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Batwing #21 - Lion-Mane's Fangs of Doom Review

4

This is it. The new Batwing is on his own and has to defeat a deadly foe. It's not looking too good for him.

The Good

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray continue to flesh out the new Batwing. Rather than just be another clone of a Bat-Family member, you immediately see he has a different feel. Facing Lion-Mane, he's truly being put to the test. This is a man/creature that believes he's a god. His vicious nature and ruthless attacks could prove to be too much for this new hero, despite his previous training as a mixed martial arts cage fighter, this could prove to be too much.

Batwing is clearly being given a long leash. Batman may have chosen him to replace David Zavimbe but still keeps contact with him in an almost Batman Beyond-type situation. You do have to wonder what happens if Batman is called away while Batwing is on his own mission.

Palmiotti and Gray also show us more on Luke Fox's personal life. He's not just another random character in a high tech Bat-suit. It's important to flesh the character out and they are doing just that. Luke is becoming more human and likable as we see he's not a brooding and emotionless hero.

Eduardo Pansica's art fits the book nicely. The suit definitely has a tech-feeling to it instead of just being a regular Bat-suit. Seeing how Batwing fights his opponents differently than how Batman would is crucial in establishing him as his own character.

The Bad

It's still unclear how much training as Batwing Luke has had. It's understandable that we would just jump into this new direction rather than have issue after issue of Fox training to become worthy of the suit. What's a little hard to grasp is how he could be so calm when a huge man with the body of a lion is in his face threatening to eat him. There is also a point when Lion-Mane throws mud in Batwing's face and he exclaims, "No fair!"

It is great seeing Luke try to maintain a civilian life but how he manages to juggle the two could be a stretch. There's a reason Batman doesn't have many personal relations. Luke will have to come up with a better cover story each time he needs to rush out into action in order to maintain his secret identity.

The Verdict

Nothing against the previous direction of this series but with each issue of the new direction, I become more enthralled. Palmiotti and Gray have given us a new Bat-character to root for and his personality is different enough to set him apart from the others. While he's still a rookie, he does seem a bit too skilled in taking on insane odds, even if he was a cage fighting champion. You can feel the risk he is taking in pursuing this lifestyle while trying to keep it a secret from family and friends. DC, Palmiotti and Gray may have taken some risks in this new direction but it is definitely paying off. I'm getting more and more hooked on the character and can't wait to see what he has to face next.

15 Comments
Posted by FlashDamn

I loved it

Posted by tchalla3000

I have to say, I was sceptical about the new batwing, but the story so far is interesting. Good stuff, you can tell he's young by how he speaks.

Edited by The_Greatest_Green_Lantern

I am LOVING the new Batwing.

Edited by blkson

This was a decent issue. The action really saved it from being a tanker, IMO. The art became lackluster after the the main skirmish and their was some really weird dialogue at times. The issue overall though, was really fun and action packed.

Posted by wisesonAC

eh idk it just..... idk the ending was intresting

Posted by FlashDamn

@g_man:Is the Batwing series still in danger of cancellation? cause I am worried

Posted by blkson
Posted by wisesonAC

@blkson: lol i dont even know. im still reading monthly but the big change left a bad change in my mouth. im warming up to this though. and the ending made me want to see what will happen next.

Posted by jdp180

@g_man:Is the Batwing series still in danger of cancellation? cause I am worried

Maybe it is but I will ride with it until the end.

Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose

@g_man:Is the Batwing series still in danger of cancellation? cause I am worried

The sales figures for #20 aren't available yet, but #19 was a very low seller. It's been selling badly for ages though, and they still haven't cancelled it, whilst they cancel other popular series that actually outsold Batwing. Batwing gets special treatment for some reason, so I imagine they'll keep it going for a while.

Posted by etamogrey77

@v_scarlotte_rose: it's the last comic starring a black character that dc has going

Edited by DarkWriter

For the most part, I enjoyed it. The fight scene was pretty solid; Luke looks like a rookie who's getting the hang of his new gig, Lion-Mane looked ferocious and over-powering, and the resolution made sense. The love interest looks like another major stress factor for a guy who doesn't need any more. (did anyone else notice her eyes are blue?) I find it odd that Lion-Mane was able to break out of his shackles once the Marabunta took over the plane; why didn't he do that earlier? The family scene was nice, but it felt rushed. And as much as I truly LOVE all the genius in this family, Tiff being a 7-year old savant is a bit much. The final scene was creepily well done, and I can't wait for the next issue. *cough*ZavimbeForever*cough*

Posted by Friskynesss

His "No fair" line was probably just his form of combat banter. He is young after all and he kind of reminds me of Spider Man or maybe Nightwing, fighting with the possibility of death but keeping a cool head by trying to be funny.

Posted by DarkWriter

His "No fair" line was probably just his form of combat banter. He is young after all and he kind of reminds me of Spider Man or maybe Nightwing, fighting with the possibility of death but keeping a cool head by trying to be funny.

Agreed. On the whole, it's kind of a lame line, but I get how it reflects Luke's more light-hearted nature. I'm tellin ya, a Luke and Dick team up would gold, Jerry! Gold!

Posted by Herx

mmmm, i just don't like Luke as a character especially when compared to David. He's lacks the experiance that David had (David having been a masked hero for some time before donning the batwing mantle) as a fighter, he gets thrown around like a ragdoll rather than dodging (also mentioning how the suit protects him) and he let Lion mane get enraged, which made his movements unpredictable + Bruce had to save his arse by taking control of the car and driving it into Lion Mane. Then the following scenes just make him seem less like the "genious" he's aparently meant to be, and more like an idiot (he's in affrica for 2 moths and doesn't call his girlfriend at any point? They sell phones with international calling cards really cheaply out there + he's got all of the communication equipment of batman inc, so whats his frigging exscuse). + I'm pretty sure that siblings don't talk to one and other (referencing the Tan-Luck conversation) like that 'I'm the sweet one and your the screw-up', or at least me and my siblings dont (we just call each other poopie-heads like mature adults), + Since when did it become a rule that all children in the DC universe had to be super-IQ geniouses? Why couldn't the littlest Fox just be an ordinary 7 year old girl?