Read some reviews about the Batman of Africa. Is Batwing any good? Read on and find out!
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
Among the more obscure heroes getting a title in the new relaunch, is Batwing, a character first introduced by Grant Morrison in Batman Incorporated. Written by Judd Winnick and illustrated by Ben Oliver, is Batwing any good? Read our reviews and find out!
Marvel Reviewer: Niam Suggitt
When DC began announcing their 52 new titles, there was quite a lot of anger directed at Batwing, and it wasn't really the book's own fault. Rabid fanboys felt that their favorite characters like Tim Drake or Wally West deserved a book over some new guy, they refused to give it a chance, which is boneheaded and wrong. Batwing is probably one of the most accessible new books in this relaunch and definitely deserves a look-in.
Judd Winick is a writer with a lot of experience at writing in Batman's, and he continues to do a strong job with this new African Batman. He sets out just how Batwing is different from his American counterpart, and also sets up some interesting new mysteries and a dangerous new villain.
I will say that at the moment David Zavimbe doesn't really stand out as a strong personality, he's very straight-laced and serious, but this is only issue one, I'm sure Winick will develop him further as he also develops his setting. Africa is a continent that has historically been underserved by comics. Sure we've got Black Panther who comes from there, but after that there's pretty much just B'Wana Beast. And now T'Challa isn't even in Africa! Winick has to show us how superheroes in Africa are different than they are in the United States, and he does a decent job here. The threats are similar, but they are more raw, and more dangerous, and as the last page shows, more unpredictable.
The artwork in this issue comes from Ben Oliver, and he does a solid job. His art looks modern, and fits well with Batwing's mechanical suit. The backgrounds are a little plain, but that may be on purpose, to show how the terrain Batwing fights on is very different from Gotham City.
Overall, this is a decent first issue. Winick tells a strong old-fashioned superhero story, but with some surprising twists. It's worth supporting this book to see how Winick develops the DCU's take on Africa, and to support DC doing something new, rather than just having yet another Batman sidekick hanging around in Gotham doing nothing different from what Batman does. Batwing is unique in the world of Batman comics, and should be applauded.
Accessibility: 25/25 (This is an all-new character, his only previous appearance was like two pages of Batman Incorporated)
Overall Score: 79/100