Batman joins Batwing in the latest issue of BATWING, but does it really matter?
While I personally did not feel that a lot of plot development happened in this issue, there was a considerable amount of character development. We find out that Batwing is plagued with memories of his past; haunted by the things he was forced to do unto others. Winick spends a little bit of time on the reasons behind David's decision to become Batwing, but not much on David's journey actually getting there. That's something I am definitely looking forward to. Basically, seeing some of David's motivations for the life he's chosen fleshed out is nice, but I would have liked to see a little bit more.
The art, again, is very beautiful. The realistic feel delivered by Ben Oliver really compliments the harsh story that Winick is conveying. Oliver's pencils are very complimentary. The style is perfected with the light inking and matte finish of Brian Reber. The result is yet another very pretty issue, although I still would like to see the backgrounds fleshed out.
Winick is crafting Massacre into a truly formidable adversary with a penchant for blood and vengeance, but one that does not work alone. When a villain can afford hired guns, the tables turn a little bit.
Winick keeps his promise to continue taking Batwing all throughout Africa, as you will see on the final page of the issue.
This issue could have done entirely without Batman. In fact, it was pretty obvious that it was either Winick or editorial's decision to just throw in DC's biggest name into the mix in hopes of improving this book's sales. The result is rather lackluster. Were it not for the fact that Bruce Wayne was the benefactor of the museum where all of the action goes down, there would have been little reason for him to make an appearance in the issue, period.
Lack of backgrounds really bothered me and I do hope this is rectified.
While it was great to see Winick further explore David's backstory, the reader is left wanting more. What about exploring how David gained the means to take on the role of Batwing? Where did he find his inner strength? This issue might leave you scratching your head with a lot of unanswered questions.
Not a whole lot is revealed as far as the reasons behind Massacre's madness is concerned, but we do discover his plans to move throughout Africa, although we don't know why.
If the writer is planning on taking these characters throughout the African continent, then I think the artist is really going to have to step it up and spend some more time on the backgrounds to many of these panels. The artist should be able to distinguish the different regions of Africa through his art, and that's not really happening. What distinguishes the Congo from Egypt? There's no point in taking the characters to different areas if you can't visualize it through the art. Africa is a very large, diverse continent. Show me that it is.