A BATMAN: ZERO YEAR tie-in! As Gotham City descends into chaos, young Luke Fox is the only one who can stop one of his classmates from causing more destruction—but he didn’t count on his friend being so… VENOMOUS!
Cover– Slick and totally smooth are the best words to describe this month’s Batwing cover.
Flashback- It was pretty neat that Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti had the first page literally tell the tale of the Young Lucius and Tanya fox having their son Luke and transitioning into the birth of Tam and moving into their new more luxurious home. It really did put into context a great many things. The tears in Lucius eyes as he cradles the young Luke in his arms makes the seething tension between them now far more poignant. What also becomes apparent is how Lucius worked his way up the social ladder in Gotham city.
Action– Luke Fox has some killer action scenes this issue. He takes on gang members, his nemesis and fights back to back with Batman. Good stuff all around.
Art- Eduardo Pancisca and Julio Ferreira are on art duty and it all looks detailed, distinctive and spot on.
Luke Fox– This issue we see what Luke was like in High school and how he met Batman.
Nemesis– since Luke took over the Batwing Mantle he has lacked a clear cut enemy with whom he shares history and can serve as his dark reflection. For David Zavimbe it was his brother Isaac in the guise of Massacre. Russ is a weak, mild mannered teen who is the bud of jokes and get’s beat up every so often. Luke Tries to help him out by introducing him to a MMA dojo and teacher but he gets scared and backs off. At school he continues to be bullied. Finally he has had enough and snaps, literally. He buys cobra drugs online and modifies them, essentially becoming a Bane like creature. He goes on a killing spree. Luke Intervenes and he is thought dead. In the present he returns for revenge on Luke. This is the Luke Fox villain I’ve been waiting on!
Crossover- I’m happy to see Batwing being pulled into the Batman line of books crossover events, too long has it existed in isolation. Hopefully Batman year 0 will boost sales.
Reality– Russ tale was a parallel to the realities of bullying in school and how it can lead to violence. The columbine incident from the 90’s immediately sprang to mind as things unfolded. This development really added some emotion to the tale that made it my favorite Luke Fox issue yet. Kudos to all involved.
Accessibility– This is a good jumping on point for new readers an essential part of Luke Fox’s origin.
I’m tired of telling fans every month, you should be reading Batwing! This trip down memory lane is well drawn, emotional and riveting. Batwing from DC comics is very consistent and well worth the investment. Run to your store and get it now! 4/5