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Off My Mind: Why the New Batwing is a Great Idea

"He's a new character but you may have seen him before."

It's rare that secrets are able to be kept when it comes to comic book characters. Recently it was revealed that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray would be taking over BATWING. They also announced they had plans to replace David Zavimbe as Batwing with someone else. There was immediate concern over the fate of David and some outcry over why this change was needed. The fact is, the change was necessary and it will be fun and exciting. (Note: there will be spoilers below for BATWING #19).

David Zavimbe as Batwing made his debut in BATMAN INCORPORATED, Volume 1 #5. He was recruited, in a sense, by Batman to become part of Batman Inc. What this really meant was Batman saw something in him. He saw the burning passion to right the wrongs in his country. Batman wasn't trying to insert his beliefs or ideals upon another nation but felt with his money and resources, he could help develop another fighting force for good. Giving David the tools he needed to become Batwing was his way to try to help rid the word of evil.

David as Batwing didn't quite work on two fronts. As mentioned in BATWING #19, David just didn't feel right being part of Batman Inc. The bat-symbol wasn't who he was. In short, he didn't quite fit into the Bat-mythos. This isn't to say he wants to give up his fight. He still strongly feels the need to dedicate himself to doing all he can. He just doesn't feel doing it as Batwing is the answer.

The reality of it is, this is for the best. David is a great character, one that shouldn't simply disappear. He deserves to be something more than just another Bat-character. He had no ties to Batman or Gotham City so it never really made sense for him to be part of the 'family.' In order to involve him (and the title) in Night of the Owls, the story had to come up with a reason for him to be in Gotham despite wanting to focus on the troubles in his own nation.

The other fact is despite having fans, the series wasn't doing too great in sales. Again, the reason was David didn't really have a strong connection to Batman and the others in Gotham. When the interactions did come up, it felt a little forced. By bringing in a new Batwing with a stronger connection to Gotham and Batman, David is still able to fight his battles but on his own terms.

In BATWING #19, we get a glimpse at who the new Batwing will be. It turns out Lucius Fox's son, Luke Fox, will be joining the Bat-Family in a big way. Who is Luke Fox? It might not be official but we may have seen Luke Fox previously in Batman Beyond, as Lucius Fox Jr. This goes along with their description of him being "a new character but [we] may have seen him before."

While Gray and Palmiotti may not want to confirm or deny it is the same character from the animated series, it makes sense that they could be, even if the Batman Beyond Universe isn't necessarily 100% guaranteed to be the future of BATMAN.

Luke Fox is a MMA fighter. He's been doing it for four years at this point. That gives him a certain level of training that would allow him to stand a chance in Batman's Family. A new suit has been developed, ironically enough by Lucius Fox. The level of tech contained in the suit is beyond anything that Batman himself wears. It almost feels as if it's a predecessor to the familiar suit Terry McGinnis later wears.

The fact that Batman is bringing in Lucius Fox's son is a huge risk. This is what gives the story a nice new twist. Lucius is not aware of Batman's true identity. We would think he would have to have some suspicions especially due to the fact he's a brilliant man. But it could be that Bruce Wayne puts on a great act.

The future?

We're seeing Batman become more and more dependent on the tech developed by Fox and Wayne Tech. Fox doesn't approve of his son fighting and would clearly be completely against Luke becoming a costumed crime fighter, especially after what happened to Batman's own son.

Hopefully we haven't seen the last of David Zavimbe. Luke Fox adds a new element to the Bat-Family. It will be fascinating to see his fighting style combined with the tech of the new Batwing suit. It may not be a situation everyone would approve of but this opens the door to some very intriguing stories. I can't remember the last time I've been this curious and interested in a 'new' character. Let's just hope he survives long enough for us to see what he's fully capable of.

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Edited by mcbean

Who cares what"token" color he is white, black, green or blue batwing is lame.

Edited by Captain13

@mcbean said:

Who cares if he is a"token" black guy or a"token" white guy batwing is lame.

You don't speak for everyone. Someone could say Batman is lame. It doesn't mean that everyone holds that to be true, bruh.

@redhood21 said:

i get the suit looks similar, but just cuz its a shooter doesn't mean its a COD RIPOFF!?!? Honestly im kinda glad to see a suit headed that way so its more like a progression towards the Beyond suit rather than I was wearing a cowl and spandex for years and suddenly I said to myself....technology

Yup. Agreed.

@miss_garrick said:

How many kids does Lucius have? I'm losing track.

3. 2 girls. 1 guy.

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@captain13 said:

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

@captain13 said:

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

@captain13 said:


@foxxfireart said:

Not that I'm disagreeing with the idea he deserves to be a character, but they can go through making a new member of the Bat Family and still no Cassandra Kain, someone who already has a fan base? The Bat Family has turned into a real boy's club,

There's Batwoman and Batgirl.

Batwoman isn't one of the Bat-Family.

The Batfamily is anyone that is being published under the Batfamily of titles (anything centering on the Bat-universe, edited by DC's Batman editors, and related to the Batman property). So, yes, she is--even is she is less connected in-story to the other characters.

And you didn't refute the rest of my comment.

Her title is one of the Batman Group of titles, but she's not one of the Bat-Family. She turned down an offer to join Batman Incorporated, wasn't involved in Night Of The Owls or Death Of The Family, and didn't have a Requiem issue. She doesn't really even associate with the family. Also,

the DC website

lists it as the Batman Group, not the Bat-Family.

