By: Adam Basciano

11 years in the past, a General and one of his officers discuss a raid on a small village.  It was a recruitment mission for the Army of the Dawn.  All was going well until two young boy soldiers turned on their commanding officers, refusing to allow harm to come to the woman and children of the village.  Together the two boys beat down 6 men and 41 of their fellow boy soldiers.  The two boys happen to be brothers named Isaac and David Zavimbe.  Back in the present, David a.ka. Batwing is in the midst of a fight with Africa’s resident psycho-path Massacre. Despite being severely wounded Batwing is able to hold his own, until Massacre finally gains the upper hand.  He is about to deliver the killing blow, until a badly wounded, one-armed, Thunder Fall summons enough energy to strike a jolt of thunder and Massacre.  Batwing then rushes Thunder Fall to the hospital.  Thunder Fall then starts to reveal why Massacre is targeting The Kingdom, but goes into V Fib Arrest as the issue ends.

This book is like a puzzle, with each issue adding to the grand design of the whole piece.  Issue three adds so much more back story to David Zavimbe.  Judd Winick doesn’t lay everything out for you, but tells a story that allows you to come up with your own theories.  Let’s start with the fact that David Zavimbe’s past isn’t as upstanding as his present.  Having said that, David turning on his fellow soldiers to protect women and children speaks to the hero he’d become as an adult.  The appearance of his brother Isaac, has believing that Massacre will be revealed to be Batwing’s brother.  Or, is that too obvious of a plot point?  I’m also curious about the secrets about The Kingdom, almost revealed at issues end.  It sounded like they weren’t the squeaky clean superheroes Batwing and others thought they were. With a tagline of “How It All Began” on the last page, this puzzle may just get a little bit clearer next issue.

The art in this book is so good, I’m running out of ways to say that.  You know when someone gets caught looking at a playboy and tries to deny they’re looking at it for the pictures?  Well with this book, its ok to admit your admiring the pictures.  The most striking page of this book is seeing young David and his brother wielding firearms.  The fact that similar scenes have been seen on the news in recent memory makes the image all the more striking.  As far as detail, Ben Oliver is unparalleled.  Characters teeth are getting time to shine in this issue.  Dentists would be jealous of how much detail there is in those scenes.  This is the second consecutive issue where the cover consists of two characters “posing” in front of a colored background.  It looks like a cheap WWE pay per view poster.  Can we take cues from issue one’s cover and take it from there please?

Issue #1 was a surprise due to the quality of the story.  Issue #3 was full of surprises too.  Not because I doubted the books quality, but because it was full of twists and turns. Those twists and turns guarantee that I’ll be back next month, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Overall Grade: 8/10

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