|"Beneath the Glass"|
|First Published:||February 15, 2012|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #5|
|Next Issue:||Batman #7|
"Beneath the Glass"Edit
After stabbing the Batman through the back in the underground maze of the Court of Owls, the Talon announces that while he does plan to kill Batman, the vigilante will be given the honour of having his bones displayed in the maze, as a monument to his having been an honourable foe.
Talon holds the Batman's crippled body over his head and calls on the Court, watching from above, to choose how he should die. There follows a cacophony of shouts, calling out for a variety of violent ends. Finally, though, they defer to the judgment of the littlest one - a little girl clutching a doll. She decides that the Talon should hurt him more. Soon, the entire Court is filled with cries demanding more pain from the Batman as the Talon beats him savagely.
With the Batman beaten and broken, the Talon invites the Court down to pick the meat from his bones. Batman feels his strength waning, and his organs bleeding internally. As he leans back, ready to let go, his eye catches the photos on the wall of his ancestor, Alan Wayne. Seeing the look in the man's eyes of pleading for some kind of help; help to stop the Court of Owls.
Batman decides he's had enough, and leaps up, despite his injuries. When the Court realizes that he is still alive, they run off, leaving the Talon to face him once more. Deftly, he dodges the Talon's attacks, and then thrusts him through the wall. Dragging the Talon into the room with a scale model of Gotham City, Batman declares that the model is not the city itself. Like the model, he says that the Talon is nothing; a common criminal doing what he's told. Their fighting destroys the model city, as Batman thrusts the Talon through another wall and into the fountain room.
The Talon falls unconscious, and Batman turns his attention to the Court itself, warning that they can't hide from him. The Batman knows his city right down to its foundations. For example, he knows that the taste of the water in the fountain and the minerals in it suggest that they are near the Gotham River. Similarly, the marble from which base of the fountain is built is white marble, not construction marble. White marble is softer, and more vulnerable to explosions. He also knows that potassium chlorate explodes when it is ignited, and as such, he stole the filament plates from the antique camera in the photo room. Using the Talon's blade, Batman creates a spark to ignite the potassium chlorate in the plates and causes an explosion that blasts a hole in the floor.
Batman crawls to the hole and drops through, landing in one of the underground caverns through which the Gotham River runs, leading back to the Batcave. However, he soon finds that the river is coated in ice, and he no longer has the strength to punch through it. Defeated, he sinks down to the bottom.
Back in the fountain room, an elderly woman who seems to rule the Court of Owls orders that the Talon be disposed of, given that his defeat at Batman's hands will render him useless. She decides ultimately that they should release all of the Talons that they have under their wing.