As for the rest of your comment, yes, it is a bit of a boys club, what with Batgirl being the only definite member. Though Catwoman might count, and Harper Row might be joining soon.

So the Batfamily has Batgirl, Catwoman, and Harper Row, but you have a problem with the group having a Black male because it has White males? Diversity is not just a gender thing, you know. There are no other Black characters in the Bat family.

When did I say I have a problem with having a black male in the family?

Edited: I see that you've added this to your comment:

Just because you didn't get more of the diversity that you want doesn't mean that this is bad. And finally, why would you shift a discussion about race to one about gender if you don't believe that this is a zero sum game? We can take care of the gender issue without disregarding the race issue. Let's take care of one thing at a time.

I don't know what you mean about not "get(ting) more of the diversity that (I) want". And I'm not trying to shift the discussion, I simply pointed out that Batwoman isn't one of the family.

Edited by ThomasElliot

@captain13 said:

@queen_s_halo said:

So thy replaced one token black guy with another token black guy? So shocking. And clearly if the staff think it's a good idea, you can be sure it sucks.

Do you realize how ignorant this comment is? Your misuse of "token" only illustrates that you may be racist and don't even realize it. Or maybe you do?

For future reference:

A token character can also be used by writers to pay lip service to rules or standards, when they otherwise have no intention of doing so, such as by obeying anti-racism policies by including a token ethnic minority character who—despite being present often—has no function in the overall plot, does little or nothing, and is often a stereotyped character.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Token_black_guy#Tokenism_in_fiction

So, a Black main character cannot be token--by definition. The main character is central to the plot. A token character is not.

If fiction is supposed to reflect reality, then we should obviously have some Black main characters--especially in a franchise with fifteen books, each of which is designed to tap into a different market: women, gays, the young, etc.

I have no problem with Luke Fox being Black since his father is--wait for it... wait for it--Black! And his father has been a key part of the mythos for decades now.

Not only is it good financially do have a diverse set of characters for your clientele to identify with or choose from, the character should be Black if we follow the logic of the story.

Further, Luke doesn't fit any conventional Black stereotypes that I've heard of before.

--

Your reflex to call the main character of a book token only seems to illustrate that you seem to think that Black characters are worthless, unwanted, or unlikely to contribute anything. I mean you did use to term to refer to both Luke and David, right? The fact that you don't do this with other non-black characters in the Bat-franchise is telling.

--

Let's demystify some misconceptions about racism.

1) You can be prejudiced against one racial group and not others. So you can hate that Batwing is Black while still appreciating that Cassandra Cain is Asian.

2) Due to cultural mores, many people of all races cannot admit to themselves to to others that they are prejudiced against a certain group of people. See these for more information:

Aversive Racism

Laissez-Faire Racism

--

I have no ill will toward you. How can anyone hate someone for not knowing any better? But I sincerely hope that you try to educate yourself on race issue that persist in the present day. Most universities offer great sociology classes on the subject.

Good day.

Calling Batwing a 'token' character isn't a comment about the character's race, its a comment about DC's handling of the character(s). Its not about having a problem with black characters, its about having a problem with DC making them disposable, because that's exactly what they've done here.

Yes, we need more diverse 'main' characters, no one is against that. But when you take one of those characters, downgrade them to what is essentially a 'sidekick' role, then replace them completely altogether... it doesn't come off as genuine. Its proves the lack of dedication that DC had to the actual character. He was disposable. A main character that became a token character.

Will the next Robin be black? Why not make Green Lantern Corps about Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan and make Jon Stewart the star of the solo Green Lantern series? I don't have a problem with that, I don't think very many of us would. So who does?

I don't think any of us are racist, I think the comic industry still has a hard time incorporating diversity.

And yeah, I could name a whole bunch of other 'minority' characters that I feel were created for the sake of having a minority, but that's whole other long rant. I don't have a problem with making them minorities, I have a problem with their race being their definitive quality because that is racist too. Even if for the sake of diversity, there's a right way and a wrong way. The David Z. Batwing started right, and ended wrong.

Also, how in the world did you turn 'token' into a pro-racist term? The word, even when used incorrectly, almost ALWAYS refers to the idea that race is used as a gimmick in entertainment, its a joke used to show that entertainment industries ARE racist. So now all of a sudden using the term token to call out these instituions on their BS makes that person racist too?? Thats some hyper-sensitive over-thinking my friend. You're also saying that it doesn't matter HOW a minority is portrayed, as long as they are a minority. Somehow, I don't think too many people would be cool with a Justice League of Mexico if they are all bad stereotypes of Mexican people. I think they'd rather just not have it at all in that case.

Edited by ForeverMan

I really like Batman Inc but yeah if you're trying to make an international character who you dont want to be international but in Gotham all the time, clearly that isn't going to work.

Posted by Lvenger

@lvenger:because you're criticizing a creative team just because, it's a book you aren't picking up and you know nothing about minus the few spoilers you read. At least complain about a book you're reading that's actually come out.

So basically you're saying I should only have an opinion on the 8 comics I read a month? You do know how ridiculous that sounds don't you? That's like saying to someone that since they're not involved with the economy, they can't have an opinion of what transpires. Which is simply ludicrous. Since I've read the article which spells out what's going on in Batwing, I think I'm perfectly entitled to express an opinion about it. If I did what you said, I'd only be able to express a limited amount of opinions which frankly is quite boring.

