New 52 Review – “Batwing #1”

One of the franchised Bat heroes operates out of Africa.

General Information

Title: Batwing #1

Author: Judd Winick

Illustrator(s): Ben Oliver (art) and Brian Reber (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


David Zavimbe is a police officer in an African city that might actually be more corrupt than Gotham. He’s trying hard to turn it around, both as himself and as Batwing, equipped with armour provided by Batman himself.

High Point

The final reveal. There is clearly no need to pull punches for this title.

Low Point

It starts “now” and then jumps to “six weeks ago.” To me, that always feels like a cop out to artificially add excitment to an otherwise weak opening.

The Scores

This is a character who has never had an ongoing title. He first appeared recently in “Batman Incorporated #5,” which only released 8 issues before the relaunch. I haven’t read those, so this is my first exposure to the character. He’s not Batman, but I can see why Batman would respect him enough to include him in “Batman, Inc.” I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. It has something of a painted feel to it, which works very well for the tone and setting of the title. Characters are clearly and consistently depicted. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is off to a good start. There’s going to be definite detective work here, which was one of the defining elements of the series it spun off from. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization of the title character is clear. We know what struggles he’ll face both with and without the mask. We also learn a bit about the people around him, but next to nothing about his adversary. This could be a very interesting ride. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is better than expected. I had no initial interest in the title, as I’d never seen the character, and was pleasantly surprised by it. The villain is as psychotic as a good Bat-villain should be. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is smooth, although that may not hold up well over the first story arc. This doesn’t get completely caught up with the inital “now” part of the issue before the flashback, and if it takes four to six months to get there, it may feel awkward to monthly readers. Still, this issue judged in isolation warrants 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent enough book. Bat fans should definitely check it out. Art fans should flip through it or check out preview pages, as you might pick it up for the art alone. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Batwing #1 receives 34 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman