We've already had a look at Thomas Elliot- later to be Hush- in our last "villains we want to see" post; now it's time for someone else. I'll be turning this into a little series of villains based on my own and other's suggestions, and after this article I'll be putting a few villains per article. This will only only be a larger article because the villains in it would be incredible to see, and, well, they deserve it.
Please note: All characters I talk about are ones whose alter egos/criminal activity would exist reasonably and integrate nicely before Batman exists, and are not created by Batman like the Joker, or around the same age/younger than Bruce, or who have origins heavily tied to Batman, such as Mr Freeze and Two Face. Their earlier selves may be mentioned.
So, a few are probably wondering: who are the Court of Owls?
The Court of Owls are a secret, underground society which have existed in [Gotham](series:1127075) for centuries. Indeed, some say the myths surrounding them existed before even Gotham itself, their existence only a shadowy suggestion in the chilling nursery rhyme told about them passed down generation to generation:
"Beware The Court of Owls, that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from a shadow perch, behind granite and lime.They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed, speak not a whispered word of them...or they'll send The Talon for your head."
First appearing in the 2011 series Batman: The Court of Owls, which reestablished Batman's continuity after the New 52 Flashpoint reboot, the Court are revealed as an ancient conspiracy, one that has controlled Gotham unknowingly for a long, long time, using things ranging from architecture (it sounds odd, but its quite brilliant) all the way to murder to influence the politics of Gotham. The earliest confirmed record of them exists in 1862: plenty early enough to exist in Gotham, even before Bruce starts his crusade.
The Court of Owls first really emerged trying to assassinate Bruce Wayne in the comics, leading to the events of the story, but their shadowy influence is well and truly established to have existed for a long time. Indeed, their creator Scott Snyder actually planted Easter eggs for the Court in earlier mini series Gates of Gotham and his Detective Comics story The Black Mirror.
The Court use highly specialized assassins called Talons. While the leaders of the Court seem to be masked human, the Talons are something else: seemingly mutated, half human, half owl, treated with electrum, which makes them apparently unkillable. Super soldiers, if you like, but more haunting. Prior to Night of the Owls- so in the continuity of Gotham - only one Talon existed at a time, with the new ones being forced to kill the old one and take their place.
So where do they fit into Gotham?
It's been established by now the Court of Owls is an ancient group, and so they would well and truly exist in the time of Gotham, even if not explicitly. Of course, like any villains we introduce, they can only be partially defeated by Gordon and the GCPD, as Batman is really the one who has to take these guys down, and even he struggles.
So they can't be taken out, and they can't be truly infiltrated. A haunting knowledge of them would be good, though, and a conspiracy which ultimately Gordon cannot defeat, plunging us further into the hell which needs Batman to save it. But how the Court can fit in, especially in a crime show that Gotham is setting itself up to be, is through the use of the Talons.
The Talons (with a note on the Graysons):
The Talons are abducted at childhood and trained from Haly's Circus, already knowledgeable in some acrobatics and skills needed for such an expert assassin. Haly's Circus, it is worth noting, is the very same circus which the Flying Graysons perform at, who of course are the family of Dick Grayson, destined to become the first Robin and eventually Nightwing. Dick is far too young to be in Gotham, but his parents Jonathan and Mary Grayson may well be at the circus if they wanted to introduce them. If we got a few seasons to the point that Dick could be born- unlikely without a time jump- we could even see mobster Tony Zucco, another character able to be introduced in the show, even if as a minor character- murder them, leaving Dick orphaned.
Now, back to the point at hand (it's so easy to get lost in this mythos.) The Court of Owls, as mentioned, keep only one Talon at a time up until Batman intervenes. Still, in Gotham, a Talon would exist, as would several named members of the Court of Owls who could be introduced on the show.
In Gotham, Gordon and Bullock could investigate the abduction of a child at Haly's Circus, surrounded by fearful circus performers not really wanting to have them involved. After they prod too far, the Court could order their assassination, and the first Talon would enter, who could actually be defeated (the only way to defeat a Talon is from a special poison developed by the Court, but this could be introduced) without damaging the Court of Owls continuity, and they would fade into the background, likely vowing vengeance or letting the matter go. Not only would this prove to be a good story grounded in the crime show feel with a kidnapping, it would add layers to the corruption and insecure feeling that the creators will likely try to create as the show goes on.
They would be undefeated, but linger on, waiting for the arrival of Batman, a threatening presence still unknown to most, with Gordon still not really aware of who they are or what they not. Done right, they could fit very nicely into Gotham, and it would be our chilling first look at them in live action.
So, what do you think? Should the Court of Owls make it into Gotham? Any suggestions for our next edition of villains we want to see? Let me know!