the_mighty_monarch's Batwing #20 - Batwing V. 2.0: Welcome to the Family review

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New Nightwing

Luke Fox is the new Batwing! Didn't want to say that about the last issue, but you're supposed to know that coming into this issue. There's a lot of potential with that choice, given who his father is, and his connection to the Batman Family. It also explains his natural intelligence, which is actually a bit of a point of conflict with his father, and it's refreshing to see a strained father/son dynamic where both actually have a genuine point. Neither of them is really the 'bad guy' in this situation, but they have different ideals that clash heavily. I originally didn't see why Luke didn't just use working for Bruce as a cover for his Batwing activities, but the more I think about, the more it makes sense for him not to use exactly what his father wants as a cover story. He is very determined about living his own life, following his own path, not riding along the rails of a predetermined destiny.

The one thing that kind of bothers me is that it seems like he's "Batwing" simply because he's black. He's not full African like David, but the black guy still gets sent to Africa? But to be honest, Batwing 2.0 reminds me less of Batwing 1.0 and more of classic Nightwing. Luke is a young man full of pep and lighthearted attitude. Currently he's the least dark member of the Batman Family, and he's even got a blue logo on his chest!

Regardless, he's entertaining. He's a great character, and I'm already more interested in him than I ever was in David, though I still did like David, but there was a point where David was pretty much like the rest, Luke is what's been missing from the Batman Family, that spark of untainted brightness, much like one of the reasons I so desperately want Stephanie Brown back. So Batwing now stands out more from the rest, and it's definitely drawing me to him.

Batwing's having a trial by fire, already in the heart of things for his first mission with some unique and epic foes that cover several important general themes, while sticking heavily to the African motif without being hamhanded about it. The banter he has with Batman keeps things flowing smoothly, but above all else, the action is awesome. Batwing's fight with Marabunta was awesome in and of itself for our first exposure to Batwing 2.0, but it doesn't even hold a candle to the truly epic brawl with Lion-Mane that begins in the end of this issue. I think it's a little odd that Lion-Mane is basically a Lion-Centaur, but it clearly works to his combat advantage, as he is a damn fearsome foe.

In Conclusion: 5/5

I'm probably being a bit generous, but I'm really impressed by how excellent the new direction is for Batwing, especially since it's an EXTREMELY new direction, almost a clean slate. But Batwing is now much more interesting in the Batman Family, and I can't wait to see more. Gray/Palmiotti have already begun crafting an excellent rogues gallery for him, and I'm eager to see it grow.

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