- If we eliminate their resources and neutralize their Talons, they will be finished! I can't do this alone, Calvin. I've known for weeks that this was the time to strike, but until you returned, I didn't know how.
Appearing in "The Gotham Trap"
- Sebastian Clark (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Gotham Trap"
After 7 years on the run, Calvin Rose has heard about the so-called Night of the Owls, in which nearly 50 of the Court of Owls' Talons made assassination attempts against prominent Gothamites. Fortunately, they were thwarted by the Batman, and many were imprisoned in Blackgate Penitentiary. Not long after, 24 prominent Gotham City businessmen were found dead - poisoned - all wearing Owl masks. Calvin has returned in hopes of verifying that, at last, the Court of Owls is dead.
He heads to the Metropolitan Terminal, a train station designed by the Court of Owls as a trap. Once their enemies came to Gotham, they would find themselves unable to leave the city, whether by torture or murder. The station was a bastion of the Court's influence, until Alan Wayne's Union Station superceded it.
Calvin's infrared goggles indicate that the place is empty, and he infiltrates, hoping to gain access to a computer and determine that activity has ceased - signalling the end of the Court. Unfortunately, though the place is empty, a new door security system discovers and identifies him, sending a message across town to an elderly man, who is annoyed that Calvin has made the mistake of returning to Gotham.
After Calvin rips out the electrical system that identified him, he is surprised to find a female Talon on the other side of the door, who had been unable to open it until now. She is one of a handful of Talons who was not captured, and she is intent on killing Calvin for her masters. Calvin is sadly unaware of the lengths to which the Court went to make their Talons unstoppable, but the resilience of this foe makes clear how outmatched he is. Rather than stay and fight, he drops a smoke bomb, and runs. Hiding around a corner, he prepares a high-tensile cord, and wraps it around the Talon's throat, warning her that if she moves, it will likely slice off her head. While she struggles to free herself, Calvin makes his escape.
The Terminal has a chimney that extends through every floor of the building, leading to a fireplace on the main floor. Knowing this, Calvin leaps down the chimney stack, and painfully rolls out from the hearth. Somehow, the Talon has beaten him to the bottom. Annoyed, but resilient, Calvin gets in close enough to swipe one of her knives, and then thrusts it through her skull. Unexpectedly, she survives it. With one final gambit, Calvin produces a taser, and sends its high voltage through the protruding blade of his knife, sending electricity jolting through the Talon's undead brain.
With the Talon incapacitated, an elderly man steps out of the shadows, and warns that she will not be down for long. Only cold can shut the Talons down for good. He retrieves a vial of liquid nitrogen from his coat, and pours it onto her head, killing her. Weakly, Calvin asks who this man is. He merely responds that he is a friend, before Calvin loses consciousness.
After eighteen hours of sleep, Calvin wakes to find the old man standing over him. The man states that it is time for them to talk, but Calvin instinctively kicks at him, and runs away, escaping into an air-vent. From the hallway below, the man warns that there is nothing at the end of the vent except an air-conditioner. It is a closed system with no way out. He reminds that if he had wanted Calvin dead, he would have left him for the Court. The Court, however, is weak - but not dead. Having had enough, Calvin leaps down onto the man and demands to know how he knows his name.
The man introduces himself as Sebastian Clark, and he hopes that with Calvin's help, they can wipe the Court of Owls from existence. The two of them are the same. The Court took everything from Sebastian, and he ran, just as Calvin has been running. Sebastian believes that together, they can both get vengeance.
Years ago, Sebastian's father Erastus Clark wrote a book explaining the secret history of the Court of Owls, revealing the truth behind Gotham's most frightening folk tale. Nobody in Gotham would dare publish the book, and he had to get it printed by a small press three states away. When the Court found out about it, they killed everyone who had ever heard of the book. Only young Sebastian managed to slip through their grasp. He built a new life for himself in Europe under a new name. When he returned to Gotham, he brought with him an advanced proprietary computer security software, and sold it to the descendants of the people named in his father's book, essentially giving him the electronic eyes and ears with which to spy on them, and plot revenge. From that vantage point, he watched the way in which Calvin was raised, and the way in which he escaped.
Despite the failure of the Night of the Owls, the Court persists, healing. No more than two members have met since they lost Harbor House, their money was siphoned away by a rogue member, and of the forty-six resurrected Talons, only thirty were apprehended. Sebastian believes that if they band together, he and Calvin can launch a subversive attack against those remaining Talons and the Court's dwindling resources, in order to prevent them from rebuilding their control over Gotham - and if they are not challenged, the Court will succeed in doing so.
Calvin is reluctant, but Sebastian warns that it is already too late for him to do anything else. The Court knows he is back, and with these new, undead Talons, they will find and kill him. Likewise, they know where Casey Washington and her daughter are hidden, and will surely kill them as well. Everyone who Calvin cares about will be at risk, so long as the Court continues to exist, and the longer they wait, the greater the risk.
In the eighteen hours that Calvin was unconscious, Sebastian took the liberty of revamping his armour. Together, they could bring down the Court of Owls - and who better to destroy them than one of their own Talons? Realizing the need to protect himself and his loved ones, Calvin dons the costume, a Talon once more.
- No special notes.
- Graffiti in the Metropolitan Terminal reads "Zur-En-Arrh"