This issue ties into the greater ‘Night of the Owls’ storyline in all of the Bat books this month. We get a brief explanation that the Court of Owls used to be charged with enforcing order in Gotham City. They’ve since resurfaced and have targeted 40 prominent citizens in Gotham for assassination.
David Zavimbe (Batwing) and Matu are still in Gotham, after having defeated Massacre last issue. While in town, they have Lucious Fox upgrade Batwing’s armor, but not too much. David doesn’t want his suit to limit his movements. “He’s not interested in piloting a robot. It’s armor that he wears, not a vessel to travel in.” In other words, David isn’t interested in becoming Batman’s Steel. Matu agrees to attend a gala dinner party. There Matu basically wants David to get laid, but he’s too uptight and single-minded.
They meet Matthew Kalu, their Prime Minister, who is as crooked as they come. Matthew sucks up to them, knowing they are affiliated with Batwing. Luckily, Mr. Fox intervenes.
Then the Owls strike, targeting Lucious. They start a fire as a distraction. David rushes off and puts on his armor. Alfred, from the Batcave, mobilizes the Bat forces. Batwing just makes it in time to rescue Lucious, but the Owl assassin resists his every assault. Batwing surmises this killer has super healing powers and can heal a broken bone is seconds.
Batwing takes the fight outside, but the killer grabs the Prime Minister and demands Lucious Fox in exchange. Lucious volunteers himself. Batwing makes a last ditch attack and blows the killer’s arms off! The Prime Minister praises Batwing, who simply elbows him in the face. Batwing then takes the Owl into custody.
This was an effective stand alone story, which is nice considering the first storyline lasted eight issues. It’s also a much lighter story with no personal stake for Batwing. It was just a simple super hero action story. Once again, that was a refreshing change of pace. Sometimes you just need a short, entertaining story.
I’m a big fan of Marcus To’s art, and he did a great job here. It didn’t quite pop for me as much as his work on The Huntress, but it was still solid and well-done. I’m a little on the fence about this title. The last couple of issues have not been as good as the first few, so I was inching close to dropping it, but Marcus To’s art is enough to keep me hanging in at least for a few more issues.
It was a solid, entertaining story but was a tad lightweight, so…
Written by Judd Winick
Pencils by Marcus To
Cover by To and Brian Reber