batwatch's Batwing #18 - Grounded review

Batwing #18

Casualties of War

I'm pretty stoked about this issue of Batwing. I enjoyed the Sky-Pirate from last issue, and the creative team is saying that someone will die soon. The obvious choice target for death would be Matu for Heaven knows a hero cannot be allowed to have a father figure, but there are other options. Another intriguing question is what will happed to David Zavimbe and who will replace him? Jimmy Palmiotti (former inker and cover artist for Catwoman, inker for Jonah Hex, writer for Ame-Comi Girls and current writer for All-Star Western) , and Justin Gray (former writer for Jonah Hex and Power Girl and current writer for Ame-Comi Girls, All-Star Western, and Human Bomb) have made it sound as if he will still be alive in future issues, but supposedly, there will be a new person in the suit. There are not many options. Could Dawn possibly fill the boots, and if not, what role does she play in this story?

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At the moment, I have more questions than answers, but that is a good place to be when getting psyched for a comic. Now, it is time to find some answers. Does Batwing #18 add intrigue, action, and suspense to the tale of Batwing, or is this one hero who has had his wings permanently clipped?

In this issue, David Zavimbe faces Dawn while Sky-Pirate destroys Batwing's base gravely injuring Matu.

Bat Droppings

Due to being behind on schedule, I'm going to do things Bat Droppings style because it makes reviews go more quickly.

1. We've got a really nice, sharp, content appropriate cover from the artist for this issue, Fabrizio Fiorentino. (former artist of Titans and current artist of Batwing) It's nice that Batwing has finally broken its streak of boring, generic cover art.

2. Speaking of Fiorentino, his work looked sharp in this issue for the most part though faces did occasionally look a little off such as Dawn's in her first appearance this issue.

3. I find myself, once more, wishing that this comic would take sometime establishing exactly what is and what is not part of Batwing's system of operations. The base now has...new features which were previously undisclosed. It's past time for some ground rules.

4. I am loving Sky-Pirate as a villain. He has an arrogance and pragmatism which makes him so much more interesting than the average obsessed, bloodthirsty psychopath. His costume, ship, and crew are all very interesting. I hope he becomes a recurring villain.

5. I think I mentioned in my last review that Sky-Pirate's asymmetrical mask design intrigues me, but I do not think I realized until after I wrote last month's review that there is significance to this design. It is mimicking an eye patch like the pirates of yore.

6. The dialogue is strong throughout this issue, and it is especially nice to get some insight into David's head. This is much better than Judd Winick's (former writer of Batman, Batwing, and Green Arrow) most recent handling of the character where David was pretty much viewed just on a surface level.

7. According to Palmiotti and Gray, there will be a new person in the armor soon, and I am wondering if it might be Dawn. She is currently acting as a villain, but she has previously acted as a hero. Perhaps this arc could make her more of a hero?

8. The moral ambiguity of David's boss, Sita, if fitting with the theme of police corruption.

9. I was actually surprised that Matu was injured in the explosion. I figured he would have made it to a safe room in the base. It has been implied that Matu will die, but usually, comic deaths come through direct violent means and not through a prolonged, drawn out hospital stay.

Spoilers until Conclusion

10. It is a little odd that Sky-Pirate's ship is still hovering around Tinasha scanning random civilians.

11. It's about time somebody use some facial recognition tech on one of these heroes with lousy masks that barely cover facial features.

12. Foolish as it was, it was nice to see David cut loose on the crooked cops. I think its safe to say that David has officially burned all his bridges. Again, this raises the question of how the series can continue.

13. Matu leaves a note about a bomb. I would assume this bomb will be used to destroy the pirate ship.

14. The last two pages of this issue are amazing. It really got me fired up for the next issue. I am going to guess that Batwing will not resort to lethal force, but he mentions that he, “Tried to be someone he is not,” which is something I've been considering recently. Batwing and all the other Batmans from Batman Incorporated have basically adopted Bruce's mantle rather than creating their own. Doesn't David and the other Batmen, from both an in-universe and narrative viewpoint, need to find their own path rather than jumping on to Bruce's?

15. I was not expecting a new outfit this month. It is not the same outfit as we will see in Batwing #20 with the full face mask, and it is not the same suit as he previously wore. The suit is darker and has many glowing slashes (which would probably be unhelpful from a stealth perspective but look absolutely amazing) the wings are shaped differently and glow, and the Bat symbol is different. On the other hand, it still is not a full face mask, and it is lighter than the future Batwing costume. I suppose this is a good hint of David's possible internal transformation which is on the cusp of becoming a reality if he kills once more.

Conclusion 9/10

I greatly enjoyed this issue. I am very much confused about what the future holds for Batwing, but if it continues to contain stories like this, count me in.

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

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