Filled with rage and searching for justice, David Zavimbe is given the chance to relate his earliest adventures in “Batwing” #0. A child soldier liberated from the unbearable circumstances that forged his rage, Zavimbe is depicted as single-handedly taking on gangs of men, and Marcus To, Ryan Winn, Richard Zajac and Brian Reber make that struggle believable and stunning to behold. To manages to paint rage on Zavimbe’s face and Winn, Zajac and Reber lock it down.
Judd Winick’s development of David Zavimbe has powered this series to this point, giving Zavimbe the backing of Batman and providing him with the means to wage war on wrongdoings in Africa. “Batwing” #0 digs a bit deeper, showing the deeds Zavimbe accomplishes which draw the attention of the Dark Knight. Winick moves the tale forward, delivering the conversation between Zavimbe and Batman that provides Zavimbe with the armor synonymous with his heroic designation. Everything Winick provides in this issue adds character and depth to Zavimbe, making him more appealing as a character than I recall from recent appearances in “Justice League International,” but reminding me that “Batwing” is a title that offers a character striving to be a hero and hold up the heroic ideals for others to aspire to.
As already mentioned, To’s art is solid. He is very strong in composing panels, frequently minimizing backgrounds and details to implied shapes and objects rather than distracting from the acting his characters deliver in those panels. Reber maintains his end of the partnership by providing detail and dimension through colors and patterns, completing and solidifying this issue’s visuals.
“Batwing” manages to pleasantly surprise every time I read it. Zavimbe is a nice alternative to Batman and Nightwing while still projecting many of their sensibilities without being restricted to the confines of Gotham City. An origin story that truly provides the beginnings of Batwing’s heroic journey, “Batwing” #0 offers just enough to inform and intrigue, especially with the vignettes of scenes from Zavimbe’s early days fighting crime. One scene in particular, with Zavimbe fighting some mutated humanoids (one of which is hippo-like and another crocodilian, like Sobek) appears to be from a tale that bears further investigation. I’ve enjoyed my check-ins with “Batwing,” but frequently fail to return for a follow-up. This issue gives me just enough reason to do so next month. “Batwing” #0 is right in line with what a zero month should deliver.