The Owl, born Leland Owlsley (obviously), is a small crime lord who mainly fought Daredevil. He was originally a financier but ran into trouble with the IRS when they audited him and found money in illegal holdings. He them turned to as life of street crime and started his own gang (the Owl Gang because he might be good with money but is not creative at all).
Several serums and modifications later, and Leland actually ended up looking like an owl. He apparently could fly for a while but no longer has that ability. He has claws, which sometimes appear metal and other times look like part of his hand. He also has a specially designed coat that helps his agility. I’m not so sure I believe this, as it just looks like a trench coat and I’m pretty sure that those don’t help you move around more spryly.
I though that the Owl was killed years ago by Parker Robbins, aka the Hood. The Hood was taking over the NYC crime scene and shot the Owl full of lead to serve as a warning to others that might try to do crime without paying tribute. Alas, it seems as though fate decided not to kill the Owl that day as he later returned to New York recently, to do battle with the Superior Spider-Man.
I don’t like the Owl as a character, but I don’t think I’m supposed to. He doesn’t have the power or the connections that the Kingpin, or even Hammerhead does. Instead, he’s a man that’s been altered to something less than that who is always trying, but never succeeding, to rise to the top.
I also want to add that he never looks nearly as cool as he does in the above picture.