Talent Deluxe Edition is a wondrous romp of secret society/spy novel style with just a dab of the supernatural . . . not too heavy but enough to bring the best out of both elements.
Minor Spoilers Below
Our main character, Nick Dane, is the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed hundreds of innocent people. He is chosen as the champion of balance and inherits the skills of all the people on board. Trained killers, boxers, as well as smaller talents, like origami.
Balance is huge part of the book, and the book touches on this directly, when our main character is speaking to a mystical creature who is the embodiment of balance, as well as more subtly, like when what could be one panel is split into two parts.
Moreover, we cannot really call our main character a hero. Several times, the powers of balance call on him to commit heinous acts in its service; good and evil just don’t play into it, and even the main character questions the morality of balance only to realize that there isn’t any.
The art seems to go along with the notion of balance, as powerful, evocative lines contrast with downplayed colors. Despite the rather minimalist structure, much evoking Fraction’s Hawkeye, the artist is able to convey emotion effectively through fantastic body language, leading to complex scenes with minimalistic elements.
The book does has a few snags, though. It suffers from girl-in-the-fridge syndrome, as the female characters are rather insubstantial and given little to no development, and yet we are supposed to, by virtue of their damsel in distress nature, feel bad for them.
The whole concept of the undisclosed secret society fused with metaphysics is also rather tired, and the book overall is solid but doesn’t do anything to mix the game up.
As being a deluxe edition, it is the standard fair with a fantastic, little gallery of sketches that are quite enjoyable and bring a lot of life to the comic, as well as the original covers.
Definitely worth a pick up, but it’s not going to do anything amazing.