Review: Batwing #1

Published on September 13th, 2011

Batwing, the character that originally made his debut in Batman Incorporated, finally gets his own monthly book from the capable minds of Judd Winick and Ben Oliver. When it was first announced as one of the new titles in DC’s relaunch, I was skeptical. I thought, “They are batwing1going to give that guy a book?” Now to clarify, that statement is more a reflection on my thoughts on Batman Incorporated than the character of Batwing specifically. Then, at Comic Con, I was fortunate enough to hear writer Judd Winick talk about the book and to see some preview art, and it definitely peaked my interest. Well, the time has come. Nomore wondering – Batwing #1 is here. So how is it?

“He told me ‘You have to just sell it,'” a quote from the first issue, sums up a lot of my feelings about this book. It was good. Not spectacular, not terrible, but good. When the issue starts, we catch up with Batwing mid-battle with Massacre, a villain whose design I really dig. It’s an impressively brutal and well-choreographed action sequence.We then flashback several weeks and are properly introduced to Batwing’s secret identity, David Zavimbe, who is a cop in the Tinasha Police Department. Zavimbe is an interesting character that we still have a lot to learn about. In reading an interview with Winick, he let one detail slip that I wish he had revealed in the first issue.I think the concept of a man fighting injustice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is very compelling. Similar material was done brilliantly and brutally in the meticulously researched Vertigo series “Unknown Soldier,” by Josh Dysart. This is meant to be a more superhero version of the material.

While I wish that he was a symbol of his own creation, and not associated with the Bat, I am also a realist and know that if “Bat” is in the title it will sell more books. Ben Oliver’s art is great; he keeps the action tight and fast, and I found that his work seemed to display a higher level of kineticism than other artists who use a similar painterly style. I also thought he did a great job making the Batwing armor look cool.I wouldn’t say I was blown away, but I thought this was a serviceable first issue and I genuinely liked a lot about it. There is a lot of potential here that I hope it reaches. They have earned a purchase of issue two; I hope they take advantage of it.

Matt Todd