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Birds of Prey (Volume 3) Issue 21

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"Talon vs. Talon"
Birds of Prey Vol 3-21 Cover-1
General Information
Series: Birds of Prey
Issue Number: 21
First Published: June 19, 2013
Previous Issue: Birds of Prey #20
Next Issue: Birds of Prey #22


SynopsisEdit

"Talon vs. Talon"Edit

After narrowly escaping a Court of Owls lab, Batgirl and Strix are surprised to be attacked by another Talon. This is a problem, because Strix is still weak from having been frozen in a solid block of ice by Mister Freeze, and Batgirl worries that she will not be able to hold her own long enough for her to recuperate. Even so, in her fighting with him, Batgirl notices that he seems to be holding back in order to keep from hurting her. Despite this, he separates her from Strix, locking her in the stairwell by jamming the door to the roof. With Strix at his mercy, Calvin Rose announces that she has been sentenced by the Court of Owls to die, and he is her executioner.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of their fight with Freeze, Condor attempts to recover the hard drive from one of the computers in the lab, but finds that Black Canary is preoccupied with other thoughts. She is stunned that Starling, whom she had grown to trust, had turned on her and aligned with Freeze. Condor confides that he too knows the sting of betrayal - all too well. The pair receive a call from Batgirl, who warns that a Talon is attacking Strix on the roof.

Outside, Strix forces the Talon off of the roof, and the two collide with the pavement below with great force. She recovers before he does, and contemplates finishing him then and there. However, after regarding him for a moment, she decides to abandon him on the street, and climb back up onto the roof. Moments later, Calvin wakes, realizing that Strix had shoved them off of the building in order to protect Batgirl - like he protects Casey and Sarah Washington. He wonders why she would have let him recover from the fall, but he forces such thoughts aside, knowing that the Court owns him now, and returns his attention to the woman climbing the wall.

Condor manages to break down the door, and does reconnaissance from the air, finding that neither Strix nor the Talon are on any of the nearby roofs. Still, Batgirl is sure that Strix is somewhere in the building. Unfortunately, the building is large, so they decide to split up, and search the whole place.

Despite reading that she had extreme agility and speed, Calvin notices that Strix is moving more slowly than she expects to, and it gives him opportunities he wouldn't normally get. While he has been killed and revived by the Court, he can keep his loved ones alive by doing the Court's bidding, and killing Strix. Despite having been slowed down, though, she does not go down easily.

Meanwhile, Dinah is confused as to why Condor chose not to split from her, to cover more ground. In fact, she has grown fed up with the mystery of just why he chose to join the team, and why he won't leave her side. At this, he utters her real name, which only serves to confuse her more. He explains that he was also a spy, in earlier days, and he is certain she is not responsible for the death of her husband Kurt. With that said, he begins to remove his helmet, conceding that it is only fair that she see his face, after his seeing hers every day. She attempts to dissuade him, but he insists, introducing himself as Ben. He explains that the real reason he joined the Birds of Prey was to be close to her. Though he admits that he has important things to tell her, she stops his mouth with a kiss.

Meanwhile, Calvin resolves that he must stop holding back if he wants to finish Strix off, and he smashes one of the eye-pieces in her mask, revealing a portion of her scarred face. Looking into her real eyes, Calvin sees how badly she's been hurt in her life, and knows she doesn't deserve death by his hand. Throwing his weapons aside, he drops to his knees, knowing that in doing so, he fails Casey and Sarah. Rather than slice off his head, as he expects her to do, Strix gets on her knees as well, and scrapes the word "who?" into the floor in front of him. He responds that he speaks of people he loves; people who will be tortured and killed if he doesn't bring back proof that he killed Strix to the Court. He reveals that the Court wants her bloodied uniform and residue from her body, explaining that a syringe he holds contains chemicals meant to dissolve her tissue.

Unexpectedly, Strix stands and begins leading him away. Surprised, Calvin follows, knowing that whatever she knows might be able to save them both.

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