Batwing (Character)

Batwing-David Zavimbi

Created by: Grant Morisson and Chris Burnham

1st appearance: Batman #250, 1973

Batman, Incorporated #5, 2011 (modern version)

Nationality: Tinashan (City in Africa)

Team Affiliations: Batman incorporated, Justice League International

Legal Status: Unknown

Height: 5’11              Weight: 223

Eyes: Brown         Hair: Black

Relatives: Unnamed parents (Deceased), Issac (Brother)

Skills and Abilities: David is a prodigious armed and unarmed combatant famed as one of the most gifted child soldiers in African history. His has a natural aptitude with weapons and infiltration as well. David also has martial arts training from time in the police academy and prodigious tactical insight. He has also been trained by Batman as a detective like Nightwing/Dick Grayson, Tim Drake/Red Robin and Jason Todd/Red Hood. David also has an indomitable will and a pain thresh hold above that of a normal human Eg. David was able to still fight after having a lung punctured by a machete at close range once while still suffering from that injury he flew 1/2 a mile to engage the villain Massacre. Only blood loss prevented his optimal functioning in combat. 

Powers: He is a peak human athlete in exceptional condition. Like most of the Batman Family/Batman Inc. he has no superhuman abilities. who’s powers come from his batsuit.

Equipment: Jet propelled flight and wings that glide on air currents. His suit is also reinforced and serves as armor enhancing his physical blows while protecting him from injury. His mask also has infrared specs allowing him to see in the dark.His gauntlets also appear able to generate energy blades.

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Life of a Soldier

David was a young boy from Tinasha (A small fictional country in DC comics Africa) who grew up with his brother Issac. When they were young their parents died from HIV/AIDS [Batwing #1]. Homeless and alone they were recruited as boy soldiers to fight in a war that ravaged the country. David was a huge fan of the African Super-team The Kingdom who he found inspirational. Along with Issac he became the main enforcer of general Keita who nicknamed them the “Dragon flies” because of their speed, natural fighting ability and willingness to kill [Batwing #3].  While they killed for Keita they did so more out of the misguided perception that he was a surrogate father and his army their new family. They eventually had a disagreement after they were ordered to kill his rival Okuru, they agreed to kill him stealthy but Keita wanted the entire village razed. Refusing to kill the innocent they warned the village infuriating Keita who reprimands David causing a brutal fight between his brother Issac and Keita. Issac is brutally scarred and tossed off a cliff by Keita while David flees.

That night David sneaks into Keita’s camp, drugs him and takes him into Okuru’s camp bound and defenseless before leaving him to his fate [Batwing #4]. The loss of his brother prompted him to escaped this life by abandoning his old ways and going into a child shelter for orphans of the war. Here he met Matu Ba and  Rene Diallo who became his parental figures. This is also where he met Rachel Niamo with whom he shared his first kiss [Batwing #18]. over time he learned martial arts and became a police officer in his country. The death of Rene by Deathjack spurs him into becoming a vigilante since the police force was ineffective and corrupt [Batwing #0]

When Batman was in Africa looking for leads on Leviathan he met David and assisted him in battling guerrilla soldiers in Africa. Batman also trained David to be his representative in Africa and supplied him with the technology of the power suit and advanced AI computers and databases in his own “batcave”. [Batwing #0]

Life as Batwing

David conducted himself well on the test mission and helped batman against Leviathan. Batman then granted him the title of Batman of Africa and entrusted the protection of the nation to him. He later assists Batman in uncovering the location of all of Leviathan’s soldiers globally he then started a one man war on crime all over Africa.

He then began a long running feud with Massacre after the villain began  systematically killing members of  “The Kingdom“.  The villain managed to even run him through with his sword at one point [Batwing #1]. At the end climax of their battle in Egypt he discovered that this killing engine was his long thought dead brother Issac [Batwing #8] but an explosion apparently killed him before they could reconcile. He briefly joined the Justice League international where he fought the villain Lightweaver.[Justice League International #8]. After the JLI disbanded he was pulled into conflict with the Court of Owls [Batwing #9] and it was hinted he had unspecified history with Mari Jiwe/Vixen [Justice League International #8]. Along with Nightwing and the Batman family he ended up globe trotting and saving lives while facing off with Lord Battle and saving Matu Ba [Batwing #10, Batwing #11 and Batwing #12].

David’s next adventure involves a cult lead by a meta-human telepath/magician Father Lost and being reunited with Rachel Niamo who was now the vigilante Dawn. At the end of the conflict Dawn disappears after being injured and Father Lost is jailed [Batwing #13, Batwing #14 and Batwing #15]. Batwing the attempts to jail a billionaire’s serial killer son but was confronted by Dawn, his own corrupt coworkers and a villain which left his father Matu Ba at deaths door and destroyed his power suit. [Batwing #16, Batwing #17 and Batwing #18]. Filled with righteous rage over the escape of this killer Batwing uses all his resources to track him down, beat him into submission carry him back to jail, defeat Dawn while attempting to reform her, badly injure the billionaire before making it back to Matu Ba‘s bedside. David witnessed the death of his last true friend and was left broken. He contacted Batman who met him at Matu‘s grave where David gave up the Batwing mantle as he decided to find his own way in the world. [Batwing #19]


I'm a Caribbean born Lecturer, Multidisciplinary specialist/Androgogue/Philosophical Pedagogue; with backgrounds in Philosophy, Social Studies and Geography; founder/CEO of World of Black Heroes, freelance writer and all around comic book geek. I enjoy a good book, video games, movies and most of all fatherhood. Written credits include work for where my writing inspired the music compiliation "Kindah" available in multiple languages on Itunes, The Caribbean Journal of Education, The University of the west indies, Comicvine, Independent comics etc.

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