc. Oh and what about Choke? What about the network of spies trying to get Black Canary for killing her husband? Seriously, what the hell Swierczynski? Drag on a story past the point of aggravation and then leave it hanging and move on to another story?
In Conclusion: 3/5
Yeah, it's pretty good. It does something different than the rest of the Night of the Owls story, but overall its still far from the best. Travel Foreman's art certain works well for this particular story, but doesn't make me feel confident about his fit for the rest of the series. If you REALLY like Night of the Owls, you'll find something to enjoy about this issue, but if you're just trying to pick the best tie-ins, this one can be skipped.