Words: Judd Winick
Images: Ben Oliver
Issue Number: 1
Release Date: In reality September 7th but our cover reads November 2011
One of the things that leaves me excited about the Batwing series is it's author Judd Winick. I first stumbled upon this writer when best-ex (my favourite ex) insisted that I read Pedro and Me while we were dating.
I promise I will get to the comic in short time. But first you will need a little history behind the author to understand why this is potentially exciting. And potentially can be done well.
Pedro and Me is a graphic novel that I will probably review in it's own right in the not to distant future so I will try and keep it short. It documents Winick's time in the MTV Real World house where he shared a room with Pedro Pablo Zamora . Pedro was an openly gay man who was actively working on educating people about HIV and AIDS. Through out the course of their time together Winick had to confront his prejudices around HIV/AIDS especially with gay men. By the end of the show they became very close friends. So much so that when Pedro passed away Winick began lecturing about AIDS/HIV.
Winick when he returned to comic book writing has been given applause for working in characters who are LGBTQ. For addressing issues of homophobia. And then again for the creation of a super heroine who was HIV+.
So when I find out that Winick is writing a comic based in the Democratic Republic of Congo I'm curious to see what he does in terms of sexuality and AIDS/HIV. I also trust him based on his history to do it in a respectful and informed way.
Some issues that I have with Batwing on a whole. I'm glad that DC is expanding their universe to include more then just the Western world. I think that is a very good step. I'm excited to see another superhero of colour. Especially one that so far seems to be a very strong character.
Now this is outside of the writer's hand. He was not Batwing's creator. But I am a little sad to see that he is a Batman protegee. It is similar to my dissatisfaction with the vast majority of female characters in the universe not having their own stand alone stories or often being side kicks or plot devices. With baited breath I am looking forward to some subtle commentary on colonialism from this series.
Right away in the first issue there is mention of there being local Superheros at one time and then all of them disappearing into what appears to be retirement or civilian life. There was some very heavy handed foreshadowing of that being a part of the ongoing story line.
In terms of the actual story line. I found that it was reasonably interesting. There were enough subtle hints at something bigger going on to be explored later that I'm interested in reading more. Tentatively I am very excited to see where it goes. But a part of me still has some pretty huge reservations on how it will actually play out. Either way I will be happy to pull the next issue.