New 52 – Batwing #14 review

It may be the end of Judd Winick’s run on Batwing but it’s not the end of the Father Lost arc. Next month we’ll see Fabian Nicieza take over writing duties on this series and I’ll be sticking with it until then just to see how things go with a new creative team, but if it wasn’t for that I would’ve definitely dropped this title by now.

Just the fact that Judd Winick isn’t even finishing (from what the solicits say anyway) the storyline that he started with Father Lost makes it seem like it was a tale written without any passion whatsoever. Still, this was a more entertaining issue than what we were given last month. There’s more interaction between David and his Alfred, we get a little back story on the girl with the lightsabers (although no information as to how she got the lightsabers), and the ending really caught me by surprise.

But there are still quite a few problems here. For one, Marcus To doesn’t seem to be delivering the same caliber of art that we’ve seen from him in the past. Many of the pages look like the under-detailed art seen in many DC digital comics like Arkham Unhinged more than the beautiful work of Marcus To that we saw in Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads.

Batwing’s lack of helmet is still pretty laughable especially when he jumps in front of a hail of gunfire with his back to the shooters. Sure, he’s got the metal suit and that would make him stand with heroic confidence as he protects the innocent life on the ground before him, but the back of his head is completely vulnerable. And then there’s a moment in the book where the prose say he uses flash bang grenades but Marcus To drew what appears to be Batwing doing his best Iron Man impression with light emitting from the character’s chest and gauntlets. I also laughed when the police ran into the old church at the beginning of the book and Batwing flew over them in his rocket boots and hid in the rafters and nobody seemed to say anything about it. The book just moved on when you’d think that the cops would’ve acknowledged Batwing in some way. It’s not that big of a church and they have to know he’s in there because he soared above them and fired a net on most of the fleeing cultists. His relationship with the police has hardly been touched on but (according to the solicits) the new writer will be dealing more with the inner workings of the Tinasha PD in his run. Lastly, there was a scene in which Batwing flies away with a character to extract information. She spills the beans, but she’s doing it in a very long winded way! It’s a long story she’s telling all while being gripped at the shoulders and flown hundreds of feet over the jungle. I guess rocket boots aren’t as loud as I imagine them being– it reminded me of that scene in Batman #11 with the jet engine.

We’re 2/3 of the way through this story and it’s unclear who Father Lost is or what he’s up to and that doesn’t give me any reason to care about what happens in the final 3rd part. Hopefully things pick up with the new writer, otherwise I’m going to drop this title and start reviewing something else instead. I don’t enjoy giving out negative reviews month after month after month. I’d rather get people excited about reading and there’s nothing much to get excited about with Batwing.

SCORE: 5/10