The Court of Owls is a group of menacing 1% who live in Gotham, controlling it from the shadows in secret since the city was first created.

The group remained hidden from Batman for years and claims Bruce has a brother, taken shortly after birth, given a new name, and was now a Talon -- because that's what you call an Owl's top assassins, obviously, as all secret organizations need to have incredibly intricate themed names for all of their members -- who was here to replace Bruce Wayne. Also, he was mayor of Gotham for some reason.

DC Comics

Owlman, Owlman, 
Does Whatever an Owl Can, 
Shits on Trees, and Eats Bugs, 
He's Not Really That Cool of a Concept Now That I'm Thinking About It

Oh, and Nightwing was meant to be a Talon, too, and had a weird tooth that the Talons had marked him with and used to trace him.

DC Comics

“Don't worry, Dick, I've got it.”

The Court was defeated, a lot of Wayne's family history cleared, but the group stayed in the shadows, still pulling strings, like a group of rustic Illuminati or the Bohemian Grove. The group hasn't been around for long, but their claws have dug deep, appearing in various other media for a while, but it seems like next year will be the year of the Owl as both Gotham Knights and The Batman seem to be ready to put them as their main villain.

Gotham did too, but it's Gotham.

The Batman is, so far, confirmed to be about the Riddler's fight against Gotham's Elite because of some unknown conspiracy that Bruce Wayne seems to be involved in as well. Rumors go that the Court of Owls are who the Riddler's fight is really against, and the film will even involve Robin's childhood home, Haley's Circus, which in the comics is a front for the Court of Owls and a breeding ground for future Talons.

While it's just a rumor for The Batman, the upcoming Gotham Knights game has confirmed them entirely. It will feature Batman's proteges taking over and defending a Gotham that's gone to Hell, plagued by, among others, Mister Freeze and the main villains, Court of Owls, along with their secret talon.

Rocksteady has even started sending out invitations to the Court's next ball, like Jared Leto sending horrible things to his fellow actors, except less horrifying. (It's not hard to be less horrifying than Jared Leto, to be fair.)

The Court of Owls looks to become the Bat's next Joker, appealing to this generation's hatred of wealthy aristocrats who do nothing while blood pours in the streets, as Joker did to the previous generation's hatred of clowns.

While the Court of Owls is an impressive and terrifying group, it does later turns out to be one wing -- eyes, pointing -- of a group called the Parliament of Owls, that's designed to melt evil metal from alternate worlds into Batman so he can become a portal for an evil bat god named Barbatos to climb through, so, ya know, maybe don't hang up those suspenders, Leto.

Warner Bros

Or do … yeah, no, do.

Tara Marie writes words at places like here, Panel X Panel, and the Hard Times. She's also done words at a comic in Trailer Park Boys: Bagged and Boarded. You can tell her how to join the Illuminati at @TaraMarieWords or whisper it while spinning around three times in a circle at midnight.

Top Image: Warner Bros.

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