Edited by Captain13

@thomaselliot said:

Calling Batwing a 'token' character isn't a comment about the character's race, its a comment about DC's handling of the character(s). Its not about having a problem with black characters, its about having a problem with DC making them disposable, because that's exactly what they've done here.

Yes, we need more diverse 'main' characters, no one is against that. But when you take one of those characters, downgrade them to what is essentially a 'sidekick' role, then replace them completely altogether... it doesn't come off as genuine. Its proves the lack of dedication that DC had to the actual character. He was disposable. A main character that became a token character.

Will the next Robin be black? Why not make Green Lantern Corps about Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan and make Jon Stewart the star of the solo Green Lantern series? I don't have a problem with that, I don't think very many of us would. So who does?

I don't think any of us are racist, I think the comic industry still has a hard time incorporating diversity.

And yeah, I could name a whole bunch of other 'minority' characters that I feel were created for the sake of having a minority, but that's whole other long rant. Done the right way, it is a good thing. Done the wrong way, its just lame. The David Z. Batwing started right, and ended wrong.

Also, how in the world did you turn 'token' into a pro-racist term? The word, even when used incorrectly, almost ALWAYS refers to the idea that race is used as a gimmick in entertainment, its a joke used to show that entertainment industries ARE racist. So now all of a sudden using the term token to call out these instituions on their BS makes that person racist too?? Thats some hyper-sensitive over-thinking my friend. You're also saying that it doesn't matter HOW a minority is portrayed, as long as they are a minority. Somehow, I don't think too many people would be cool with a Justice League of Mexico if they are all bad stereotypes of Mexican people. I think they'd rather just not have it at all in that case.

Token has been used in a racist way because people who don't read a title will label a character as token (even when the situation doesn't warrant the term) as a way to say that the character is a pointless attempt at being pc. I have no problem with people using the term correctly. For example, Franklin on the Peanuts and Carl Carlson on the Simpsons are token characters. On the other hand, Miles Morales, Storm, John Stewart, Aqualad and others are not, so calling them "token" belittles these characters by implying that they have nothing to contribute. This is especially belittling and offensive if the so called "token" is the main character of a title, which means that they cannot be a token, by definition.

For characters like Miles Morales, John Stewart, and Storm race is not used as a "gimmick." It's used to bring in a wider audience. This is done with gender and sexual orientation as well. It's not a "gimmick" to make a character White, so why would it be a "gimmick" to make a character Black? I'm not saying Blackness can't be used as a gimmick, but it is not always one.

If race is used as a gimmick, which it is not in the case of characters who just happen to be Black like Aqualad or Luke Fox, then the proper term is "exploitation." In the case of Blacks, you may call it Blaxploitation.

Words have meaning, and misuse of words can be offensive. What's so hard to understand about that?

--

And, yes, DC still has issues with making characters disposable like John Stewart almost was or David was. The disposability of these characters is due to lack of development, which is the real crime for Black characters like John Stewart, or poor sales as is the case for David, who many found uninteresting due to his lack of a real connection to the Batfamily. I don't care about disposability due to sales. Business is business and they gave it a shot. Being disposed of without being given any development or any real chance at success is a crime though, IMO.

--

Again, when DC starts developing their Black characters, then I'll be happy. They're doing a good job with developing Hispanics like Blue Beetle and Vibe. I don't get why they're having a hard time with Blacks like Aqualad, John Stewart, and Cyborg.

--

Finally, I have always been more concerned with quality of representation over quantity of representation, so I do have an issue with bad stereotypes.

Edited by Wolverine0628

I really like David Zavimbe as a character, but honestly, I haven't bought very many Batwing issues. Luke Fox sounds like an interesting character, and I'm excited to see where this goes.

Edited by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

I wish the costume didn't look so much like Batman Beyond's. I'd rather see Terry McGuiness wear a costume styled like that than Batwing.

Posted by Captain13

I wish the costume didn't look so much like Batman Beyond's. I'd rather see Terry McGuiness wear a costume styled like that than Batwing.

He's supposed to be the precursor to Terry, who has his own book.

Posted by CheapoComics

The sub-headings on all the CV news articles continue to appear scrambled. I know that isn't related to the topic but just saying.

Posted by blackkitty

I admit I tried Batwing and it didn't feel right to me. However, one aspect of the book I did like was that it was very much tied to the country. He lived in Africa, he fought against the corruption in Africa and had a ventured interest in the country. We take this new character who's a millionaire, had no real concern with the troubles going on in Africa and he's going to be the new Batwing... this feel contrived on so many levels I can't even begin to describe it.

On the other hand I can not deny they need to do something. Sales are dropping drastically, and this book may already be too late to save. I commend them for trying a new approach, just weary about their choices.

Posted by kid Apollo

uhhh i didnt read Batwing so this doesnt mean much to me but im down to read some books featuring Luke, why not?

despite the new suit being the predecessor to Terry's suit, Jason Todd's current one (minus the helmet and jacket) looks quite a bit like to Beyond suit

Posted by Miss_Garrick
Posted by G-Man

I don't get it why doesn't Batman wear the suit himself?

He's Batman. He doesn't need it. (or shouldn't need it).

Staff
Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@g_man said:

@immortal777 said:

I don't get it why doesn't Batman wear the suit himself?

