In issue #8 readers saw Batwing make his way to Gotham as the creative teams on the various "Bat books" began teasing the upcoming "Court of Owls" story arc. Here we get Batwing's first taste of what it's like to fight a member of the Court of Owls. Judd Winick opens the story in Gotham City, 1856 while the court are convening. The topic of discussion is whether or not Alexander Staunton, one of the court's many Talon's, had become too reckless. As we've seen in the BATMAN ongoing series, many of the Talon's liken to "undead creatures" that have been returning to wreak havoc on Gotham. Staunton is extremely powerful, and he is one of the Talon's that returns to go up against Batwing while David is attending a dinner with some of Gotham's elite.
I liked this issue not only because of Marcus To's amazing pencils, but also because it's such a fun comic book. This issue really put Batwing and his abilities on display, showing readers that the character has the ability to fight crime effortlessly and think quickly on his feet. He's smart, savvy, and he's business minded. In many ways, he might remind you of a very young Batman -- but without the necessity of having to live up to the billionaire playboy stereotype.
Talon is fully equipped and is a formidable opponent. He certainly puts up a good challenge for Batwing, thus demonstrating the character's full range of abilities. Overall, this is an issue with some really fun dialogue that is guaranteed to entertain. Great art from To, and overall a really decent storyline.
As good as it was, this issue did feel somewhat rushed in some scenes. I would have liked to see Winick extend the events we saw in this book into two issues. Batwing sort of went in and took care of the problem pretty quickly, and I would have liked to see a bigger battle between the two characters.
Overall, this is a solid comic book that is very accessible to new readers. I definitely enjoyed Marcus To's art, I think he's perfect for this book and it's nice to see more detailed pencils in this series -- particularly the background. I think Winick does a great job making this issue easy to read, so if you've been following the current BATMAN book but haven't really been reading BATWING, this might be a nice place to start the series. Solid story telling overall and great art make this a decent comic book.