Things have pretty much been hell for David Zavimbe for the past few issues. He’s been stabbed through the chest with a machete, lost the majority of his police force to a madman named Massacre, and is currently in a fight with said madman while bleeding out in his Batwing armor. All while trying to stop Massacre from killing Thunder Fall, a former member of the superhero team The Kingdom.
In the previous issues, Winick has provided various flash backs, but none of them may be as important as what we get to see here. It seems as if during his childhood David and his brother were soldiers who were widely known for their skill and brutality. This part of David’s past was something I was actually hoping Winick would do with the character when I found out there would be an African representing Batman Inc. in his native country. It makes for a richer story and character while giving him another dynamic from Bruce that’s more than skin color. As Winick brings us to the present, we get a pretty intense and brutal fight carried by a lot of inner monologue from Batwing. It’s not till we get closer to the end that we begin to see what’s been driving Massacre to kill the former Kingdom member. This is also the first issue where we don’t see Batman make an appearance. I’m hoping that we get more of Batwing standing on his own and less Batman holding his hand, and hopefully that will come with time.
Now, Ben Oliver has been making the title look great since the first issue, and Ben Reber gets serious praise as well for the colors in this book. Everything about the art just reinforces the tone of the story and moves it without complications. Plus, I love the fact that the characters don’t look like white people just colored various shades of brown. Too many artists still do that, and it’s good to see when someone takes the time to get things as accurate as possible. The only thing that really doesn’t impress me is the actual design of Batwing’s costume. It just seems impractical for someone to wear who lives in a country in Africa.
Batwing is one of the stronger titles coming out of the New DC 52, and Winick and Oliver are doing it with a steady yet exciting build of the character. They’re also starting from scratch with a brand new character, though he is backed by one of the most well known of DC’s gallery of characters. So, in the meantime, if you have yet to check out Batwing, see if you can track down the first two issues along with this one and see what it’s all about.