Synopsis for "Night of the Owls: You Have Been Judged Unworthy."
By 1856, the Court of Owls had grown frustrated with its Talon, Alexander Staunton, whose killing methods lacked the subtlety and stealth that the Court requires. They decided to retire him, though - as with all Talons - there would come a day where he may be of use again.
Now, Lucius Fox inspects the damage to the Batwing Suit, and wonders if he might be allowed to make some upgrades - particularly to its capacity for augmented strength. David Zavimbe and Matu Ba are quite adamant that the suit remain more like armour than a robot, in order to preserve Batwing's manoeuvrability. Instead, they would like aquatic upgrades in order to tackle piracy in Somalia. The upgrades will take two days, so Fox suggests they take some downtime by attending a Batman Incorporated gala. David is hesitant, but Matu accepts the invitation anyway.
That night, the Court of Owls unleashes its army of Talons on Gotham City with the intent to assassinate those high-profile citizens who obstruct the Court's ascendance.
At the gala, David feels uncomfortable in the world of wealth and power. His beginnings were humble, unlike those of Matu. Likewise, his interest in taking advantage of his current position is low, and a disappointment to his friend. They are accosted by Matthew Kalu, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thought the Prime Minister is eager to speak to fellow Africans, David has to bite his tongue. Fortunately, Lucius appears and calls the minister away. David considers Kalu to be little more than a despot; a veritable warlord. Lucius warns him to control his temper, as the U.S. Government supports Kalu - and regardless of his methods, he has brought stability to his region. Sometimes, compromises must be made for the greater good.
Suddenly, David smells smoke, and it becomes clear that the hall has been set on fire. It is most certainly arson, and the arsonist had little care to mask his intent. David investigates, and realizes too late that the fire was meant as a distraction from the murder of several of the diplomats at the gala. Struggling to breath in the accumulating smoke, David hopes that he will be able to gain access to his suit. Nearby, Matu receives a call from Alfred Pennyworth warning that the Court of Owls has made its move.
Security struggles to get Lucius Fox out of the building, despite the fact that the building is practically a fortress. Suddenly, the security agents are killed, and Lucius is faced with the sight of a Talon of the Court of Owls. The Talon announces that Fox has been deemed unworthy by the Court, and sentenced to die. Fortunately, before the Talon can reach Fox, Batwing intervenes.
Matu explains that the Talons attacking all over Gotham City are more than mere men. Thinking that the adjustments made to the suit since facing Massacre will be enough, Batwing fires off armour-piercing tranquilizer darts into the Talon's chest. Though the assassin falls down, Matu warns that he should be given no quarter. David soon realizes that the Talon is capable of regeneration.
Batwing pursues the Talon outside, throwing him down onto the street below, and feeling the assassin's back break and then heal itself within seconds. Matu shouts that the Talon can be subdued by subjection to cold temperatures or massive tissue loss, but Batwing has already lost his advantage. The Talon takes Ambassador Vanul hostage, demanding to be brought Lucius Fox. David can't help but find it ironic that the ambassador - guilty of genocide himself - should now face death at the hands of an assassin. Even so, Lucius steps forward in order to protect Vanul's life.
Knowing he has to think fast, Batwing considers Batman's advice that he should take the opportunity to end any battle as soon as he sees it. He uses explosives meant to blow locks to blast the Talon's arms from his body. The assassin collapses, allowing Batwing the chance to tie him up in the hopes that he can freeze him before he regains consciousness - or worse, grows his arms back.
As Batwing leans over the killer, Ambassador Vanul grovels and praises his rescuer as a kinsman. Disgusted, David knocks him out. Turning to Lucius Fox, Batwing declares that that is how they compromise in Africa.
Appearing in "Night of the Owls: You Have Been Judged Unworthy."
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Night of the Owls.