Gray & Palmiotti continue to deliver lots of action
This issue picks up exactly were the last one left off; with the high-tech army ant themed mercenaries, called the Marabunta, converging on Lucius Fox’s resident. The Marabunta invade the Fox Resident and all hell breaks loose as Luke Fox starts to ponder if the Marabunta know that he is Batwing.
I give a summary of what happens in this issue, there will be spoilers below
In the previous issue, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti delivered some fast paced action and in this issue, they do the same. During the start of the issue, Luke fends off the Marabunta as they parade through his father’s home. He takes out a number of them (without his bat suit) and even takes a few energy blasts to the chest and back, which he walks away from. He starts to question if his action in DR Congo, against the Marabunta, has led them to uncover his secret identity. However, he quickly assessed that it was not him who the Marabunta were after, but his father. The Marabunta then kidnaps Lucius Fox and Luke begins to wonder, why? After hacking his father’s computer, Luke discovers that his dad designs a lot of Batman’s tactical gear at Wayne Enterprises.
This was a really cool moment in the issue to me. Luke discovering what his father does for Batman via hacking the data files at Wayne Enterprises (from his father’s home computer) adds a defining level of intelligence to Luke’s over all character. Although it really isn’t something that we haven’t seen other characters do, it’s the fact that Luke even has the ability to do so that intrigues me. This series did a complete reboot when Luke Fox was introduced, and people wondered (and still do wonder) what made this guy so fit to be Batwing? In these past few issues, I feel that Gray & Palmiotti have done a nice job showcasing that Luke is a well rounded bat-character with combat aptitude and a defined intellectual prowess.
Anyways, after contacting Batman and grabbing his bat suit, Luke meets up with him; and the both of them go on to track down the Marabunta by following a tracer implanted in Lucius Fox. Apparently, all top level Wayne Enterprise employees have tracer implanted within them in case a situation like this were ever to occur. If you’re a frequent reader of Batwing then you know Batwing teams up with Batman a lot, which I go into detail about later. Batwing and Batman infiltrate the Marabunta hideout and while doing so, Luke showcases a few abilities of his bat suit. He has “detective vision” (which one would assume other Batmen Inc. members have) that allows him to see targets through walls via heat signatures. He then uses the suit’s low-level invisibilityafter Batman tells him that it gives him an advantage. Luke reveals to Batman that he made a few modifications to the bat suit that allows for up to 12% more invisibility.
I thought that was pretty cool because, Palmiotti stated in a few interviews that Luke was going to tamper and alter the Batwing armor. So this is our first sampling of Luke's tinkering. I'm excited to see what the suit will be capable of in future issues. Batwing and Batman then go on to take out some more Marabunta soldiers and come into conflict with a Marabunta Queen. Then the issues ends with a cliffhanger.
Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira did a good job with the art and colors. Pansica really fits this title. His action sequences look sharp and clean. The facial expressions look better than last issue, although Batman appears to smile and/or grin again. It sounds nitpicky but, I feel like that’s so out of character for Batman. Bruce Wayne smiles in this issue, which is cool, but when he’s in costume as Batman and stills smiles? -- it seems kinda off. However, like I aforementioned the art looks good.
Batman is present in yet another Batwing issue. After using my detective skills, I discovered that Batman has appeared in 14 out of 22 issues of the Batwing series since the book’s publication. I’ve read every single issue of Batwing (been a fan since the beginning) and one of the things about this book that always annoyed me was Batman’s presence. This is BATWING’s book, yet Batman is present in more than half of its issues.
If you compare the number of issues that Batman appears in this bat-book to the number of times he has appeared in other bat-books, you can’t help but wonder-- just how confident is DC in this series? This series survived three cancellation cycles and is now on its third creative team (who are doing a good job) but Batman seems to be brought in for sales. However, to be fair, Lucius Fox is a valuable asset to Batman so it would make sense that he would get involved in this altercation. But still, Gray & Palmiotti could’ve told a different story or wrote this one so that Batman wasn’t involved.
Below you can see the number of times Batman has appeared in the bat-related books were he is not the titular character.
Nightwing: 4 out of 22 issues
Batgirl: 4 out of 22 issues
Red Hood and the Outlaws: 6 out of 22 issues
Talon: 3 out of 10 issues
Batwing: 14 out of 22 issues (soon to be 15 because this issue ended with a cliffhanger.)
Things are heating up! Gray & Palmiotti deliver some great action and Pansica & Ferreira did a good job with the art and colors. Everything flows really nice in this issue and things are nicely paced. However, Batman is present in yet ANOTHER Batwing issue and that really annoys me. Why does Batman show up so much in this series? Is it a gimmick done to draw in readers?
4/5 or 8/10