SPOILER WARNING: Batwing appears in this book
In case you haven’t noticed (and judging by sales figures, that’s most of you), the writing team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are doing some pretty special things in the Bat-verse. With Batwing #26, Gray and Palmiotti show us that the concept of Batman Incorporated is still alive (albeit on life support), as Batwing heads to Italy.
From start to finish, Batwing is extremely well written. The writing team gives Luke Fox a voice that is distinct from other DCU characters and instantly likeable. Yes, he’s in top physical form and incredibly smart like all other superheroes, but his voice is that of a real person placed in extraordinary circumstances. When using a fake persona to infiltrate a crime lord’s inner circle, his inner monologue informs us how uncomfortable the situation is for him. Plus, there’s the reveal that the act is just him imitating as many bad movies as he can remember. These character moments stand out and differentiate Gray and Palmiotti’s handling of Luke from the writing in DC’s top titles.
The plot is bonkers and fun. Luke is undercover in Italy where he meets up with another of Batman’s international agents. The crime boss they are after is Caligula, the biggest Gladiator fanboy on the planet. While the scenarios might induce some eye rolling, this issue is filled with the same type of crazy-pants fun that fans claim is lacking from DC’s stable of books. And despite the overall light tone, the writers still manage to throw in elements of gravity and danger that make for well-rounded storytelling.
And how great is that Darwyn Cooke cover? Simply gorgeous.
None. This book is pure fun from start to finish.
Batwing #26 is a blast. The over-the-top villain, combined with sound character work and a sprinkling of sexual tension make for a fun read. If you’re looking for a more lighthearted DC title, maybe it’s time you stopped picking up Batman: The Dark Knight or Superman and gave Batwing a try. You’ll likely find yourself coming back for more.