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.
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.