He's Batman. He doesn't need it. (or shouldn't need it).

Plus it's the wrong colour. Batman should stick with grey. :)

Edited by Eivion

Can't say I bought into any of the arguments this article made.

The title and character was never intended to be a a strong part of the Bat/Gotham mythos aside from the Batman Inc. connection which is the same for many members of the group. The sales are far too low to make a comeback from a directional change. I find nothing interesting in the Luke Fox character. Also your completely wrong about David as far how he felt about the Bat symbol and the ideas that came with it. It only changed conveniently for this last story arc to set up his departure.

The series should have just been cancelled. The only reason why its still around is likely because they literally have nothing to replace it with at the moment. Its the same for several series. They don't have enough in development behind the scenes to replace them yet.

Posted by SuperJimmy
  
Posted by Radread

Both characters have a long history with Batman, so I'm fine with either.

Edited by SuperJimmy
  
Edited by daredevil21134

I rather see Azrael Michael Lane return

Online
Edited by Herx

Ok, I can understand the reasons why they replaced David with Luke.

  • Low sales
  • David not as connected to the main bat family as others (will be brought up again)
  • Couldn't be tied into crossovers as easily as other books (and we all know how crossovers, love em or hate em, make the big bucks)
  • Writing characters of drastically different nationalities is very difficult (much more research is required into history, politics, current affairs and mythologies. more work than for a society which is more known through the global media i.e. the US (we know all about you and your crazy royal family who live in Bel air with prince Will and the Uncle Fill......... ok that show in particular was placed into my mind because all of the previous comments kept on talking about race, ethnicity and this, that or the other... so your all to blame... I was mearlly the innocent victim of forum reading and good choice in television :P ))

When i read (and later reviewed) the first Batwing book i was plesantly suprised (gave it 5/5) as the book didn't go down the lazy/offensive rout of "lets make a black Batman..... and put him in Africa" but rather "THIS is an African hero who wears the crest of Batman" as there are is a huge difference between those 2 categories. Davids origin came from a scenario which is both terrible and true (we've seen on the news how children have been recruted by warlords to fight their wars time and time again. Its terrible) and his reason for fighting against this injustice is even greater than Bruces (So much so that Bruce should be Davids' Robin :P). He's aware of the problems of being a member of Batman Inc as in the first issue he points out one of the main problems of being batwing, that the idea of a bat installing fear in the hearts of criminals may work in Gotham, but in Africa the people have seen and lived worse fears. In his civilian life he also tries to help others, but we see that the corruption of the police force is so much that he can barely do what is needed. He was fighting an uphill battle from the start, and he was doing it waaaaay before Batman recruted him. But then we have those nasty problems, such as him not being able to crossover with any other bat title. For this i say look to Batwoman. She's not crossed over (really) with any other Bat title and her titles doing fine (but maybe that because of her popularity after 52 (the series not the reboot)). From what I gather Batwing had, from all the titles which have come out from the new 52, 3 titles which he could have crossed over with. Justice League International (canceled), and Batman Inc (deep into a long reboot surviving storyline) and Detective Comics (Second feature? mini stories? not just an other entire book for batman but rather a book for the batfamily). Limited, yes, but it sure as hell beets titles trying to force their entire cast into major crossovers (having the entire cast of the Teen Titans appear in Gotham for Death of the Family rather than just have Tim in Gotham and the others back on the other side of the country having some downtime?). David is also a much more difficult character to write in the sense that his background would have to be well reaserched and thus a continuous rotation of creative teams would not be good. This is a title which would have needed one writer who was willing to sit it out for the long term (no 6 issues then bye bye routine). Yet scertain things seem to have been..... missed out. Davids origin made it seem as though he'd go after more dictatorial/war lord characters rather than the super-powered characters (he has a past with warlords and being a child soldier, explore it), and given the financial situation we never fully see the contrast between the rich and poor side of society (movement and green team themes mayby, but true enough here). So much went unexplored, opting for the more traditional super-hero cookie-cutter stories after a while (ore more correctly, after night of owls).

David made points in this his, apperent (but hopefully not) final issue. He cant deal with the problems in the DRC in the same way as Bruce does in Gotham as the rules do not work in the same manner. Had this been the notioned played by David from the beginning who knows what we would have gotten (ok forums talking about batman killing im guessing, but.... yeh).
_____

Luke Fox, i can see why they chose him. He's more closely related to the Batfamily, he can make the crossovers, he's.... black.... O.k i'm jumping down this rabbit hole, the word "token" has been thrown around in this forum and i'm going to state it like this. David was NOT a token character, he was the main character of a bat-title (its like saying Katherine Kane it the token gay character of her book..... it's 10 piccard face palms worthy). The DRC was his home and he was an active member of its society there. Lukes lack connection to these things makes him appear more as a blacksploitation character rather than a leading man. At the end of issue #19 Bruce want to send Luke to the DRC to act as the Batman of Africa but why? Why not chose another hero from that continent? ITS HUGE!!! theres bound to be like, i duno, 100 worthy heroes. Luke is not African, he hasn't lived the same lives as these people he's charged to protect. ABOVE i mentioned how i was pleased that when the title first launched it proclaimed the characrter to be an African hero who just so happens to wear the bat symbol rather than "having a black batman.... but in africa". The change to Luke just seems like a switch to that option. He doesnt have the same motivations, being a rich kid who want to be a superhero for the sake of it (or the rush?), which would seem to be a one way street to "even-numbered-male-robins-ville" (population DAMIEN and JASONS sock) . And the notion that HE was Bruces first choice to be Batwing is rediculous as the entire notion of Batman Inc was to recrute heroes who were already active and experianced into an organization where their resources and connections would be greatly enhanced, not untrained inexperianced kids that Bruce happens to like.

