Batwing #5 Batman Cover - Ben OliverThe serial killer Massacre is after the former members of Africa’s premier super team, The Kingdom.  (See ‘Batwing’ #1, #2, #3 and #4.)  So when it is announced that there will be a ceremony held at the team’s former base The Citadel in rural Africa, to honor one of its members, Batwing realizes he must be onsite, alongside Batman in his civilian guise as Bruce Wayne, who was a major contributor to the cause of converting the super base into a museum.  Batwing, in his secret identity as police officer David Zavimbe, stands guard but has a brief conversation with his fellow officer Kia Okuru, in which he manages to offend her… and reveal Massacre’s true identity to the reader, if you’re paying attention.  (Mwah ha ha!)

Suddenly a pack of Massacres attacks the crowd using high tech laser guns!  One goes after Officer Okuru, who points out that this isn’t the same man she encountered at the police station where he slaughtered almost their entire precinct.  Batwing and Batman take on the Massacres, but fail to prevent The Citadel from being demolished.  Batwing interrogates one of their captives and has his assistant Matu trace a cell phone call, revealing that the real Massacre is in Giza, Egypt.

This issue really ramps up the action and suspense!  I can’t wait for the resolution to this story line!  There was a very deliberate clue delivered in this issue as to the identity of Massacre, but I won’t spoil that.  I’m fascinated!  I can’t wait to learn what it is that The Kingdom did to initiate this form of retribution!  There is definitely something seedy going on.  David still seems to worship them, but I get the feeling that he is going to be crushed when he discovers whatever dark secret they concealed.  I’m glad we’re headed toward a resolution, though, but it’s been an excellently paced lead up to that.

Ben Oliver’s drop-dead-beautiful artwork continues to please!  It’s just so dramatic and beautiful!  And Brian Reber’s stunning colors add such lushness and depth to it!  I can’t rave enough about it!  This is a beautiful book.  It’ll look lovely once it’s collected in trade format!

I hope Batman’s presence in this issue spurs a couple of extra sales.  This is a great book that isn’t reaching the audience it deserves.  Hopefully, readers are just waiting for the trade.  Maybe once that comes out, more people will jump on board the monthly title.

Verdict: Buy

BATWING #5
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Ben Oliver