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Off My Mind: Why the Court of Owls Will Make Batman a Stronger Hero

If he manages to survive, he will have learned quite a bit about himself.

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How many times has there been arguments that Batman is the best hero around? He is a non-superpowered hero that has the means to take on anyone. It's often said that given enough prep. time, he will easily find a way to take on any threat. His contingency plans have contingency plans. There isn't anything he is not prepared for. Except his overconfidence.

When Bruce Wayne's life was threatened and signs pointed to the Court of Owl, Batman immediately dismissed. Early on, before becoming Batman, he investigated the existence of the Court. He was determined that they had something to do with the death of his parents. He was convinced that they did not exist and claimed there was no way they could be a threat today.

Batman soon discovered hidden Owl nests around Gotham City hidden in Wayne buildings between the twelfth and fourteenth floors. He exhumed the remains of his great great grandfather and discovered he could have been killed by the same type of weapon the current killer, Talon, uses. Investigating Alan Wayne's death further lead him to being ambushed by Talon and taken to a hidden labyrinth beneath Gotham. Batman stands nearly defeated yet this ordeal is guaranteed to make him a stronger hero.

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It was Friedrich Nietzsche that said, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

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This will be something that Batman has to hope holds true for him. Batman has been beaten before. Bane did quite a number on him but the Court of Owls is putting Batman through a different kind of defeat. He has been trapped for eight days and hasn't gotten any closer to defeating his captors or finding a way to escape. He hasn't had any food and is on the verge of losing his mind, if he hasn't already.

The first thing Batman will learn is to not be overconfident. He already is meticulous when it comes to details. He thought he had all the answers and knew Gotham City better than anyone. While that may be true, there was still a wrench that was easily thrown into the mix.

As long as he can move forward and not become obsessive (or more obsessive) when planning missions, he will learn that even he is capable of making mistakes. It doesn't hurt to check things over again or even get a second opinion by someone else. No one is perfect and while he may come pretty close, even he can fail to see every outcome.

Another thing Batman will learn is the extent of his survival skills.

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This isn't the first time Batman survives for eight days (he also spent over a week trapped during his childhood investigation into the Court). Batman goes through some crazy moments and you have to wonder whether they're all actually happening. The water in the fountain he keeps coming across could be drugged, as he suspects. It's highly possible he is hallucinating during this experience.

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That means that not only is Batman surviving a physical struggle in the hidden labyrinth, but also a psychological one. He has to survive without human contact and food. He keeps coming across similar areas and knows he might not be able to fully trust his senses. Despite this, he continues to maintain his focus in searching for a way out.

The combination of the physical and mental warefare is enough to tear him down and he will definitely need time to recover. But as when he was a child, he will recover and become stronger than ever before.

The important lesson he'll learn is that the city isn't necessarily his. He doesn't know it as well as he thought he did. Dick Grayson put it best:

Look Bruce, no one knows Gotham better than you. It's your city. It's Batman's city...but it's also nearly four hundred years old. Which means, over the years, maybe it belonged to something else, too. Something big. Something dark.

There's no doubt that Batman will find the time to fully investigate the city as much as humanly possible after recuperating from all of this.

Will Batman survive this experience against the Court of Owls? If you read Batman #5, you know we might have the answer to that. But appearances are sometimes deceiving. This is Batman we're talking about after all. He will find a way to get through this and whoever faces Batman next better watch out. The Court of Owls has put Batman to the ultimate test and Batman will become an even tougher hero than he was before.