Judd pulls it off
I had said that more then even Batman, Batwing was the one title I would be most interested in. And after reading this, I can say without a doubt that I was not disappointed.
Judd does a fantastic job of immersing you into Batwing's world in just one issue. OK, so the "police officer who is also a Batman type-hero" is not the most original idea in the world, but it works here. Like in Gotham, the police force here is corrupt, and Batwing seems to be one of the only pure officers present. He almost comes off as a mix of Batman and James Gordon, albeit much younger and more inexperienced then both.
The issue opens with a battle scene that is actually not quite as good as the rest of the issue. The writing in it is pretty skeletal, and not the best. A little over-dramatic. Its in the rest of the issue where the meat of the story is.
And now lets talk about the art. Ben Oliver's art is amazing. There really isn't any other way to describe it. I'm also pleased to see that they changed the coloring of Batwing's outfit. It is no longer the odd pink it used to be, but a color more suited to the character. It really is a great design, it just needed a better color scheme.
As for Batwing himself, Judd writes him as having elements of Batman and Black Panther, but in both cases, the comparisons are really only minor. Judd does a great job at selling Batwing as his own character, and as a superhero who is new to the game, but catching on quickly. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Massacre, unfortunately, does not come off as quite as compelling. He seems pretty stock as far as a villain is concerned, though his more formal way of speaking does make him a little creepier then the average knife-loving serial killer villain. That cliffhanger at the end is pretty messed up too.
And so, Batwing emerges as the DCnU title most worth reading. At least as far as the September 7th offerings are concerned. Judd Winick has once again proven why he is one of my top 3 DC writers, and has also sold me fully on the character of Batwing.