In Gotham city Batwing, Robin, Nightwing and Batman take on the Razorback Armour and Massacre. With help from the original Steelback they manage to infiltrate the Armour. At the same time Batwing unmasks Massacre who is his long thought dead Brother Isaac. Before he can tell his brother who he is the Steelback Armour self destructs seemingly killing him.
Elsewhere they find Josiah Kone who confesses to turning Isaac into a killer and his revenge on the kingdom because their decision had lead to the death of thousands. Batman convinces him not to kill Kone and instead let him face imprisonment.
Cover-Awesome looking cover as Batwing and the Bat Fam circle in on the mass murdering Massacre
Action-Plenty of action to keep everyone happy
Reveal- So as originally suspected Massacre is Batwing’s brother. Things did not play out as expected which made this issue very exciting. The bigger reveal was the identity of the real villain behind the whole thing, the very man who financed and provided equipment to the Kingdom, Josiah Kone.
Misdirection-Despite initial suspicion of Massacre’s true identity Winnick played an elaborate form of misdirection that added weight to the reveal even though you knew it was coming thanks to the solicits which still touted a mystery. Good form Winnick!
Tear jerker- It’s been years since a comic has tugged at my emotions as much as this one. The big reveal and Batwing’s reaction to the revelation, his talk with Batman and the flashback at the end made me feel incredibly connected with Batwing. I felt his pain. Judd Winnick has crafted a masterful first adventure for Batwing that will stay with me and many others for years to come.
Nature vs Nurture- This issue brings up an interesting twist on the Zavimbe boys. Both child soldiers with the same beginning. David was found and nurtured by Matu Ba who made him and instrument of good, Batwing. Issac found by Josiah Kone who honed him into the killing machine Massacre. Both see justice in different ways due to how they were socialized after they were boy soldiers. They could have each been the other under different circumstances. Was this their destiny? or the influence of the world which pulled them down such radically different paths.
Art- Not the beauty that we once beheld when this book first came out. Such a pity because the TPB will suffer from the unevenness. Hopefully the art will become a highlight once more.
It’s all been leading up to this very satisfying 8th issue and despite lackluster visuals it’s story and the emotions its resonates make this one of the best books on the shelves! 4.5/5