- Your tenure may be reaching its horizon, Carver... unless you prove yourself worthy.
Appearing in "Night of the Owls: I Can No Longer Be Broken"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Lincoln March (Apparent Death)
- Flying Graysons
- Red Robin
Synopsis for "Night of the Owls: I Can No Longer Be Broken"
A Talon of the Court of Owls was chosen to assassinate the prominent Gotham businessman and mayoral candidate Lincoln March. Despite managing to stab March in the chest, the Talon's aging body is unprepared for March's resilience. March manages to use a taser on his attacker, and after knocking him back, shoots him through the head. As the bullet enters his brain, the Talon's last thought is with regard to whom the looming shadow entering the room could be.
Years ago, Alton Carver began his life as all other Talons would: as an acrobat with Haly's Circus. The current ringmaster had grown tired of Alton's inability to perform on the high-wire, knowing that the time to give him up to the Court of Owls was coming soon. Alton was afraid, and the ringmaster warned that he must not fear anything, and would not, once he knew death. Taking a torch, the ringmaster set Alton Carver's trailer on fire with the boy still inside. He waited nearby until Carver had faced death and his fears, and emerged from the flames - badly burnt, but alive, and ready to become a Talon.
By the time twenty-six years had passed, Carver had become one of the most skillful Talons the court had seen. As such, he held the mantle longer than most, but as he grew older, his skills began to dull. On one of his missions, he had allowed three police officers to go unchecked long enough that he was required to kill them in order to escape. He disposed of their bodies, along with his victim's, but the Court grew angry, reminding him that the missing police officers would create a media frenzy. He had made too many mistakes, and a replacement was already being prepared. He would be retired as Talon unless he could prove himself worthy.
With his new, and potentially final mission given, Carver couldn't help but tarry at Haly's Circus to see the boy who would become his replacement. Peeking through the curtains, he witnessed the Flying Graysons in action, and knew immediately that Richard Grayson could and would replace him. This filled him with fear.
Having delayed too long at the circus, Carver found his target in the streets and staged his attack there, clumsily. Attacking out in the open was a mistake, punctuated by the arrival of something he had never seen before. He was seen and stopped by a man dressed as a giant bat. Rather than fight, he ran away, leaving his mission incomplete. He returned to the Court broken and ashamed. He was retired, and put to sleep, where he dreamed of the creature that was the instrument of his failure.
Years later, the Court called on Carver again. Not just Carver, but numerous sleeping Talons were wakened in the hopes of sealing the Court's hold over Gotham City by snuffing out the lives of prominent Gothamites who stood in the Court's way. Mayoral candidate Lincoln March was chosen as Carver's target.
After stabbing March through the chest, Carver's had the briefest of moments to see his target point a gun at his head, and then again, that giant bat-like creature which had haunted him for so long appeared. As the bullet made contact, Carver's vision faded, and he hoped at last to accept peace.
However, Alton Carver wakes from his brief death. His vision clears enough to see that the monster he had feared for so long is not a monster, but a man. A man can be killed. The Talon leaps on Batman, and, realizing that his prey has encountered other Talons this night, he warns that death is but a wound to him. Batman responds, that he will not hesitate, then, to wound him.
Carver knows immediately that he is beaten, and Batman unleashes a kick to his chest that sends him hurtling out the window of March's office. Batman watches as the Talon's body explodes into a splatter of grey blood. Even though the Talon appears to be dead, he is sure that the killer will return, and orders his younger protégés to find him.
Batman's instincts prove true, as Carver has found his way into the sewer system. He is sure that there is nothing that can kill him, given that in this night alone, he has wakened from death twice. Now that he has nothing to fear from death, Alton Carver fears nothing at all.
- This book was first published on May 23, 2012.
- Lincoln March's death is shown from Batman's perspective in Batman #9.
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