______

As much as I like the creative team taking over the book (and i have enjoed the title very much) I cant help but think that the book is now on its final breaths, and if anything the move from David to Luke is pretty much a scapegote move of "save the good character and blame the fail on the new guy". Or so how i see it. I will continue to read the title and see how I take to Luke, but im just sad at the idea that DC had some great idea and than just didnt use it to its fullest potential, and realizing it to late.

Posted by ltbrd

I've never been a fan of Batman, Inc. and this announcement is simply furthering my opinion of why the concept is wrong and, at the end of the day, is being kept alive simply because its a Morrison invention and connected to a character (Batman) that over the past decade has grown in the public conscious rather than something that makes sense for good storytelling.

Should Batman have a world-wide connection of contacts? Absolutely. Should we see those contacts (i.e. other than American heroes) appear in the various Batman titles from time to time? Absolutely. Should those character sometimes be the reason for a Batman story when they call on Batman or come to the United States rather than Batman always calling on them or going overseas? Yes please. Can that be done without Batman, Inc.? Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Its funny, however, that the concept did give us such a great character in David.......but at the end of the day his potential was completely wasted by the need to connect him to Batman.....which is even acknowledged by the writing team. That, in many ways, is the ultimate hypocrisy of the comic book industry.

David's character and title could have been far more powerful had he been a character solely connected to Africa with an identity and means of being a hero all his own. Knight and Squire are another great example. Yes, DC is an American based company, but for decades DC comics have been read world-wide. To give readers one or two titles that move completely away from an American setting would have been amazing. Would it have brought in more readers? How should I know. Nobody can. But with DC already banking millions on established characters would it have really harmed them to test the waters? To see if a title like that could have worked?

At the end of the day David's character didn't work because he's African and his stories didn't take place in Gotham City.....he didn't work because he wasn't Batman. Dilute a name/concept too many times and no matter who the character is the sales aren't going to go up. Steel had a great series when his solo title started but the S-shield was already going strong in Superman, Man of Steel, Adventures of Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl, and Superboy. Readers didn't need another Superman-esque character even if he (Steel) had his own nuances. Its the same here. We've already got Batman, Batman and Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batman, Inc., and Batman: The Dark Knight. Batwing simply wasn't needed because readers already had enough sources of Batman that they didn't need to worry about a simple copy. Had DC used the idea and backstory of David and given him his own name and title.....for arguments sake let's just call him Black Condor to re-use an old character name.....than readers could have said "oh, I wonder who this Black Condor guy is, maybe I'll give it a try" rather than "oh, another Bat-copy, maybe I'll read this is I've got enough money at the end of the month". Giving the mantle to a new character isn't going to change anything.

Posted by Vaeternus

So thy replaced one token black guy with another token black guy? So shocking. And clearly if the staff think it's a good idea, you can be sure it sucks.

Edit: This was sarcasm. Also I know I used 'token character' in the wrong way. Lets move on.

Wouldn't say that exactly, I'd say more like replace a random black guy that nobody knows or heard of who clearly wants no part of the Batman mythos with a guy we've seen/heard of before in BB series, and a chance to give this "referred character" and related to Lucious Fox a chance to shine here with a rare opportunity.

I do think DC and comics in general are kind of obsessing though a little bit with the "getting gay characters and minorities" in there to be politically correct these days but as long a they don't go overboard with it. It's not like we never had a black or minority super hero before afterall.

That being said, I like the concept of Batwing, and being as how it's Fox Jr. this totally makes sense for setting up Batman Beyond's Terry's suit in the future...

Edited by Fantasgasmic

Forgive me if this is a long rant, I was going to make it a blog but then I saw this post.

To me, getting rid of David seems like it wasn't so much a decision that they thought would be good, so much as a consequence from a bad decision DC made back when they started the reboot. The decision of giving Batwing his own book.

When the reboot started, I am certain they were struggling to come up with 52 titles. The new crop of Batmen from the pre-52 Batman Inc all had to seem like feasible sales drivers because of they can always feature a cameo from the Dark Knight, and Batman is the top seller. However, Batman Inc. members were no longer the focus of the Batman Inc. title, Morrison decided to use it for his Leviathan story, and although they were cameoing in it, the book was really all about the Talia/Bruce/Damian dynamic. So the editors gave one of the Batmen their own book, rather than use Batman Inc as a rotating platform for all the new characters. That, to me was the mistake. I never got into Batwing (although its early issues had some stunning artwork) because he was one of the Batman Inc. members I was least interested in. In no particular order, Mr. Unknown/Batman Japan, Night Runner, Knight and Squire, and Black Bat (if she was still around) were always the most interesting ones.

