New 52 – Batwing #9 review

Meet Alexander Staunton, the newest talon who might very well be THE most badass talon we’ve seen yet.

This is the first book penciled by Marcus To and it also marks Batwing’s contribution to the “Night of the Owls’ crossover event. Put those two things together and you’ve got a great jumping-on point for new readers that perfectly captures the feel of the owl threat that’s been so heavy in “Nightwing” and “Batman” lately. Unlike the talons in this week’s “Detective Comics”, Alexander Staunton is incredibly formidable. He’s not going to let a few broken bones and enough tranquelizer to bring down 5 men stop him from hacking up an entire banquet hall to get to his target: Lucius Fox.

Lucius looks much older here, more like the old grandfather/Morgan Freeman variety of Lucius Fox. If you recall, back in Tony Daniel’s “Detective Comics” a few months ago we saw Lucius Fox and he looked younger, buffer, and…wait…what the hell is this?

Behold, the newest most annoying ad in comics. As I was reading the opposite page, I caught Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman in my peripheral vision and was like “What the hell’s going on?” I don’t think G4 could’ve done a better job of making me NOT want to watch “American Ninja Warrior” (the original “Ninja Warrior is superior). Remember when you were called TechTV and I would learn things from your programming, G4? And you, History Channel you taught me everything about the pilgrims and Nazis, especially the Nazis and now all you do is show pawn shops and aliens…Sci-Fi, you played “The Flintstones” movie…Cartoon Network, you’re playing things that are not even cartoons! …I’m rambling.

Anyway, back to the comic! It’s a fine comic that every Batman fan should want to pick up today. It’s non-stop action is worth every penny and it even ends with a laugh.

As for the art, I think Marcus To has delivered the best looking issue of “Batwing” yet. His pencils are so clean and detailed. Full backgrounds, emotive faces, kinetic action, even Batwing’s mask looked less ridiculous!

It may not have a long lasting impact on Batwing’s mythology or even play that large of a role in the greater story that is “The Night of the Owls” but it’s a very cool fight that makes Batwing actually look like a hero for maybe the first time ever. In every other issue he either found victory only through the help of Batman or some other hero, won the fight but let the bad guy get away, or got his own butt kicked (in both his own series AND “Justice League International”). We finally get to see Batwing take care of business here and it’s refreshing.

This is a thrilling action comic and a great jumping-on point for anyone who hasn’t read a Batwing adventure. My question is: what is to be gained from killing Lucius Fox and especially (over in “Detective comics”) Jeremiah Arkham? How exactly does the elimination of a small list of Gotham’s “elite” put the Court of Owls in control of the city? Are they just looking to cause a bit of chaos? They can’t be all bad when they want to kill Jeremiah because he “harbors an encourages criminals” so what exactly do these Owls want? That’s something Snyder needs to address in his own book. As for Winick, To, Reber, and Winn, they delivered one hell of a fun book this month that’s sure to spark interest in readers who haven’t been following this series.

SCORE: 8.5/10