In the most recent issues of Batman Incorporated, a character who was first conceived in 1973 in Batman #250, was reintroduced by Grant Morrison as Batwing. While little is known about the character, DC has determined that this character deserves an ongoing with relaunch this September. Heading up the series is Judd Winick, who is no stranger to The Batman Universe. Comic Book Resources interviewed Winick about what we can expect to see from this Batwing character.
CBR: Batwing is a brand new character, originally introduced in the pages of "Batman Incorporated." Starting in September, are you the permanent writer on "Batwing?"
Judd Winick: As far as I know! [Laughs] It's a regular monthly and I'll be writing the series; this is my book. I think part of the attraction for me was to do a character like this, who is a blank slate. Across the board with the 52 new number ones coming out, there are a handful of characters that are absolutely brand new that DC has given us permission just to run with. This is one of them.
Now, this is not only a new character, but it is a new landscape as far as telling a story in Africa. It's really something that's been kind of untouched for DC Comics. And when I say Africa, one really has to think about it as the continent. It's a very, very, very large place, much larger than America. Batwing will be a very international hero, going around and about not only his own continent, but as Batman has wandered around the world, so will he. Primarily his focus will be in one very damaged city in Africa — which, when I say Africa, I mean in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our city is called Tenasha, which is based on an actual crime-ridden Western city in Africa.
But it's a superhero story. I should preface it with that; most of the story arc is Batwing fighting bad guys wearing crazy costumes. That is our plan, that is our edict, that is what we are going for. It just happens to be set in this amazing and, for comics at least, untouched landscape in a significant way. Africa is both tumultuous in terms of its history and its politics, and it allows us to go in so many places we really can't go when it comes to talking about the United States. Because the reality in Africa is that it is a beautiful, majestic and also incredibly dangerous continent. When writing about superheroes here in the States, there is a lot of stuff I have to make up. That's just my function. In Africa you truly do have revolutions and wars being fought, dictators being overthrown, governments trying to be instituted where there are warlords or entire armies made up of children — just crazy, over the top stuff that should be the stuff of fiction but isn't. These are the things we get to tap into, this is the landscape we get to work in and the canvas we get to work on, along with the superheroes. It is high adventure, don't get me wrong. Lots of guys in costume, lots of super bad guys, but set against this volatile landscape, which will make it interesting.
CBR: Let's talk about the man at the center of this all, David Zamvimbi. Will your first issues serve to tell his origins and set up his mission, or are you dropping readers in the middle of David's continuing adventures?
Judd Winick: A bit of both. The first couple of issues we are hitting the ground running, even though he is one of the few characters who is nearly completely new. But because he is completely new we will be tapping into who he is and where he came from and how he came to be a soldier in "Batman Incorporated," but not right away. Again, you are not going to see any origin issues with the number ones for DCU. We are going to hit the ground running. We are going into his story months and months and months into his tenure as Batwing.
CBR: Now is building a supporting cast a high priority for you on "Batwing," or is he more of a lone force against evil in Africa?
Judd Winick: Nope, he's got some people around him, somewhat of a similar feel to Batman in many ways, which we will flesh out. Along with them, many folks in the Bat family will be popping up in arcs in the not too distant future. Not the first couple arcs because we want to get our feet wet, but he is very much part of the Bat universe and he's an extension of the Bat family. So we'll see other folks running around in the books, not just in Africa.
While for time being it may seem that Batwing is a replacement for the failed Azrael series, DC is approaching this series full speed ahead. How it plays out and whether or not the series will have any direct ties to Batman Incorporated once that series relaunches in early 2012 remains to be seen for now. Batwing #1 written by Judd Winick hits stores in September.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel