Saturday, February 11, 2012
Some people and/or robots might not have understood my synopsis of the first issue of Batwing so before I begin with Issue Two, I'll do a quick recap of Issue One.
Batman gives some guy named David Zavimbe a Batman Franchise in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Oh, by the way, doesn't the name 'The Democratic Republic of Congo' sound like they're trying too hard? Like they're neither Democratic nor a Republic but they really, really want you to think they are and maybe just ignore the roving gangs of thugs ruling everything?
So David becomes Batwing. He captures a guy named Tiger Blood who hollers but isn't let go. Once in prison, David wants to continue finding out more about the activities of this guy's thugs because there has been a ton of people slaughtered by him. One of the people slaughtered was a Super Hero named Earth Strike. He was part of an early African Super Team called The Kingdom. David returns to work to find everyone murdered. I mean butchered. People don't get murdered in Africa, apparently. They get butchered. Then when he's blaming himself, he gets stabbed through the midsection by a bad guy named Massacre. I think he's a bad guy being that he chose the code name, 'Massacre'.
After that, six weeks goes by and Batwing fights with Massacre in front of the pyramids and we're back to how the comic book started.
Then Issue Two begins Eight Months previous to Massacre about to genocide a busload of tourists.
EIGHT MONTHS AGO:
David gets fitted with his wings.
Batman gives David a pep talk about how being Batwing isn't about the high tech weaponry and the bat-gadgets and the wings, it's about David's will and his mind and his desire. So he's sort of like a Green Lantern without the crutch! That's why Batman can defeat Green Lantern!
I'm pretty sure DC has a master list of heroes in order of who can beat who. So the guy at the top of the list is Batman and nobody ever gets to defeat Batman unless Batman somehow allows it. Bob Kane must have sucked some major editor dick to get that in the contract. Superman is probably second on the list although I don't know enough about the Justice League characters to really speculate past Batman! Now this list would just be what heroes can beat up other heroes! Villains may, at any time a story calls for it, defeat any hero at all. Because it is always a temporary setback and doesn't have anything to do with the Super Hero Pecking Order that everyone knows Batman is at the top of.
And before you say I'm just a Batman fanboy, I really don't care who can beat up who in the DC Universe! I'm just being scientific here and studying the facts! I'm sure someone has compiled a list of every time two heroes duked it out and which one beat the other. Maybe in the New DC Universe, I should keep track of that! Let me get out my notepad!
After the Batwing costume fitting, the comic book returns to Six Weeks Previously. So far the comic book has only taken place in the present for six pages.
SIX WEEKS PREVIOUSLY:
I like how the inker turned the line of the wall that ended up in front of Batwing into a long drip of blood! Good cover!
Batwing is struggling to not die from the machete through his chest. This struggle goes on for three full pages. I think this is what the new kids are calling 'decompression' in the comic book world of story telling. Less panels and less actual movement of plot. It's especially annoying with comic books only running 20 pages now.
This is what a decompressed page looks like:
You technically have four panels here but we can effectively call it three. The majority of panels stretch the width of the page while more old school storytelling places two panels side by side. The effect is a lot of shots of people cut off in strange ways, as if you're looking through the slats of a fence. This page is a particularly egregious example due to the use of solid black silhouettes and tons of lens flares and blurry motion art. It's not even spectacular to look at!
This effectively draws out a plot that doesn't need to be extended for any reason except to extend the plot! It takes Judd Winnick five pages to get through this scene. He uses 16 panels to show Batwing being stabbed, fighting to not die, and then being rescued by Kia Okuru, the female cop from the first issue that I drew poorly. There isn't any actual tension built up by increasing the amount of pages this takes place. The panels don't do much but show close ups of clenched teeth and hands holding machete hilts and David gasping and struggling. It could have been told in one page, maybe two if I'm going to cut him some slack.
And this is seen as a good trend in comic books? I don't get it. People like to pay $3 or $4 for the amount of story that would have normally taken up maybe 10 pages of old school comic book writing? What else is Judd Winnick doing with his paycheck for writing for DC Comics? He's writing Catwoman and Batwing each month. So what does he do with the rest of the 29 days left in the month after doing his writing job?
Of course, I don't know why I'm complaining! If I had to read all of these comics every month and they were twice as dense as this, I'd never do anything else ever!
Batwing falls unconscious and later awakens in his Batcave, a place called Haven.
The dice on his shirt showing the 3, 4, and 5 sides are incorrect.
Everybody dies except Batwing and Officer Okuru. I don't know how Massacre managed to kill all of the other officers Okuru brought with her and only managed to nearly kill Batwing and beat her up. What a fucking failure! These villains really need to stop leaving the heroes alive! I bet Massacre pays for this later!
Massacre, by the way, seems to be hunting the members of the old Super Hero team, The Kingdom. Because he goes after a teacher who is actually the super hero Thunder Fall. He shoots thunder out of his hands! No, no he doesn't. He shoots lightning.
Oh, he also loses one of those hands.
And then Batwing appears with an amazing bit of dialogue that Judd Winnick thought up in just one month!
Why yes, you do look fat in that.