Comic Vine Review

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Batwing #1 - The Cradle of Civilization

5

The first issue of Batwing introduces David Zavimbe to readers, sets up the story and makes you care about the character. In a nut shell, Judd Winick writes the perfect introductory issue that is guaranteed to have you hooked.

When a new character is being introduced to readers, there are certain details that need to be considered. 'Batwing' #1 writer Judd Winick gives readers the perfect introductory story guaranteed to hook you into this story.

The Good

The first issue of a comic is probably the most important. Not only does the writer have to set up the story, but they have to introduce the character to their audience in a refreshing and interesting way that will make them want to come back for a second issue. Judd Winick does this brilliantly in Batwing #1. The story opens with Batwing mid-fight against 'Massacre,' a villain who doesn't only lack in morality and ethics, but has gone on a killing spree. The reader learns very quickly that Batwing works alongside (and rather directly) with Bruce Wayne, Batman. All of Batwing's tech has been provided to him by Batman which draws a direct connection between him and Batman; it also solidifies Batwing's role in Batman, Inc. as the "Batman of Africa." Similar to the Batman we'll be seeing in Batman #1, Batwing (like Batman) is seen as a myth, a legend. It is essentially why he is so seemingly threatening.

Batwing #1 is a fantastic first issue. The pacing is great, the art is phenomenal and the story, overall is very interesting. Winick introduces readers to David Zavimbe as Batwing to readers and gives him what appears to be an incredible threatening and formidable adversary. Batwing's connection to Batman and his role in the Batman universe is clear and feels cohesive -- not at all disconnected. The final pages of this issue will guarantee that you will be back for more.

The Bad

This is an incredibly interesting an entertaining first issue. No complaints.

The Verdict

I love the idea of Batman in Africa and I think it's been very well executed here. The story feels cohesive and completely connected with the rest of the Batman universe. It's beautifully drawn and very well written. Definitely an issue to put on your pull list.

51 Comments

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Edited By Jonny_Anonymous

I agree with this review, loved the issue and I like that Davis is a cop.

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CombatSpoon86

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Edited By CombatSpoon86

Glad this book got props. If it continues on consistent writing. Trade worthy or just buy on digital

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Fantasgasmic

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Edited By Fantasgasmic

I have yet to pick up this issue, but I get really upset/frustrated when I hear things like "Batman of Africa." It makes me wonder how smart the people writing the book are. Africa is the second largest continent. It's almost 12 MILLION square miles. That's twice the size of South America, and 3 times the size of Europe. There are (at current count) 54 different recognized sovereign nations, each with different cultures, legal systems, languages and dialects therein. The idea that one person would police ALL that area with the conflicting interests of the 1 billion + people living in all the varying tribes, sects, and groups that have historically had conflict with each other based on their tribes', sects', and groups' access to the limited resources... I'm gonna stop before this becomes a blog sized rant.
 
Just to compare to another Batman Inc operative: Nightrunner, the Batman of France, has a territory is about 2.25% the size of Batwing's. 
 
It just reminds me of this West Wing clip 
  

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elayem98

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Edited By elayem98

wow surprising rating i didnt expect this to have no complaints. thats great. 
 
quick question: did they change the tacky suit colors of light blue and pinkish grey to all grey? that would look way better, and what it looks like on the new cover

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KainScion

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Edited By KainScion

dont like the art

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No_Name_

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Edited By No_Name_

@Fantasgasmic said:

I have yet to pick up this issue, but I get really upset/frustrated when I hear things like "Batman of Africa." It makes me wonder how smart the people writing the book are. Africa is the second largest continent. It's almost 12 MILLION square miles. That's twice the size of South America, and 3 times the size of Europe. There are (at current count) 54 different recognized sovereign nations, each with different cultures, legal systems, languages and dialects therein. The idea that one person would police ALL that area with the conflicting interests of the 1 billion + people living in all the varying tribes, sects, and groups that have historically had conflict with each other based on their tribes', sects', and groups' access to the limited resources... I'm gonna stop before this becomes a blog sized rant.

Just to compare to another Batman Inc operative: Nightrunner, the Batman of France, has a territory is about 2.25% the size of Batwing's.

It just reminds me of this West Wing clip

I don't understand what the problem is. Batwing is the Batman of Africa like Batman is the Batman of North America.

I understand that the first issue is set in the Republic of Congo, but in an interview Judd stated that Batwing will be traveling throughout Africa. The continent.

