‘Batwing’ #2 opens with another flashback, to Batwing receiving his armor and equipment from Batman, who cautions him, “You are the most powerful part of your arsenal.” We then flash forward to where last issue left off (which if you read ‘Batwing’ #1 it means, we’re actually still not back in the present yet). David Zavimbe walks in to find nearly his entire police precinct has been dismembered by Massacre, who then impales David on his machete! David is saved in a slightly deux ex machina way and spends the rest of the book recovering and unraveling a clue Massacre gave him when he thought David was about to die.
Though not nearly well enough to fight, Batwing intervenes when Massacre locates his next target, Mr. Bello, an elementary school teacher who, like Dede Yeboah (Earthstrike) last issue was a member of Africa’s super team, The Kingdom. Mr. Bello (first name not listed) has electrical powers and calls himself Thunder Fall. Batwing may have saved his life, but Thunder Fall does suffer a grave injury at Massacre’s hands. There is one really clunky line of dialogue at the very end. You can’t miss it.
This was a quick read. Shorter than I remember the first one being. Batwing’s supporting cast were all introduced last issue, so they just slip right into their roles with no re-introduction for readers who might be starting with this issue. The time jumps are getting a little tiresome. It’s not just this book. Several books I’ve read recently employ that as a device. It’s starting to feel a bit cliche’. But I’m still enjoying this book. It’s dark and violent, but I’m fine with that in doses. I remain fascinated with The Kingdom, although things are looking pretty grim for them. I was a little annoyed with Thunder Fall’s lightning powers. How man black characters have lightning powers? Black Lightning, Static, Black Vulcan, Soul Shock, Storm… it’s getting ridiculous. There are other power sets to choose from.
The art by Ben Oliver and colors by Brian Reber continues to mesh beautifully here. It’s just such a lush, rich-looking book, with a painted appearance. This is one of those books that makes you wonder how they’re able to produce such high quality art in a month’s span. The one thing I didn’t like, were the special effects bursts. The art has such a textured look, then you have the sound effects that just look sharp and flat slapped on top, looking like video game effects. They didn’t suit the book at all!
Thinking about it, I almost want to rank this book as “Borrow.” It’s good! The art couldn’t be nicer and the plot is intriguing and I definitely plan to stick it through. But it isn’t perfect.
However, I know sales on this book are dismal. People have their reasons for not buying it. “There are too many books.” “There are too many Bat Books.” If there are too many Bat Books, then why are all four Bruce Wayne titles in the Top Ten? Maybe there are so many fan favorites getting their own books that people don’t want to take a chance on a character they’re unfamiliar with. This is just my opinion, but this book is better than ‘Batgirl.’ ‘Batwing’ isn’t the worst selling New 52 title, but it’s one I seemed to hear over and over that people were simply skipping. They’d buy the bulk of what came out every week, but not this one! I want anyone who did that, that’s reading this, to know you’re missing out on something. It’s a solid book with an intriguing storyline and some gorgeous art. So due to this argument…
Written by Judd Winick
Art and Cover by Ben Oliver