We'll all miss you Judd
You know, its been quite a while since I've written a review, but that's just the way things turned I guess.
Judd ends his run on Batwing with a beginning, as corny as it sounds, and to his credit he does it well. This issue, while business as usual for Batwing, really just serves to show why Judd Winick's leaving the book is a huge loss on DC's part and I really do dread what will happen to Batwing with Judd no longer writing this book.
But more on that later.
In keeping with the theme of the 0 issues, this is a sort of prequel to the first issue, but because much of Batwing's origins have already been shown to us, Judd doesn't waste time telling us what already know and instead shows us the events leading up to his becoming Batwing. Its well-told, if maybe not feeling a bit on the short side. But all the same, its well-written, and as always, Judd has a strong grasp on Batwing/David's character. The little reference to Massacre that he sneaks in is also a nice touch, and it is fun to see a montage of David fighting crime in a more Nightwing-looking form before donning the hi-tech armor. Less well done is Judd's introduction of other African superheroes that David apparently has some history with. These chaps just appear out of the blue with no context whatsoever behind them, and while its obviously not possible to delve into their backstories while simultaneously going into Batwing's, their roles are so minor its extremely generous to call them roles at all, and as a result they feel completely unnecessary. But that is a minor problem.
Marcus To's art is more or less of the same quality its been in previous issues but I'd be lying if I said I prefer it to Ben Oliver's art, which aside from being very nice I felt also fit the book's tone and environment perfectly, but that's just me. At the end of the day, Marcus To is a solid alternative and a few what I call "lazy drawings" aside, he doesn't disappoint.
I can say with full confidence that Batwing has been my absolute favorite of the Batman books of the New 52, even more then Batman itself, and that's got Scott Snyder on it! Now that Judd Winick is leaving DC, Batwing's future is uncertain, and its hard not to be scared by that. Maybe its the cynical side of me talking, but my faith in DC's ability to replace Judd with a replacement who knows what he's doing is not exactly high. I mean, Fury of Firestorm went down the toilet pretty fast after its original writers left. Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I don't think a single person was shedding any tears when Tony Daniel left Detective Comics, so I suppose it could go either way.
As already made clear, Judd ends his run on Batwing with a solid entry in DC's new string of zero issues. As it is, its probably for the best that Judd's last issue be something like this rather then part of an arc he would never get to finish. Its just too bad that this has to be his last issue at all.