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wingster

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Edited By wingster
@Fantasgasmic said:
It just reminds me of this West Wing clip 
  
That was really informative. Thanks for the clip @Fantasgasmic.
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Fantasgasmic

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Edited By Fantasgasmic
@Babs: I don't think of Batman as the Batman of "North America" so much as Batman of the US. How often do you read of Batman thwarting crime in Vancouver? or in Mexico City? It's one of the things that really took me out of Batman Inc. From a pragmatic standpoint it's not efficient. Just traveling between countries becomes way more complicated because some countries won't let you in if your passport has been stamped by another country.  It's not like traveling from state to state in the US, or even the EU. 
 
And I know Batman can set him up with multiple false IDs and false passports, but there's also just the massive size If there's a super-criminal terrorizing someone in Capetown, then Batwing is called on to stop pirates with super-weapons off the Horn of Africa, it's a long trip, and a lot to cover for one man, even one Batman.  
 
It's like having Cassie as Blackbat be the Batman Operative of China, instead of just Hong Kong. With 1 billion people, it makes more sense to give her a team for backup.
 
In my mind it would make more sense to almost do like "The 50 State Initiative" where Batmen, or teams of Batmen/sidekicks were set up in a country or small group of countries based on geographic size, population and number of super-criminals.
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longbowhunter

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Edited By longbowhunter

Right on! With Winick on board I figured it would be pretty good.
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wingster

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Edited By wingster
@Babs said:

I don't understand what the problem is. Batwing is the Batman of Africa like Batman is the Batman of North America.

I understand that the first issue is set in the Republic of Congo, but in an interview Judd stated that Batwing will be traveling throughout Africa. The continent.

I still dislike how Batman can ignore or bully countries in to accepting his rule of law. Seems unrealistic, especially how TheNew52 seems to take a more Marvel-istic (realistic ) view of reality. 
 
BTW, I still want a Batman of Canada, but DC doesn't acknowledge the existence of Canada. Although I did hear in TheNew52, Booster Gold is suppose to be from Canada?
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illmatic06

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Edited By illmatic06

He may be upset with how people causally refer to and think of Africa as one country with one monolithic culture. It does seem unrealistic that he has the territorty of a continent while everyone else has individual countries. But I would take this a positive step in the right direction.
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Fantasgasmic

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Edited By Fantasgasmic
@illmatic06: That's true. It is better than no acknowledgement of Africa at all, but the idea of Africa as one big country just smacks of the very Eurocentric attitudes DC is hoping to dispel with their focus on diversity in the new 52.
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spaceboy

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Edited By spaceboy

Why is the villain named after a 50cent album?

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No_Name_

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Edited By No_Name_

@wingster:

@Fantasgasmic:

@illmatic06 said:

He may be upset with how people causally refer to and think of Africa as one country with one monolithic culture. It does seem unrealistic that he has the territorty of a continent while everyone else has individual countries. But I would take this a positive step in the right direction.

I think the entire notion of Batman, INC. is ridiculous, but I still really enjoyed this issue. I understand that Africa is a continent and not a country, so I can't speak for anyone but myself.

Having said all that, doesn't the Justice League cross borders all the time? Does Superman ever have problems over no-fly zones? I don't think Aquaman has a passport when he comes through a new port in a new country. Some things you have to take with a grain of salt. If Batman can cross borders easily between different countries then I have to assume that Batwing will be able to do the same in Africa with a home base in Congo. I dunno. I'm just really happy to see a character like Batwing get his own series.

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Fantasgasmic

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Edited By Fantasgasmic
@Babs said: 

I think the entire notion of Batman, INC. is ridiculous,

I concur, 100%
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No_Name_

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Edited By No_Name_

@spaceboy said:

Why is the villain named after a 50cent album?

Why did 50 cent name his album after a comic book villain?

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Gambit1024

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Edited By Gambit1024

It was this good? Damn I might have to check this out too, lol. 

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spaceboy

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Edited By spaceboy
@Babs said:

@spaceboy said:

Why is the villain named after a 50cent album?

Why did 50 cent name his album after a comic book villain?

... you've got me there.
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huntressfan

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Edited By huntressfan

I picked up about eight books this week. This was hands down my favorite of the lot. I haven't been this excited about a new character or book in a very long time. Please people, give it a try.
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Maki_P

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Edited By Maki_P

If DC thinks they can give the whole Latin America just one Batman as well, they'll be in trouble. Now seriously, if the comic is as good as you say I might check it out; but I will not accept that a continent as big and diverse as Africa gets only one protector. Come on! Europe has 2!

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leejunfan83

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Edited By leejunfan83

@wingster said:

@Fantasgasmic said:
It just reminds me of this West Wing clip
That was really informative. Thanks for the clip @Fantasgasmic.

wow it never ends does it

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cagedleo730

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Edited By cagedleo730

If Africa is regularly ignored by the world what makes you think a comic book company will be better than anyone else at depicting or even talking about Africa? DC is in a no-win situation but they trek on.

