(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
We first saw Talon falling to Earth wrapped in a ball of flame in War of Kings: Darkhawk #1. The alien birdman crash-landed next to the home of Chris Powell, the young hero known as Darkhawk. Much to Powell’s surprise, Talon bore a similar resemblance to his armored form!
Talon didn’t have time to explain at the moment because he was followed to Earth by a Hunter Drone, a massive robotic creature designed to destroy their kind – The Fraternity of Raptors. Together, Talon and Darkhawk fought the Drone, and after Darkhawk instinctively reconfigured his armor into a more powerful form, the two of them destroyed the beast.
During the battle, Powell’s family was hurt and hospitalized. Darkhawk blamed their injuries on Talon, so the next time they met, Darkhawk attacked him. Talon was the superior fighter, and subdued Darkhawk as he explained his intentions. Talon traveled a great distance to find and teach Chris exactly how to use his Darkhawk armor (or so he then said), especially since it wasn’t designed for humans. He briefly told him of The Fraternity of Raptors, and how they were the only two that remained.
Talon also informed Powell that they were the only ones who could save the future of the universe. Darkhawk calmed himself and listened to what Talon had to say. It wasn’t long before Darkhawk was following Talon into the Negative Zone to begin what he thought to be his training.
Upon entering the Zone, Talon and Darkhawk trespassed in the territories belonging to Catastrophus, a minor lord in the service of Annihilus. They were attacked immediately by Catastrophus’ minions, and Chris was put off by how easily Talon was able to exterminate his opponents. Again, Darkhawk fought with his mentor, and again, he was easily defeated. Talon offered all the praise and encouragement of a true teacher with the hope his pupil would succeed, and soon Talon led Darkhawk to the fortress of Catastrophus.
After scouting the area, Talon led the charge against overwhelming odds, and Darkhawk was soon overrun. Darkhawk cried out for help, but Talon urged him to reconfigure his armor, claiming he was unable to aid him. In actuality, Talon was watching from a safe distance on the sidelines.
Darkhawk did indeed reconfigure his armor and slaughtered his foes. Talon resurfaced, but Darkhawk was angered he was forced to murder living beings.
Then suddenly, Darkhawk, now fully bonded with his armor, saw visions of what The Fraternity of Raptors really was, and it wasn’t entirely how Talon described. Darkhawk attacked Talon for a third time, but Talon’s experience beat Powell down, even in his more powerful form. Then Talon confessed he only needed Powell to bond with his amulet, so he could obliterate him from it — permanently. Once Talon forced Darkhawk out, he was able to summon the armor’s true owner – Razor!
Disoriented because of his extended stay within the Null Void, Razor needed some time to get up to speed, but even as Talon debriefed him on their current state of affairs, the two Raptors continued to battle the forces of Catastrophus. Talon assured Razor what they were doing was a necessity, and eventually the two found themselves face to face with Catastrophus himself. The Insect King was more mouth than mettle, and he was killed almost instantly. However, it wasn’t his death they were after, but rather what he was guarding. The Cosmic Control Rod was now in their possession, and they brought it to Blastaar in exchange for his help.
The king of the Negative Zone needed further persuading, thinking he was invincible now that he had possession of the Rod, so Talon relinquished the item until such a time a bargain could be struck. Talon told Blastaar to lay siege to the worlds governed by Ravenou in order to gain the favor of Vulcan. Talon then departed to seek out the emperor of the Shi’ar.
Talon found his intended target just as he was about to be obliterated by one of the new Inhuman sentries, and saved Vulcan’s life claiming the emperor was under his protection. Introductions were made, and explanations given about both Talon and the Fraternity of Raptors. The Raptors were founded to preserve the sanctity of the Shi’ar Imperium, and Talon had plans to keep Emperor Vulcan in power. That was until he saw exactly how demented Vulcan actually was. Talon gave his opinion on the state of the war, and with Vulcan unwilling to listen, Talon changed his mind about keeping him in power.
Vulcan lashed out at Talon, but a quickly erected force field prevented Talon from being injured. Talon left the company of the Shi’ar to rejoin his Fraternity brother once more, unaware Darkhawk had resumed control over Razor’s body again.
Upon reuniting, Darkhawk revealed the truth about Razor’s demise, and the Raptors battled for a final time. During the battle, Talon’s host — an injured Skrull — forced the change back to his original state and made Darkhawk promise to hunt down the remaining crystals of the Fraternity and destroy them right before throwing himself into the engine core of a Shi’ar ship, seemingly destroying himself and Talon’s crystal.
Back on the Shi’ar homeworld, Gladiator tried to hold his people together while the Inhumans decided who would rule over the Shi’ar. One of his advisers was already planting a seed which could lead to a war with Earth, but she appeared to be loyal to Gladiator. When the Inhuman, Crystal, convinced Gladiator to become the new ruler of the Shi’ar people, the female adviser privately revealed herself to be Talon in disguise. Talon was content with their choice — for the present.
With the creation of the Fault, a rip in space/time, Talon used his camouflage abilities to stow away aboard the Starjammer in the guise of Smasher as Gladiator sent an elite group of Imperial Guard along with Ch’od and Raza of the Starjammers on an exploration mission. Once in the Fault, the group came under attack by several hostile entities, and Talon turned the chaotic situation to his advantage. He did some investigating of his own and found two more amulets which would birth more of his brethren. He made a major mistake by disabling the craft they flew into the Fault with, and his deception was uncovered by Mentor.
Acting on the orders of her new praetor, Plutonia seized the amulets, holding them hostage, while Talon was questioned. The interrogation would have to wait as the Guard was attacked by the deadliest foe yet. If not for the intervention of Gladiator, all would have perished. Talon’s fate was not assured as Gladiator demanded he pay for the murder of Lilandra, but Talon swore it was Darkhawk who committed the crime. As their very survival came into question, Mentorand Plutonia volunteered to undergo the permanent bond with the amulets in order to increase their chances of making it out of the Fault alive.
What Talon and his growing number of Raptors has planned next is anyone’s guess. And may remain thus, one of the many, many threads of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s cosmic opus cut off prematurely by Marvel ED.