Mr. Unknown/Batman Japan because I was a fan of the Ultraman/Power Rangers style sentai shows and Godzilla style Kaiju movies as a kid, I've seen bits of the Bat-Manga so I think it could be fun to have a Batman in that style; fighting giant monsters in Tokyo. Night Runner because I played a fair amount of Assassin's Creed, so I can imagine free-running around Paris bits would be cool, and its such an iconic backdrop. Knight and Squire because they were an established team who were holiding up a legacy like Batman and Robin, but you got the sense that the British sense of propriety would be strong among them and their villains, contrasting the anarchic values of many of Batman's rogues. Plus Cyril and Beryl had a Bruce and Tim style relationship, which I missed. And Black Bat because Cassie was awesome, and putting her in a huge crowded city like Hong Kong would've been great for having her take on Triads, awesome martial arts masters, and possibly even corrupt Communist Party/government officials, going for a more Year One tone. Whereas Batwing being located in sub-Saharan Africa meant he dealt with warlords, child soldiers, people who have sex with children to "cure" their AIDS, governments who execute gay people for being gay, and regular corruption of politicians and police. And that's all stuff that ACTUALLY happens; not stuff the writers come up with. Not as appealing for my escapist fantasy reading, thanks.

If the editors decided to give all the Batman Inc members books, or a single book to share, they wouldn't have needed to worry about many of the "failings" of Batwing. They wouldn't need to tie him in with stories like Night of the Owls, or tying him in to the nuclear Bat-Family, because the Inc. members would be their own extended Bat-Family. They could have gotten rid of The Hood and added more Batmen in places like the Middle East/North Africa (maybe put the new Azrael in there), and have a Batman Inc story that is a globe-hopping spy story! A terrorist from North Africa (and enemy of Azrel) is trying to buy weapons from one of Batwing's enemies, he travels thru Paris and faces off with Nightrunner before attacking England and taking on Knight & Squire, and fleeing to a sympathetic government in China or Russia, to take on either Black Bat, or Ravil, assuming Nobdy didn't kill him off. HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?! The Batmen wouldn't all have to team up at the end to take down the baddie, but some coordination and crossover to remind you they're all there. Or use Batman a the go-between to relay messages and track the villain (I would've said Oracle, pre-52).

My point is there were ways to do right by these characters, but DC didn't take them because Morrison wanted to kill off Damian.

@blackarmor said:

A superhero who's a professional fighter? All that does is make me sad that Wildcat isn't back yet.

Wildcat is gonna be on Earth 2.

Edited by dimmoe

@blackkitty said:

I admit I tried Batwing and it didn't feel right to me. However, one aspect of the book I did like was that it was very much tied to the country. He lived in Africa, he fought against the corruption in Africa and had a ventured interest in the country. We take this new character who's a millionaire, had no real concern with the troubles going on in Africa and he's going to be the new Batwing... this feel contrived on so many levels I can't even begin to describe it.

On the other hand I can not deny they need to do something. Sales are dropping drastically, and this book may already be too late to save. I commend them for trying a new approach, just weary about their choices.

Africa is not a country but i get what your saying.

@necrotic_lycanthrope said:

I wish the costume didn't look so much like Batman Beyond's. I'd rather see Terry McGuiness wear a costume styled like that than Batwing.

He's supposed to be the precursor to Terry, who has his own book.

i really wish people would connect the dots. this is obviously the prototype to the Batman Beyond suit. also Terry has two books. Batman Beyond and Batman Beyond Unlimited one of which Luke shows up in.

Posted by soumya

@jphugo15 said:

this kinda makes bats seem like an idiot.

introducing a friend's son into the bat family almost immediately after losing his own son. wut.

And he does it with a big smile on his face

I think may be this incident took place before Damien's death.Unlike other bat books this title did not have any "requiem" issue so far.

Posted by Grim

Yet another instance of current DC trampling the original ideas for no reason.

The whole point of Batman inc was to have Batman's everywhere. not JUST in Gotham. So it shouldnt matter if Batwing or NightRunner cant make it to Gotham. The point is that they wear the Bat symbol and keep finger on the pulse of crime in their section of the world.

but NOOOOO. Now, Batman Inc. is about having a Batman Justice League, and any member who cant always be in Gotham to serve the league should be written out.

Why do we need another Bat in Gotham? Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Jason, Batgirl, Batwoman... we have an extended grouping right there. IF Batwing really needed to stop being Batwing... there shouldnt be a replacement, because if he stays in Gotham hes over kill, and if he goes to Africa it defeats the other initial purpose of Batman using people who knew the very well the place they would be protecting.

.... the better option would have been NOT to write David as uncomfortable, and just leave him out of crap that doesnt concern him. This is dumb. And i hope to god this isnt DC trying to serve the Batman Beyond future. Because as cool as it is, that timeline is full of plot holes and character flaws in relation to the comics.

Posted by Mezmero

He sounds like a cool character, I just don't have any interest in the Bat family other than regular ass Batman. I am really loving All-Star Western so I can tell it will be high quality but I have enough street level hero titles to follow without considering to add another one. Great article. Keep up the great work.

Edited by nappystr8

Wow, there were actually a lot of good clues in the interview they gave to suggest who Batwing would be. Glad that it won't be just another white guy in the suit, but it will be just another American. Maybe it's for the best that he be a character writers can relate to, but what interested me about Batwing in the first place is now gone.

Online
Posted by Jnr6Lil

Potential to be a great character

Posted by drgnx

They should have a Steel and Batwing team-up!

Actually an all tech-based JL short could be cool. Steel, Batwing, Cyborg, Engineer, Spartan, Lady-tron, Stel, Red Tornado, and Platinum.