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slick23

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Edited By slick23

I knew this one will be a gem right off the bat! Muahahaa. 

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slick23

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Edited By slick23

And guys, just enjoy the story, no need to be so SPECIFIC about it, Batman of Africa, Batman of NA, those things doesnt matter. Coz their the goddamn Batman!

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keith71_98

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Edited By keith71_98
@Babs

This is a really good issue but I can't give it 5 Stars. A few structural issues in the story telling. As far as the art,  I loved the character depictions but the backgrounds were non-existent. There was no effort given to the environments and I felt they missed a huge chance to make this a visually stunning issue.
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iaconpoint

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Edited By iaconpoint
@Fantasgasmic said:
I have yet to pick up this issue, but I get really upset/frustrated when I hear things like "Batman of Africa." It makes me wonder how smart the people writing the book are. Africa is the second largest continent. It's almost 12 MILLION square miles. That's twice the size of South America, and 3 times the size of Europe. There are (at current count) 54 different recognized sovereign nations, each with different cultures, legal systems, languages and dialects therein. The idea that one person would police ALL that area with the conflicting interests of the 1 billion + people living in all the varying tribes, sects, and groups that have historically had conflict with each other based on their tribes', sects', and groups' access to the limited resources... I'm gonna stop before this becomes a blog sized rant.
 
Just to compare to another Batman Inc operative: Nightrunner, the Batman of France, has a territory is about 2.25% the size of Batwing's. 
 
It just reminds me of this West Wing clip 
  
Wow. All I can say is, "Is that the doctor from Enterprise?" 
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Mega_spidey01

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Edited By Mega_spidey01

sounds interesting. thanks,  Babs for reviewing batwing book i might add this to my pull-list . judd winick has always been a good writer and i thought he did a great job on batman under the hood movie.     

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ImperiousRix

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Edited By ImperiousRix

I love, love, LOVED this book so much. 
Easily my favorite "New 52" book I've picked up so far.  Granted, I've only picked up three, but this is at the top!

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chalkshark

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Edited By chalkshark

I couldn't disagree more with the reviewer. I thought this failed as a first issue introduction to the character. I'm well aware of Batwing's actual introduction in Batman, Inc, but the brand new reader, that DC Comics is courting, probably isn't. The key issue of utmost importance to the first issue of any series is the introduction of the protagonist. Who is this man? Why should I care about him? What is he about? As the final page is turned in Batwing #1, I know Batwing's identity, I know he's a cop, I know Batman gave him all his gear, & financing. That's it. I don't know why Batman chose this specific man to be his representative in Africa. I don't know why this man accepted such a profound responsibility. I don't know anything real about David Zavimbe, other than, for no reason given, he's "The Batman of Africa". A new reader shouldn't be required to seek out earlier stories to better know the character they're reading about. They shouldn't just have to accept the fact that this is the way it is. Justification, definition, motivation should all be covered in that first issue.  
I picked up Batwing solely for the art work, which is beautiful. It's probably the best looking title in DC's new initiative, so far. I'll continue to pick it up for the duration of the artist's stay on the book. That said, while it may be wondrous to look upon, Batwing will not occupy a spot near the top of my reading stack. It'll be much closer to the bottom.

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Osiris1428

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Edited By Osiris1428

This was a fantastic issue. Every else is freaking nuts. Seriously...Judd Winick and Ben Oliver did a fantastic job. And not knowing who this character is, you don't get everything in this issue about this character, you just go along for the ride. I think some people are actually pissed off that it was this damn good, "How dare you make a good comic?!?!" I liked this a hell of a lot better than The New Avengers Annual and Static Shock. The backgrounds may not have been that fully realized, but, with everything else, noting that comes off as nit-picking. 
  
Great comic!! Thanks, Sarah!!

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JonesDeini

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Edited By JonesDeini
@Babs said:

@spaceboy said:

Why is the villain named after a 50cent album?

Why did 50 cent name his album after a comic book villain?

Lmao 50 dropped that album YEARS before this character appeared in a DC comic :P 
 
But seriously I really enjoyed this when I read it in store today. If I keep hearing positive feedback on it i may end up picking up this series. 
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Osiris1428

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Edited By Osiris1428
 "If I keep hearing positive feedback on it i may end up picking up this series." @JonesDeini: Dude, DO IT, seriously!!
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Eyz

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Edited By Eyz

Awesome :D
 
I know there's already more than enough Bat-books on this "New 52"-thingie, but I kinda wish we'd also have a book for other Batman Inc.-ers like Knight & Squire or Nightrunner...

