Will Lion Mane keep the upper hand on the newest version of Batwing?
The fight scene that takes up the first half of the book is light and fun. Of course this is a fight between some type of lion/man hybrid and a superhero who is just finding his way in the world. Batwing comes across as a competent fighter. Batman, who appears in this issue as a disembodied voice, comes across very well. Everyone who has ever read a Batman comic would not believe for a minute that he wouldn’t keep some form of Umbilical Cord on his minions in Batman INC.
The most uplifting part of this book may have been Batwing’s return to Gotham. I have no problem with telling stories that take our heroes to new and exciting places. Batwing’s placement in Africa, however, has always been a negative for me on this title. I want to see him involved with the other members of the Bat Family and the best place for him to do this is in Gotham City.
More Lucius Fox is never a bad thing. His inclusion in this book is welcomed, and I hope he keeps up this amount of page count moving forward. With a wide range of possible outcomes for these two I am very interested in seeing where the relationship with Lucius and Luke will go.
The return of B-list villain Lion Mane is something that I have enjoyed on many occasions over the years, but I found myself yawning in this issue. There is not much more than a passing resemblance to the original Lion Mane who first appeared in 1967. Maybe this character will really grab me in issues to come, as it looks like he will be around for at least another month.
We get the opportunity to meet Luke Fox’s girlfriend for the first time in this issue, though they started dating before Luke’s two month trip to Africa—an abrupt revelation that comes when she barges in on him still recovering from his recent beating. This whole scene really does not do anything for the character at all. So he has a girlfriend that he lies to. I am at the point that I am simply going to assume that every hero has one of these, and it is no longer necessary for writers to feature the tired dynamic.
The break out of Lion Mane and the arrival of the Marabunta in Gotham City really do not do much for me at all. This is supposed to be the cliffhanger of the issue but it felt like an afterthought.
Batwing #21 is another typical Batwing issue. Though not bad, it is certainly not memorable. I found myself constantly having to flip back through the issue when writing this review to remind myself what had happened in a comic I had read 20 minutes previously.