Edited by DEGRAAF

I really like the idea and hopefully the old batwing will become a new hero in his home town but does this mean Batwing will be in Gotham?

Edited by drgnx

@fodigg said:

@captain13: I don't agree with that use of "token", but I do feel it's somewhat problematic that DC nixed the one notable (as in, promoted with its own series) black Bat character and replaced him with another black bat character in the same mantle that has no relation to or similarity to the old one. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the only important thing about the Batwing mantle is that the character is black any more than other legacy mantles are determined by race (Alan Scott to Hal Jordan to Guy Gardner to Kyle Rayner comes to mind as they had nothing connecting them), but it's potentially problematic that they couldn't come up with another mantle for young Fox and instead relegate him to the "official promoted" slot. And even if they did give him his own mantle, we can only have one leading black bat character at a time apparently. That annoys me.

Caveats:

  • Of course, if we had more black characters or more support for existing black characters (*cough*Cyborg*cough*), this wouldn't be an issue because it wouldn't be so exceptional (as in rare) to have a black leading character or black bat-character. (Yeah, you could mention Nightrunner, but when did we see him last? We've seen the new black Dark Ranger more than him. And we haven't seen the black Azrael since the reboot!)
  • If they actually follow through on the implication that Zavimbe will stay active and give him his own standalone mantle, then the net result could be two strong characters who are black, with out of Batman's shadow (whereas "Lucious/Luke Fox" is a name known to casual Batman fans and makes sense there). Unfortunately, I have doubts that we'll see this and even if we do, it will probably be a background event and I don't expect him to have his own series. If they do turn around and launch a new series starring Zavimbe in a new mantle I will change my tune and label this whole thing as a brilliant move.

Again, I'm not against "Batman Beyond Today" title starring Luke Fox, but I don't like benching a great character like Zavimbe this way and hijacking his mantle. Especially if it was hijacked just because they want to promote that mantle as "Batwing, the ONE notable black Batman", because heavens forbid we have two. I guess the "rule of three" for team books translates as "rule of two" for related titles.

It is the same thing for Women too. Wonder Women and Supergirl and Powergirl get a lot of flac. So people have no issue with Batman being able to find a way to take out the whole league (everyone who brings up the tower or JL: Doom, and god knows what else), but heaven forbid Wonder Women or Kara give Superman a hard time, guess they don't have prep right? Don't get me wrong, Batman rocks, but Dewayne does show a good example of perception and expectations based on what people are comfortable with.

Edited by neiliusprime

Definitely excited about the new direction of the series!

Edited by drgnx

I love the new costume, it makes so much more sense to have a full helmet, there was a frame where the guy takes a missile to the back, and it made no sense that his head wasn't fried.

I mean the old suit could take missile fire and but his head was so exposed any thug with a handgun and good aim could have taken him out, I mean I think the Robins and Nightwing should wear more head protection like Jason and the Bats, but this contrast was ridiculous.

Posted by ThreadPool

@fodigg: Good freakin' stuff right here. I was drawn to the book because of the idea. Batman in Africa! What kept me coming back was David. I enjoyed the way they built his backstory. There are so many things they could have done with that. But noooooo. What this book needed was a legit team. I'm talking (comic book) headline grabbing talent for a good 6 - 12 issue run. It wasn't selling well anyway, which at the beginning was a shame but is understandable now.

Posted by BR_Havoc

Does it bother anyone else that he just looks so much like a tech version of Black Panther? I mean if you are going to make a great character way try to parody the look of arguably the most important black character in comics?

Posted by Batnandez

@lvenger: It's not like that at all mostly because the economy affects everyone. Anyway, it's just dumb to complain about a book you don't read. Don't you have better things to do then to trash a comic you've never read, isn't out yet and one that you won't pick up? If you actually read the comic and then said man this sucked I didn't like it then that would be fair, or you could have said, this doesn't look like something I want to read, cool fine but you didn't, you and others went on and on how this will suck it's a dumb idea when it's an article purely speculating about the new batwing. It's silly man, it's like you writing a post on how man of steel is going to suck at least see it or wait for it to come out.

Edited by Tyrannotaur

It's nice to see DC mixing up the creative teams on books rather than just cancel them. I only hope Catwoman gets a new writer sometime this year. I really don't like Nocenti on that book.

I never followed Batwing but it seems like they sort of threw the first character to have the mantle under the bus in order to have one with a better connection to Bruce. It makes sense from the promotional point of view. Now this Batwing can be in future crossover stories in the Batfamily series of titles. Just a shame the old Batwing had to get the shaft. Hopefully it does pay off and this book is good. I like the costume alot, though I am curious as to why Bruce would just hand over such an advanced suit with no hesitation at all. I assume Lucius is asking him to do this as a favor to a friend or something.

Edited by doordoor123

@jphugo15 said:

this kinda makes bats seem like an idiot.

introducing a friend's son into the bat family almost immediately after losing his own son. wut.

He wasn't introduced to the Bat-family yet. He is a fan of Batman and is trying to get his attention because he wants to join Batman Inc. There is probably a reason why Batman hasn't recruited him yet (Newsarama interview). That said, you never know what might happen.

