"True Strength": In Gotham City, Casey Washington escapes from an interview room at GCPD Headquarters after firing off a gun in the public library in order to escape the clutches of the Court of Owls. This is troubling to
- I win by running. That's how I'm strong.
- -- Calvin Rose
Appearing in "True Strength"
- Malicia (Dies)
- The Professor
- Sebastian Clark (Apparent Death)
- Outsider (Cameo)
- Court of Owls
Synopsis for "True Strength"
In Gotham City, Casey Washington escapes from an interview room at GCPD Headquarters after firing off a gun in the public library in order to escape the clutches of the Court of Owls. This is troubling to Commissioner Gordon because as far as the the government is concerned, Casey Washington was declared dead after she disappeared 7 years ago.
In Santa Prisca, Bane taunts Calvin Rose, pointing out that the escape artist never learned to fight - only to run. Unashamed, Calvin intends to do what he does best, and orders his recently arrived friends to scatter.
In the depths of Pena Dura, Anya runs for her life from the Venom fuelled villainess Malicia. Unafraid, Anya explains how her uncle was a KGB officer who sold her at auction in the city of Eth Alth'eban when she was twelve. Ra's al Ghul had taken her in and trained her in the art of swordplay - an art he had been perfecting for more than 700 years.
Elsewhere, Edgar and Joey find themselves led into a dead end, where a voice rings over an intercom. The man behind the microphone explains that history is repeating itself. On the very day that Bane took power, five green berets infiltrated the prison to assassinate him. They were subdued and delivered to the Professor, who used Venom to change them. Only one of them survived, but his brain was affected. Soon, that one crashes through the wall and attacks both men.
In the darker depths of the prison, Bane warns Calvin that he does not have the same negative feeling for the prison that once held him that Calvin himself has for any prison after his upbringing. He spent years alone in Pena Dura, and found strength in that solitude. Calvin's running from his prison disgusts him.
Back in Gotham, Casey is at the mercy of the Butcher, who is frustrated by her failure to scream. In response, she sends a high voltage charge through his body, having secreted a police taser onto her person during her escape. In rage, the Butcher warns that he will make her scream before she dies, but, finally, Batman intervenes. This is welcome for the Butcher, who has been eager to fight him. Batman's first act is to thrust a grapple through the Talon's chest, admitting that he has done this before, and he believes it will work again. Connecting the other end of the grapple to a nearby construction crane, the Butcher is yanked away suddenly, as the connecting cord retracts.
Injured and exhausted, Casey wheezes that the Court of Owls still has her daughter Sarah. Batman warns that she needs a doctor, but Casey insists that he must save Sarah - with Calvin Rose's help. As the Commissioner rushes out onto the roof in response to the commotion, Batman orders him to get Casey to a hospital while he returns his attention to the dangerous Talon. Unfortunately, the Butcher has already escaped.
Joey and Edgar manage to cooperate in taking their brute down by sending a stone pillar toppling down on top of him. As they run for their lives they are surprised to find Anya defeated her opponent ages ago, thanks to her superior swordfighting, and she gives them little time to rest before they are to steal a plane and recover Calvin.
Annoyed by Bane's attempts to psychoanalyze him, Calvin explains that his ability to escape is his strength. He hadn't brought Bane down into the depths of the prison to give him a head-trip, but because he had spent hours studying the pipe layouts of the prison. Spraying acid in Bane's face, Calvin explains that he has already won. He will grapple straight up a pipe that Bane cannot fit inside, and meet with his friends above. Then, he will go to Gotham and let everyone know about Bane's plans to conquer the city. While he may not be able to best Bane in physical combat, he has beaten him with strategy.
Above, Calvin rendezvous with Anya, Joey, and Edgar. Thanks to Bane's high-tech planes, they can escape back to Gotham within the hour. En route, Calvin insists on trying to contact Casey's via her radio frequency. He is surprised when Batman answers instead. Though he expects the vigilante to chastise him, Calvin is horrified to learn that Casey was gravely wounded, and may not survive.
Angry that his plans have been ruined, Bane no longer has any use for Sebastian Clark. The former grandmaster of the Court of Owls demands the opportunity to exact his revenge, but he is interrupted by an Outsider, who claims that Bane can still conquer Gotham - if by different means. With another offer on the table, Bane slams Clark's head into the ground, and turns to the newcomer for an explanation.
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