Pleasantly surprised by this one. Pleasantly!
If I am not mistaken, this is one of those new versions of Batman that spawned out of Batman Inc. where Bruce Wayne sets about appointing different Batmen across the globe (or at least the idea did).
I stayed away from that entire book as it just reeked of liberalism and global socialism, in addition with this being a "black" Batman, and having Judd Winick onboard, I was half expecting this Bats to be gay, as well.
Not that there is anything wrong with that (disclaimer), but when a publisher seemingly just makes it a point to include this or that trait for the purpose of grabbing a headline, and not for the sake of the story - is where I just can't take it. Yeah, Miles Morales, you, too!
However, I'll go on record and state that Batwing #1 is quite the fantastic read. There are no political tendencies written into this far as I can tell. It's just a story about an African, who with the assistance of Batman, is trying to make a difference. And Winick writes it well.
It is the perfect setting for a Batman type character, as corruption runs rampant within the confines of this backwards civilization. The Batman comes along for the ride, as well, and follow his protÃ©gÃ© making sure he is up to the task. Credit to Winick who could have easily turned this into the Billionaire Playboy show, but the issue is all Batwing.
Likewise, the art was just plain gorgeous. Ben Oliver's photo-realistic look is the perfect choice, so much so, that this comes off as feeling as if it were painted. Credit to Colorist Brian Reber, too, who has out done himself. While the panels do not include a lot of background, this simplistic approach focuses on the characters involved giving off a more intense outward feeling. It was quite good.
As with my other reviews, I have stated that I am giving the New 52 a go. Can they keep me?
Winick and Oliver have.