Posted by doordoor123

@fodigg said:

@captain13: I don't agree with that use of "token", but I do feel it's somewhat problematic that DC nixed the one notable (as in, promoted with its own series) black Bat character and replaced him with another black bat character in the same mantle that has no relation to or similarity to the old one. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the only important thing about the Batwing mantle is that the character is black any more than other legacy mantles are determined by race (Alan Scott to Hal Jordan to Guy Gardner to Kyle Rayner comes to mind as they had nothing connecting them), but it's potentially problematic that they couldn't come up with another mantle for young Fox and instead relegate him to the "official promoted" slot. And even if they did give him his own mantle, we can only have one leading black bat character at a time apparently. That annoys me.

Caveats:

  • Of course, if we had more black characters or more support for existing black characters (*cough*Cyborg*cough*), this wouldn't be an issue because it wouldn't be so exceptional (as in rare) to have a black leading character or black bat-character. (Yeah, you could mention Nightrunner, but when did we see him last? We've seen the new black Dark Ranger more than him. And we haven't seen the black Azrael since the reboot!)
  • If they actually follow through on the implication that Zavimbe will stay active and give him his own standalone mantle, then the net result could be two strong characters who are black, with out of Batman's shadow (whereas "Lucious/Luke Fox" is a name known to casual Batman fans and makes sense there). Unfortunately, I have doubts that we'll see this and even if we do, it will probably be a background event and I don't expect him to have his own series. If they do turn around and launch a new series starring Zavimbe in a new mantle I will change my tune and label this whole thing as a brilliant move.

Again, I'm not against "Batman Beyond Today" title starring Luke Fox, but I don't like benching a great character like Zavimbe this way and hijacking his mantle. Especially if it was hijacked just because they want to promote that mantle as "Batwing, the ONE notable black Batman", because heavens forbid we have two. I guess the "rule of three" for team books translates as "rule of two" for related titles.

I agree that having a Black character come in simply to replace the previous one--as seen on the Walking Dead--smacks of wrong, but I don't think that this was a similar situation. What you're talking about has to do with team books. DC caters to an American market that often has difficulty relating to non-American characters. While, Batwing started as a critically successful book, his international nature and weak ties to the batfamily probably didn't help his sales with the hardcore batfans who care about people close to Bruce. David had to be replaced to give the title another shot in the arm. And to be honest, I prefer that they replace David with another Black character so that the diversity of the line isn't hurt. In sum, I'm happy that is still a Black character in the Batfam even if it isn't David, who was headed for cancellation. And I'm willing to give Luke a chance--especially since Palmiotti is writing him. That said, the way David was gotten rid of undercut his character and could offend his fanbase. I guess we should be happy that he wasn't fridged himself and that he has a happy ending.

So I'm cool with Batwing. What I am sour about is DC barely using or doing anything with Cyborg--a founder of the Justice League. He's been in that role for two years and has no plotlines, no villains, no love interest, and no mythos. I mean, come on! I would pay so much mney for a Cyborg solo. I already buy multiple copies of the issues of Justice League featuring Cyborg prominently on the Justice League. He has a ton of potential and DC is using him has Batman's PC and the team's bus. DC has plenty of Black characters. I don't care about numbers. I care about development, which is something 99% of Black characters lack. Thank God for Batwing and Miles Morales.

They already have plans for Cyborg. There is a reason he doesn't have a book. Have you seen the teaser for Trinity War? He obviously has a story to tell before he is able to get a book. If not, he would have definitely had a book by now. It is probably up to Johns. If you're going to blame anyone, blame him because he is the one that probably isn't letting anyone use the character.

Posted by LightningTiger2190

@jphugo15 said:

this kinda makes bats seem like an idiot.

introducing a friend's son into the bat family almost immediately after losing his own son. wut.

He wasn't introduced to the Bat-family yet. He is a fan of Batman and is trying to get his attention because he wants to join Batman Inc. There is probably a reason why Batman hasn't recruited him yet (Newsarama interview). That said, you never know what might happen.

Is it confirmed that this takes place after damien's death? Batman is a little too excited in this issue lol. It's like in his head he is saying" Damn I wish I could wear this but then the lunatics I deal with in gotham might also armor up but maybe when I'm 50 or 60 I may need a "walking stick" to get around".

Edited by drgnx

Basically BatWing & StormWatch got erased this week ....

Basically BS got erased this week ....

Posted by saoakden

Bruce looks so happy to see that suit and what it can do. If I was him I ask Fox to make another one for me, either that or keep it for myself.

Edited by Emperormeister734

I will miss David and I wish the new Batwing nothing but the best

Posted by SmoothJammin

Why give it to someone else when his sons are just as well off using it? This is backwards

Posted by mattwing87

@jphugo15: I think this might take place before Damian's death. Batman seemed cheerful and he wouldn't travel to Africa if he is in his brooding moment and the other Bat characters are supposed to be comforting.

Posted by Nelomaxwell

I think we need to ask why Batwing didn't sell to begin with, Africa was one reason or should I say American Xenophobia or Apathy toward anything that's not American. I'd like to say that race was an issue but I can't on Comic Vine because all the people on Comic Vine will cry too much PC against anything that threatens their small minded power fantasy devoid of the rest of the world. Either way we'll have to see how many of these same people will pick up the title if race isn't the issue cause as far as I know the last person of color with their own book DC had besides Batwing was Blue Beetle. I personally think they should've canned the book POC are never gonna sell consistently well in Superhero comics because well let's face it most comic fans don't wanna see anyone but a heterosexual white male saving people.

Posted by mcbean

Seriously Batman should be wearing this not batwing.

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