The Talon is a trained assassin and enforcer for the Court of Owls.
Absolutely loyal to the Court, they are responsible for controlling the Court's interests with an iron fist whenever their services are needed for an execution. Masters of stealth and concealment, Talons are extremely proficient with knives and experts in hand to hand combat.
A Talon is trained from a young age. Chosen by the Court they are maneuvered to live as acrobats in Haley's Circus until a time when it is deemed necessary to replace the current Talon. After being mentally conditioned and trained a final "test" is administered where the current Talon is pitted against the new Talon in the Court's labyrinth, whereupon, ideally, the new Talon kills the old Talon and takes their place as the Court's enforcer.
The body of the deceased Talon is then entombed in a crypt alongside the bodies of other Talons to honour their service to the Court.
Following the admittance of Lincoln March into the Court, a serum was developed by Mister Freeze that could resurrect deceased Talons with enhanced strength and regenerative abilities.
Talons so revived appear to be unkillable, surviving knives through the skull, electrocution, dismemberment, falling from the height of a skyscraper and even decapitation.
However, a Talon can be "shut down" if exposed to extreme cold. Members of the Court also possess knowledge of a poison developed specifically to kill a revived Talon.
Uriah Boone was one of the first Talons employed by the Court. Active in the early 1600s, Boone was resurrected to fight Batman while Gotham was being ransacked by the Joker, hellbent with an endgame in mind. Boone's weapon of choice is a custom scythe with a chain hook on the bottom. He was defeated by Batman, demanding answers about Joker's origins, in the sewers bellow the city.
Ephram Newhouse - Ephram Newhouse was the Talon of 1665. However, his sloppiness forced the court to retire him, stripping him of his weapons and armor with a mark of disgrace on his record. Four of his knives were stolen by Catwoman centuries later. During the Night of the Owls incident, Ephram was revived and sent by the Court to assassinate Oswald Cobblepot. By sheer coincidence, the Penguin was in possession of the fifth knife which Catwoman had set her own sights on. In the ensuing conflict, Catwoman saved the Penguin's life and promised the five knives back to the Talon preying on his need for redemption in the eyes of the Court of Owls. The Penguin shot him through the head before an exchange could be made, and so Catwoman laid his body on the roof of Gotham City Police Department with his five knives and turned on the Bat-Signal.
Henry Ballard - Henry Ballard was the Talon of 1847 and was encountered by the Birds of Prey during the Night of the Owls incident. He remembered the Gotham City of 1847 as a violent place, and saw the city's present the same way. When he was unmasked, he already had the appearance of an old man. He seemingly regards women as "vermin", suggesting misogyny traits. The Birds of Prey managed to subdue him when Poison Ivy dragged him into a refrigerated train car meant for carrying meat; sedating him and herself with the extreme cold.
The Talon of the 1780s was a killer with a near-perfect record. His sole failure was missing one member of a family he was told to exterminate. He requested the final descendant of that family as his target during the Night of the Owls.
Alexander Staunton - Alexander Staunton was the Talon in 1856. He was effective, but his killings lacked the subtlety the Court of the day felt was essential, and he was retired. During the Night of the Owls he was sent to kill Lucius Fox, but was stopped by Batwing.
Felix Harmon – Felix Harmon was known as "The Gotham Butcher" and was a Talon in the 1860s. A young strongman at Haley's Circus in 1852, he killed 140 civilians the Court had not targeted for execution, as well as two Court members. In 1862, he killed everyone in the Carpenter Home for Orphans and set the building on fire. The Court finally subdued and killed him, placing him in the Tomb of the Unworthy, before he was revived by the Court to kill Calvin Rose. During their final confrontation he has his left arm severed, is cut in half, and beheaded before being placed within a custom built cryo-facility.
The Talon of the 1890s was a woman of Chinese descent. In her time, she was sent to assassinate Thurston Moody, the former deputy head of Gotham Sanitation, who was a member of a terrorist group called the August 7.
Xiao Loong - Xiao Loong was the Talon of the 1890s. He was an acrobat of Chinese descent. In his time, he was sent to assassinate Thurston Moody, the former deputy head of Gotham Sanitation, who was a member of a terrorist group called the August 7.
The O'Malleys – Three generations of O'Malley served as Talons. James O'Malley, his son Brandon, and his grandson Nathaniel. Nathaniel is seen as a failure by his grandfather in particular, especially for having failed to sire an heir. Nathaniel reveals that he chose not to sire an heir so his line would end and cease serving as Talons. All three O'Malley's are revived to serve the Court but Nathaniel later chooses to help Calvin Rose fight the Court.
William Cobb - William Cobb was the Talon of the 1920s is the assassin sent to murder Bruce Wayne during the Night of the Owls. Trained in Haley's Circus, Cobb is the Great-Grandfather of Richard Grayson.
Benjamin Orchard – A Talon in the 1930s for one year. His father made him a Talon as punishment, but only allowed him to serve for one year before having him killed. He is revived for the Night of the Owls incident and guards the Orchard hotel. It is unclear whether or not he survived the partial destruction of the hotel.
Mary Turner - Mary is the Talon of the 1940s. As a child she was horribly disfigured at a young age by a bomb attack from Japan during World War II. During the Night of the Owlns incident, Mary was awakened and sent to coerce Commissioner Gordon into ignoring the assassinations occurring throughout the city. She faces Batgirl, but lets her go, because they both wear masks. After the incident, Catwoman broke Mary out of Blackgate Penitentiary after being hired by a prominent member of the Court. When she realized his motivations, however, Catwoman turned on him with Batgirl and Mary, who turned on her master in the name of friendship with the two women. Batgirl placed Mary with the Birds of Prey and gave her the codename "Strix" (which is Latin for "Owl").
Alton Carver - Alton Carver was the most recent Talon. After undergoing training for twenty-six years, he had become one of the best Talons in the Court's history, but he had also become sloppy. Warned that if he continued to make mistakes, he would be replaced by his chosen successor (Richard Grayson), Carver visited his successor on the night of a mission and knew that the boy would outmatch him. After failing his mission due to interruption from the Batman, Carver was "retired" but not replaced by Grayson due to the boy becoming Bruce Wayne's ward. Awaked during the Night of the Owls incident, Carver was given mayoral candidate Lincoln March as a target but, although March was stabbed, the candidate shot Carver in the head. Unexpectedly, though, Carver revived, and attacked the Batman, who had arrived on the scene. The battle ended with Carver being thrown through a window onto the street below. Despite the fall, he managed to escape into the sewers.
Calvin Rose - Calvin Rose was an escape artist from Haly's Circus. He was trained and then recruited by the Court of Owls. He was the only Talon to ever escape the grasp of the Court of Owls. He is an excellent escape artist and trained assassin. When he given the task of killing an innocent woman and her daughter, Rose decided to flee, and has been on the run ever since.
Similar to Greek mythology, the Court treated the bodies of their Talons with electrum (a highly conductive alloy of silver and gold with trace amounts of copper and other elements). The serum developed by Mister Freeze reacted with the electrum to bring the Talons back to life.
Revived Talons can be returned to their former self with the help of the Lazarus Pit.
In the event that the Court lost control of Gotham, the court would unleash the Elite Talons; beserkers created for the soul purpose of destroying whatever the Court had lost.