As a detective, David (Batwing) has a lot to learn. Just when he thought he knew and understood the identity of his adversary, he realizes he is very, very wrong. What makes a really interesting interaction between a hero and a villain is a commonality. In order to make the reader care about the relationship and the rivalry, there must be an underlying reason why a villain is a hero's adversary. Without that hidden, underlying connection between the two characters, it's much harder to hook the reader. That's something that writer Judd Winnick definitely got right when he created Massacre as a member of Batwing's rogue's gallery. In issue #8 of Batwing Massacre's identity is finally revealed; and while it may be hard to believe, you might find yourself sympathizing with the character by the time you read the last page of the issue.
Every issue before this made this one worth it. Winnick's understanding of the importance of deep relationships between characters is evident in this issue of BATWING. He will make you care about the character.
There is a phenomenal scene between Batwing and Batman where Batwing questions himself and his capabilities. You get the sense that the character is still trying to find his footing and that he has a lot of compassion. It's a great scene and I felt it was one that was very important to the story and to the development of the character.
My only complaint is what the heck are they doing in Gotham City? Why does everything need to come back to Gotham? I guess because we will be seeing the Court of Owl's story arc bleed into all the Bat titles (including BATWING), Winnick decided to bring Batwing to Gotham. Yet, it didn't really make a whole lot of sense. I would have liked to see the Bat-family go to Africa as opposed to Batwing traveling to Giotham.
This is really the first time where I felt that the interactions between Batwing and the rest of the Bat-family felt really natural and organic, and I wonder if a lot of that stemmed from the way that Batman is depicted as this sort of mentor to David. This book is full of really touching scenes that will tug at your heart strings and really make you fall in love with Batwing's character. In a way, he reminds me of Tim Drake because he has less of a problem demonstrating compassion. He cares about people, and that's nice to see.
I thought it was great that Winnick left the end of the issue rather open-ended. Will we see Massacre again, and when we do will he still be "Massacre"? I'm definitely looking forward to his next appearance and their next interaction.