Saturday, February 9, 2013

Batwing #17

"Arrr! Prepare your bung to be keelhauled, ya flying landlubber!"

Did Batwing get a new suit? He doesn't look quite as fat in it as he usually does. And Ambush Bug reported that there was going to be a new Batwing or something. I thought maybe he meant the person but he might have meant the suit. David really has been needing a sleeker design. His Batwing Armor looked like it was designed in the mid-fifties Soviet Union but with less concrete.

The issue begins with Sky Pirate immediately blowing Batwing out of the air with a gun that makes a SHYEEETUMM noise. Shy Eat 'em? That's the worst weapon firing comic book sound effect I've ever read. I'm surprised DC didn't trademark the representational sound effect. Not that anybody else would ever use it for any reason whatsoever. I might make a guy having a difficult time passing a bowel movement yell that. But I can't think of a reason I'd use that for a sound effect. But then again, I'm not very imaginative. Vindictive and brusque? Sure. Imaginative? I got nothing.

Batwing's wings are disabled by the Sky Pirate's attack which leaves him as neither a bat nor a wing. Is he simply David in Armor now? David lands inside a skyscraper and commands his butler, Matu, to load up the schematics of the building so that David can find the stairs down. But Sky Pirate is right on his ass.

DC is getting their fucking money's worth out of that sound effect! Times used in five pages: 26!

Sky Pirate wants to kill Batwing to collect on the bounty offered by Philip Marksbury, the rich fucker whose son was convicted of murdering women. Normally his son would have been free to murder all the women he wanted because Philip Marksbury was just paying off the cops and the judges and the elected officials. But David Zavimbe (Batwing!) put an end to that. Now all the police hate David for drying up the bribe money. And all the super villains hate Batwing simply because there is a lot of money to be made in doing so.

In other words, Fabian Nicieza took one issue to turn this comic book into Lazy Writing Central. I'm not counting Issue #15 since Fabian was just shitting out Narration Boxes to finish up Judd Winick's Father Loost story. That wasn't a typo. It was a joke for myself. But then in Issue #16, Fabian fooled me into thinking he was writing a pretty good story. David was dealing with corruption and trying to figure out how to balance using Batwing to help stop it. Of course he didn't stop it but he did get Marksbury's son put in jail. And that's what Fabian wanted! Now a man with bottomless wealth has a vendetta against Batwing. How many issues in a row will Batwing simply be attacked by people wanting money? It involves no plot at all. No time needs to be spent writing a believable story around super heroes punching each other in the throat. He can just begin each comic with a new villain attempting to kill David. I might be jumping the gun a bit because maybe this will be the only issue of this. But I've seen it done lazily in Hawkman and Deathstroke and Grifter and Superboy and Ravagers. Maybe others. And maybe I'm remembering some of my examples wrong and what I just said happened never happened in them. Well, fuck them. Maybe next time they won't be so all around shitty that I just add their name to the list of any problem with a comic book's writing.

Fabian also decides to throw in a lazy twist! Dawn, the woman that could make swords out of thin air that I believed was killed by Father Loost but was actually just slightly stabbed, is working for Philip Marksbury! What?! She's not a good guy at all? I guess she was just serving her own self-interests before and now that she's healed, she's back to work as a corrupt thug for Philip Marksbury. Her job is to break Ancil Marksbury out of jail and take him to a country that won't extradite him for trial back to the Congo. And why not? He's just a woman murderer? Why should Dawn give a fuck as long as she's getting paid, right? Don't worry about her history as an abused child that ended up in an orphanage and learned about fighting for the right causes from Matu and the woman whose name I surprisingly can't remember! Fuck characterization when you can shock the reader with a big flip flop twist like this!

Meanwhile, David Zavimbe is having problems at work.

And he's not dealing with them very well.

The Sky Pirate's plane is called The Flying Dutchman. Not very original. I would have named it The Pirate of the Sky. Aboard this flying technological wonder that Fabrizio Fiorentino has yet to draw for me, The Sky Pirate has labs and scientists and super gadgets. They analyze the wing they took from Batwing and are able to link it to Matu. Sky Pirate feels a message needs to be made, so he readies a Matu-sized refrigerator. Nicieza is planning on making Batwing feel something the only way a lazy writer knows how!

Oh! There's The Flying Dutchman! Where the hell do you park something that big?

While Matu is being either kidnapped or killed, David has been allowed to leave desk duty so he can be shot in the back by another police officer while trying to stop a riot at building where Ancil Marksbury is being kept. David manages to not be killed by the police trying to kill him and catches up to the person liberating Ancil Marksbury. I know I've already mentioned the identity of the person but it's still supposed to be a big twist. I guess.

Oh shit! It's Dawn! And she's a mercenary now!

Well fuck me in the eye socket. That explains everything! Now I could be wrong but I didn't get the feeling she was a mercenary in the previous book. She seemed to be a hero just doing what was right as she knelt by and reported back to the grave of Rene (that was her name!), Matu's co-founder of the School for Wayward Youths That Ended Up in Military Death Squads. But earlier in this comic book, Matu says, "I preferred it when you fought simple mercenaries, like your old friend Rachel." So I guess that sets up that she was a mercenary. Matu's statement sounds like she and Batwing fought but I think he's just using her as an example of a "simple mercenary" and not an example of someone Batwing fought.

But forget all that mercenary bullshit! Last time David left Rachel, she was in the hospital and they were happy to have stopped Father Loost. But in the space of a week or two, she's now out of the hospital and she's thrown away all of her ethics. That must have been some epiphany in the hospital to realize that there are no angels when she JUST FUCKING WORKED WITH ONE NAMED BATWING! God damn it! I haven't been this angry about a comic book's ending since the last panel of Batgirl #1 when Officer McKenna turned her gun on Batgirl instead of The Mirror because Batgirl couldn't stop The Mirror from murdering the hospital patient!

Okay. That last sentence was actually a lie as I'm sure you all know since in between the time I read Batgirl #1 and Batwing #17, I've read a bunch of comic books by J.T. Krul, Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, Duane Swierczynski, and Ann Nocenti. So yeah. I've been plenty angry since then!

Batwing #17 Rating: -1 Ranking. The main thing I hate about new writers taking over titles is their flagrant disregard for the history of the comic book. And the editors aren't any better. I guess as long as the writer makes sure Batwing doesn't act like he never met Superman if he in fact has met him or that Batwing's past doesn't get rewritten (and even that isn't a hard rule in comics!), it doesn't fucking matter if the writer changes a character completely. As long as the surface stuff is still the same, nobody fucking worry about it! I guess they don't think the readers of super hero comics are sophisticated enough readers to understand character motivation and themes and foreshadowing and linear plots that fucking make sense. All we can understand is awesome costumes and punching!

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