Review: Talent – Deluxe Edition

I’m actually pretty excited to be reviewing Talent. Its original release was actually the first comic book from BOOM! Studios that I ever read from the publisher. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; Talent was my gateway book into the world of BOOM! Since I wasn’t writing reviews at the time all I could do was recommend the hell out of this series. To this day it’s very high on my list of books that I would recommend and hopefully with this Deluxe Edition print it’ll drum up enough interest to continue the story that began here.

This was also the series that introduced me to Paul Azaceta’s artwork. Yes long before he was working on Daredevil or Outcast, he was producing some of his best work for BOOM! I’m not kidding, another one of my top recommend books from the company is Potter’s Field, which is another gem from Azaceta. His art is intricate in the success of both stories.

Well what is the story about?

The story begins on a plane that’s about to land at Kennedy International. The flight attendants are making their last rounds and we see one of them give well-wishes to a boxer that has a bout in Madison Square Garden the next day. Another lady folds an origami swan for a little girl sitting across from her in the aisle and lastly we meet Mr. Dane. A flight attendant tells him “Everything is going to be fine” and then the plane’s engine explodes and the plane crashes into the ocean.

Talent_DeluxeEdition_coverDue to a storm it takes twelve hours to send a dive team down to begin recovering the bodies. When they approach they find one person alive and he’s beginning to drown; that man? Mr. Dane.

What follows is a mystery of how he’s been alive underwater for twelve hours without a breathing device or freezing to death. The authorities looking into the case treat him like a terrorist, but is he? According to his history he’s just a mediocre English teacher, but as he sits in the hospital bed folding origami swans you have to wonder…

I think that’s a good enough hook to leave you on. Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski put together an incredible story that has layers and depth built into it. They quickly and flawlessly build an entire fictional world that spans the globe.

The story doesn’t pull any punches. There’s violence, there’s murder and death and the supernatural. It has a little of everything which really makes it fit into numerous genres in my opinion. Golden and Sniegoski produce incredible dialogue that is above all else… believable. The dialogue makes the characters believable as well which is very important for the twist in this story.

As for Azaceta, his linework is thick and rough and yet it still looks very clean. But the extra spots and scruffs give the world a realistic vibe. It’s like the original Star Wars trilogy in that regard; the world looks used and lived in. Everything isn’t clean and that really helps make the story feel like it’s taking place in our world.

Ron Riley’s coloring is the perfect match for Azaceta’s artwork. The muted tones and earthy hues again give the story the presence of taking place in our world. The coloring also is the prefect partner to thick shadowing that accompanies Azaceta’s style.

There’s also a great batch of extras in the back. This includes character sketches, some that are in different styles no less and page breakdowns. It’s pretty interesting especially if you’re interested in the artistic process of making a comic book.

Whatever you read that released this week doesn’t hold a torch to Talent. They could release it again next week and it would still be the best book of the week. The one and only problem is that there’s no follow-up to this amazing story and there really needs to be. I’m dying to know how the story continues and so will you after you read the story. Treat yourself and pick up this Deluxe Edition hardcover because it’s one that you need for your bookshelf.

Score: 5/5

Writers: Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski Artist: Paul Azaceta Colorist: Ron Riley Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $24.99