Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs
Date: June 2012
Batwing 8 was really good. I had been unsure as to whether I wanted to continue reading this comic, though in the end I would’ve kept with it a bit longer for sure because I’m looking forward Marcus To’s upcoming art and the Court of Owls tie-in. After this issue, I’m reading it for itself, and to find out what happens with Batwing as a person. Warning, there will be spoilers ahead, including about the identity of Massacre.
The story since issue 1 has been about Batwing developing as a Bat-brand vigilante and finding his Mission, while also searching for Massacre, who’s been out killing former African vigilantes. Here in issue 8 we finally discover who Massacre is, and although I had my suspicions from the beginning (and I was totally right) it played out really well. I definitely felt engaged in the story and captivated by the relationships and effect on Batwing himself. Here’s the amazing moment where he realizes that General Keita was not the man behind the mask:
David (Batwing) realizes here that Massacre is his brother Isaac, who was a child soldier with him in Keita’s army. As I was reading this I couldn’t help but compare David with Bruce Wayne. They were born into wildly different circumstances, and they grew up almost in different worlds, but they each lost family to tragedy, and turned to crimefighting to help heal their grief. The two men talk when things finally quiet down. This was the part that really got me interested in Batwing, and in where David will go as a character after this.
Is there anything better than a Batman who believes in you? I don’t think so. The other thing that I enjoyed about Batwing 8 was Dustin Nguyen’s art. He has a very particular style, and although this is less detailed than some of his other work, especially in the backgrounds (maybe they didn’t give him much time?) I really enjoy how he drew Batman, Robin and Nightwing as well as the art we’ve already seen of Batwing himself. Here’s a great moment with our Gotham crew, ready to jump off the page:
So there we are, Batwing 8. It was sad, but in a good way, and definitely worth reading. If you’re reading it I’d love to hear what you think about this issue and where they’re going from here, comments are always welcome.