New 52 – Batwing #19 review


Never read an issue of Batwing before in your life? You’ll do fine here. As long as you know what Batman Inc. is and that there is a representative in Africa you’ll be able to follow along. You won’t know exactly why Batwing is beating up certain individuals or blowing up airships

Seriously, the guy is like “I can’t kill while wearing the symbol of the bat.” but then he goes and blows up a motherf’n airship with people inside of it.
but you’ll understand that these are loose ends he’s tying up.

And that’s basically what most of the issue is. It’s a pretty bad ass send off (up to a point) where we see David let go of his civilian life and bring down God’s terrible thunder on every single baddie he had leftover from previous storylines. Why did I put “up to a point” in parenthesis while ago? Because even though the new creative team of Pamiotti and Gray (the writers behind All-Star Western) gave David plenty of heroic moments in this, I found the character’s excuse for leaving to be weak and in the final pages where we get the big reveal of who the new Batwing is, Alfred states that David was actually the second choice for Batwing. What a slap in the face to David Zavimbe fans! And as for why I think his excuse for leaving is weak– you see his reasons on the very first page. David believes that the symbol of Batman and his tactics can’t work in a place as bad as Tinasha. Well, I believe that Gotham, before Batman arrived, was worse than Tinasha so that’s why that doesn’t fly with me. Secondly, the bulk of the issue is Batwing whooping every single enemy that was still standing. His actions in this issue are proof that David can make Batwing work in the DRC. In fact, after watching him bring down all the baddies,

lose Matu
, and retire from the police force I felt that we were walking away from this character at his absolute most interesting moment.

But what can you do? Sales have been falling. Most folks never got on board with the Batman of Africa so the series really needed a shakeup to attract new readers and that’s exactly what we’re getting. This issue unveils a brand new Batwing and a brand new suit.

To keep from spoiling the big reveal I’ll put that and my thoughts on the new Batwing in spoilertags.

So the new Black Panther Batwing is Luke Cage Fox, the son of Lucius Fox. Since we only see the character for about two pages I’ll reserve judgment but I can’t help but be initially annoyed that Batman can’t seem to have one ally with a normal family. Harper Row is fighting crime now, Gordon’s two kids are bizarre… I suppose the only one left is Leslie Thompson and we’ve only seen her like once in the whole New 52. And can we please get it written in stone how many kids Lucius has? Seems like every decade a new child is getting thrown in. I believe he has two daughters, one of which is named Tam, and there was an Earth 2 (or something) son named Tim who was a villain named The Vulture at one point as well. Still, it does seem that Luke will be a different character from David. He appears to be much happier and eager than David ever was and I think that stoic nature came off as too Batman-like and was turning people away from the book. I also like the design of the new Batwing armor far more. For one, he actually has a helmet which is a HUGE plus. It’s got an undeniable Batman Beyond vibe too, but it also makes him look even more like a Black Panther rip-off. I have to wonder though, why doesn’t Batman use any of this stuff? There is really no excuse for Batman to not be wearing this suit. You see how excited he is while discussing all the new tech and how it’s the most advanced suit Lucius has ever made… then he flops the ol’ cowl back over his ears and there’s no mention of the fact that maybe, possible, Batman should be putting this stuff on instead. Heck, while he’s at it he might as well use the same chemicals that Lincoln March used and make himself immortal. Why not?

Overall it’s a good and very fast paced issue that ties up all the loose ends from the previous arc so we can get into the brand new adventures of Batwing 2.0 next month. I recommend you give it a try, but it’s understandable if  you want to wait until issue #20. That’s when we’ll really see what this new hero’s personality is like and what sort of obstacles he will be facing.

SCORE: 7.5/10