Mary's family was killed in the mid 1940s in Oregon, when one of Japanese fire balloons, hot air balloons carrying bombs, detonated in Oregon. Left disfigured by the attack, she was picked up by Haly's Circus, where despite her injuries, she became a talented aerialist. She would later be offered to the Court of Owls as a potential Talon.
In Birds of Prey #20, her name is revealed to be Mary Turner.
Strix (originally only known as Mary) was created by Batgirl writer Gail Simone for The Night of the Owls cross over. The use of the Japanese World War II fire balloon attacks in Strix's origin was used by Simone due to her living in the Northwest United States, and finding the rarely mentioned history a tidbit interesting.
Major Story Arcs
Night of the Owls
Awoken when the Court of Owls waged war against Batman and his allies, Mary soon comes into contact with Barbara Gordon, but for some reason, decides not to kill her, given the chance. Later, when balloon bombs, similar to those that disfigured her, reign down on Gotham, Mary comes into contact with Batgirl again, ending in defeat when Batgirl decides to push her off a building, knowing Mary's healing factor will save her from dying. When Batgirl asks why she didn't kill her before, Mary, being mute, writes in her blood that she saw a part of herself in Batgirl, both hiding behind maks.
Somehow, Mary did not get picked up to be put back into cryo-freezing under Blackgate Penitentiary like the majority of the Talons. Instead, she was picked up somewhere outside of Gotham, and locked within a prison. Before she could be transferred, the Court of Owls hires Catwoman to break Mary out, and return her to one of the Court's leaders, still in hiding. Batgirl, who was tracking down a Court of Owls conspiracy to burn down slums purchased by Bruce Wayne, comes in contact with the duo, as Mary is returned to the Court. Deciding to not live up to their end of the bargain, the Court master sicks Mary, and numerous other Talons to kill both Catwoman and Batgirl. She obeys, and attacks both heroines, but when one of the Talons puts a blade to Catwoman's throat, Batgirl manages to reason with Mary, who manages to save Catwoman from being killed. The Court master then puts a gun with cryo-bullets to Mary's head, threatening to kill her, but with the police alerted to the conflict, the Court of Owl highers up demands that he commit suicide to leave no trace of their involvement, to which he obeys. With the other Talons scattered, the trio of women are all that's left. Catwoman, who had grown to like Mary, offers to distract the police, making Batgirl promise to take her somewhere safe. Batgirl agrees, and as Catwoman goes outside to confront the police, both Batgirl and Mary flee.
Batgirl later suggests a name for Mary: Strix, which translates from Latin as "owl".
Birds of Prey
When Batgirl, Black Canary and Starling return from Japan, having lost Katana as a member of the Birds of Prey, Batgirl suggests a fourth teammate, reminding them that despite her betrayal, former teammate Poison Ivy served a specific purpose. With that said, Batgirl introduces Strix to Starling and Canary's surprise. However, Condor (who helped them in Japan) attacks Strix mistaking her for an enemy. Strix lashes out, but is calmed by Batgirl.
On another mission, Black Canary retrieves information that a former Basilisk agent is breaking out of prison. The Birds head out to the prison and attempt to sneak in when Black Canary loses control of her Canary Cry, and destroys the building and Gotham's power station. In response to this, Strix perceives Canary as a threat and attacks her. As Starling calls Amanda Waller to restore power, they are attacked by Heartstoppers, robot drones that send direct lasers to the heart, attacks Strix are invulnerable to as a result of her healing abilities. When the team splits up, Strix grabs one of the drones (since she has no heart) and aims it at Black Canary, silently demanding answers. The conflict between the two is finally resolved when Black Canary explains herself.
During a training session at Black Canary's dojo, the Birds are suddenly attacked by Mr. Freeze. Talons of the Court of Owls are being hunted by Mr. Freeze in his revenge against them. The Birds defend Strix, and in turn to this, Freeze seemingly kidnaps Starling and demands them to send Strix to the place she was reborn in exchange for Starling's life. In compliance, the Birds are lead by an initially reluctant Strix to the laboratory where she'd been revived, only to discover they were tricked into leading Freeze to this base. It is later discovered this set-up was devised with the help of Freeze's friend and one of their own, Starling.
- Height: Unrevealed.
- Weight: Unrevealed.
- Eye color: Brown.
- Hair color: Brown.
Place of Birth: Oregon, U. S. A.
Marital Status: Single.
Occupation: Former assassin.
Powers & Abilities
Like all Talons of the Court of Owls, Strix possesses immortality, invulnerability and a healing factor in addition to superior strength, agility, reflexes, enhanced senses and peak stamina. As a former assassin, Strix is a trained killer taught to master martial arts and trained in unarmed hand-to-hand combat as well as in stealth, speed, defense and acrobatics.
Strix uses a pair of swords when necessary in combat and she keeps her nails sharp and hard enough to engrave messages on the ground.