COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Batwing: In The Shadow Of The Ancients
Before the New 52, there was a comic book series called Batman Incorporated. The idea was fairly simple, the mantle of the Bat could be extended further than the city borders of Gotham. Although the series came to an end with Flashpoint, some of the characters and ideas did survive the metaphorical culling. Among them was David Zavimbe, aka Batwing. Operating out of Africa, this comic book series gave a chance for readers to be exposed to newer characters who resided outside of the USA. The first novel, ‘The Lost Kingdom’ introduced us to Batwing and his mission to locate the missing members of “The Kingdom”, a group of African superheroes who had been missing for many years!
‘In the Shadow of the Ancients’ we see the conclusion of the story that started in ‘The Lost Kingdom’. The story that started in Africa, however, finishes in Gotham with Batwing teaming up with the Bat-family. Continuing on the theme of team-ups, the Bat-family aid David in missions across the world, but during one particular mission in China, David’s mentor Matu finds out that his entire estranged family have been murdered. Returning for the funeral, Matu finds himself at the mercy of the tyrannical leader, Lord Battle, who rules over the fictional African nation of Tundi. As Matu investigates what Lord Battle has been doing in his home country, he’s captured leaving Batwing with a rescue mission on his hand. However, not that Batwing has been catapulted to the international stage, he manages to enlist the help of Nightwing and the Justice League International to help him rescue his oldest friend. Although it seems like the numbers are in their favour, the heroes find that Lord Battle has a mystical power and powerful metahuman underlings that are not going to go down without a fight. Can Batwing figure out how to stop Lord Battle or will he lose his adoptive father just as he’s lost all his family!
Once again, with the Batwing novel, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this series. I think that this novel had the perfect progression for David’s character. He discovers some family secrets, he manages to join the Bat-family for some mission and then he leads a team consisting of Justice League International members to fight a powerful metahuman in Africa. It seems like everything is going David’s way, to be honest. I think the one thing that perhaps is still lacking, is the life outside of being a superhero. We see aspects of that, but it’s difficult to connect to the character without being able to see that side of him.
The artwork was excellent in some of those issues, I actually thought that the artist draws certain comic book characters, such as Nightwing, Booster Gold and Guy Gardner better than I’ve seen in some of their main comic books. The covers were also not bad at all, and this one above just captured my eye as soon as I saw it. Overall, I think that this was a really good novel that stepped up exactly as I would have hoped it to. I can only wait to read future novels in the series!
Wholesome Batman Incorporated moments like this!
Batwing is awesome, there’s no denying that. However, Nightwing’s guest appearance could not be ignored!
Story Arc: 13/20
Character Development: 14/20