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Osiris1428

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Edited By Osiris1428

Oh yeah, did anyone else spot our mystery lady in this first issue of Batwing, I did,lol!!

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andrewbullheaded

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Edited By andrewbullheaded

hey guys, i was wondering, could Massacre be the missing african hero gone mad?

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firvulag

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Edited By firvulag

Curse you comic book reviewer!

I read this based on the review and now I'm hooked!

I am now up to 16 of the new 52 series that i will be reading :P

The art is by far the best of the ones i have read of the new 52. and the theme of building Batwing up as a myth is great and it's of course fitting to what Batman is about.

Gonna be interesting to see how the idea of a Batman will work out in this culture.

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badaboop

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Edited By badaboop

My only problem with this is that he is the Batman of Africa.  An entire continent and all of its troubles based on ethnic clashing and corrupt, or poorly maintained, governments is his responsibility.  How is that even fair compared to what other superheroes have to tackle?  Most others just have to take care of a city, or maybe a region of a country.
Granted, I haven't read the comic so I'm probably not as informed on the setting but I feel like to make it a bit more plausible he should just be the guardian of a key country in Africa, not the entire thing.  Yes, it's a comic, but taking care of a whole continent is just a bit too silly for me. 
That being said, I'll try and look into this.  I wasn't sold on it for that aspect alone, not the whole race thing that everyone else was having a fit about three months ago, but if it's gotten this high of a review score I am intrigued.

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_Knightwing

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Edited By _Knightwing

Epic Art.
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MydLyfeCrysis

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Edited By MydLyfeCrysis

I expected to place this book on my least enjoyed list, yet, of what I've read so far, this is the only 5/5 book. The art was simply amazing and flowed through the action really very well (which is a problem I've noticed with a few of the other New 52.)

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redrobin123

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Edited By redrobin123

first issue so far so good, i am not sure what to think of batwing being in law enforcement in his alter ego but it may grow on me
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Golden Cod

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Edited By Golden Cod
@wingster said:
I still dislike how Batman can ignore or bully countries in to accepting his rule of law. Seems unrealistic, especially how TheNew52 seems to take a more Marvel-istic (realistic ) view of reality.  BTW, I still want a Batman of Canada, but DC doesn't acknowledge the existence of Canada. Although I did hear in TheNew52, Booster Gold is suppose to be from Canada?
 
I agree with your argument but I want to point out that the Justice League is actually becoming more like like Warren Ellis' pastiche of them, The Authority.   It's also incredibly ironic because The Authority, Stormwatch, and other Wildstorm characters/teams are being integrated into DC proper.   They even retconned The Authority's pastiche of Superman, Apollo, so that he acquires his powers from Doomsday.
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buttersdaman000

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Edited By buttersdaman000

Excellent issue. I wasnt expecting it to be  so good.
Definitely picking up the next issue
The only thing that bothers me is the" Batman of Africa". Hopefully its just a title and Batwing turns out to be more like the "Batman of Southern Africa/The Congo". This would give him roughly the same amount of territory as Batman, albeit a little larger. Then, an Egyptian Batman can take over North Africa. He doesnt need his own book (Too many Bat-titles) but he can be a recurring guest character in Batwing and other titles.

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Edited By TheRedRobin

I love how as Batwing was originally called stupid it suddenly got built up in hype and managed to live up to it.
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Emperormeister734

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I must have it 
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jNerd

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Edited By jNerd

Nice review. The book was a great start to a new character and the art was amazing.

I think Batwing is one of my new favorite heroes. I hope this series goes in the amazing direction I feel like it's headed.

I could see Batwing on the JLA in a year or two.

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jrock85

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Edited By jrock85
@Babs said:

@spaceboy said:

Why is the villain named after a 50cent album?

Why did 50 cent name his album after a comic book villain?

Well, lets hope this villain doesn't  suck like that album did.
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ravisher

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Nightwing1105

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Edited By Nightwing1105

This wasn't on my original pull list. I wasn't that interested in the character based on what i had read and his brief appearance in Batman Inc., but I decided to pick it up at the comic shop after flipping through it. I was pleasantly surprised after finishing it....it was a very well written story with some amazing art. Judd Winick put together a great introductory story for the character. This will be added to the pull list for the foreseeable future.

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DanialCarroll

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Edited By DanialCarroll

Absolutely loved this issue! It reminded me of Moon Knight... back when he was cool :)

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MisterParker

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Edited By MisterParker

This is the last straw. I am grabbing this the next time I see it in a comic book store!

Update: True to my word, I read this first issue and have to say: it didn't disappoint! Wonder what happens next issue, though..*cough cough* that last page caught me off-guard.

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