terabient: A boy on a tightrope (Limbo)
[personal profile] terabient posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Issues #3 and #4 of Batwing take some time off the present-day Massacre plot and to show David Zavimbe's years as a child soldier.

4 pages from Batwing #3:

David and Issac's skills (they prove to be excellent trackers) make them invaluable to the warlord Keita. Eventually they discover where Keita's enemy, Okuru, is hiding. From Batwing #4 (which also has an artist change, from Ben Oliver to ChrisCross):

Issac gives away their position so the village won't be destroyed. After Keita and his soldiers escape he beats Issac for his insubordination while David watches; Issac fights back, and in the struggle Issac ends up falling off a nearby cliff and presumably dies. The other soldiers think they ought to kill David as well, since he's of 'no use' without his brother, but David escapes.

Then he comes back.

David dumps Keita in an open field where Okuru will find him, and leaves.

I haven't always enjoyed the writing on this title, as it has a tendency to become overly dramatic and repetitious, but that last line just breaks my heart.

Overall I still like Batwing but certain things are bothering me - mostly that the ideas I'm most interested in aren't really being explored...at least, not yet. The Kingdom and its members are largely cannon fodder, and there isn't much done in the way of actually tracking down Massacre and having to deal without the resources a detective in, say, America, would be used to. Basically, Batwing just fights Massacre after arriving at a crime scene too late to save anyone. :/

Also, the level of violence and gore is excessive. After Batwing #4 I'm really hesitant in recommending the title to others because it graphically depicts a child being beaten, then falling off a cliff. I understand that when dealing with the issue of child soldiers you shouldn't gloss over the abuse they must suffer, but the way in which it was shown was awful. I didn't post the pages here but I think it would have been possible to keep most of the 'action' off-panel and convey the scene less graphically.

I'm sticking with the title but I hope it gets out of the VIOLENCE VIOLENCE VIOLENCE mindset it displays at the moment.

Date: 2012-01-24 11:50 am (UTC)
razsolo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] razsolo
Yeah, the gorehappy turned me off it after the second issue...which is a shame because I do really want to support this title, and I do like what you've posted above.

I might give it another go for a few issues and see how it pans out...thanks for posting! :)

Date: 2012-01-24 12:09 pm (UTC)
ext_197528: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kurenai-tenka.livejournal.com
I've been rally enjoying it too. Personally, I haven't found the violence excessive, so I suppose it's a matter of different standards?

Date: 2012-01-24 12:30 pm (UTC)
razsolo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] razsolo
yah quite possibly....I like graphic violence in some genres, just don't really generally like seeing it in superhero comics :)

Date: 2012-01-24 12:31 pm (UTC)
ext_197528: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kurenai-tenka.livejournal.com
Yeah that's fair enough. :) I hadn't noticed to be honest, I'll probably pay more attention to that in future.

Date: 2012-01-24 12:51 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
Not really a "secret" origin, is it? More of a "past".
I don't really feel like Batwing's existed long enough to even have a secret origin. That's something they tend to introduce to reboot a character, like Captain Atom.

So has it been officially confirmed that Massacre is Isaac, or are we still waiting for the "reveal"?

Date: 2012-01-24 02:05 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
Looking good actually!
Even if a bit violent/"mature".

Date: 2012-01-24 02:37 pm (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
It does look interesting, I'll give the book back.

It's also interesting how there was also a Vertigo book about a former child soldier who was involved in massacres who moved to the States and became a cop, which, although a different genre, is an interesting coincidence at a stretch.

Date: 2012-01-24 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I have been enjoying this book, yes--Winnick's really made me care about this character and his world. The only thing that bothers me is that Batman's been around a little too often.

Date: 2012-01-24 04:17 pm (UTC)
autohobbs: (crashed Hobbie)
From: [personal profile] autohobbs
The gore makes sense. It doesn't have the feeling of, "let's add blood to draw in people." as much as it seems to be there to specifically show how brutal the place can be. It's worse then Gotham. It's worse then anything in the United States. I think it fits the series.

Date: 2012-01-24 04:59 pm (UTC)
ext_197528: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kurenai-tenka.livejournal.com
Well they've discussed the 'shocking reveal' so I'd take that as a confirmation. ;)

Date: 2012-01-24 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Protect the children and womenfolk! (Kill the men, that's all cool).

As a woman, this thinking squicks me in a way I can't fully articulate.

Date: 2012-01-24 10:53 pm (UTC)
aeka: (Huntress [computer]:)
From: [personal profile] aeka
Not only that but guerrilla violence in some parts of Africa are indeed that brutal. During the blood diamond trade in countries like Sierra Leone for example, gangs would raid villages to gather up people and evaluate them on whether or not they were physically strong enough to dig up diamonds. Those who were physically strong were put to dig and young boys were especially taken to be trained as "soldiers" for future raids. Those that were considered weak, including infants had their limbs amputated. If a worker attempted to steal a diamond or fight the raiders they would equally have both their hands amputated.

I don't know if Winick is trying to bring awareness to that issue as I haven't been reading Batwing, but if he is, then judging by what I've seen of these pages he's pretty accurate.

Date: 2012-01-24 11:06 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
The mindset seems to be that the men are the ones fighting against them, if they don't kill them, then they are dead themselves and as such are "fair game". (David seems to be fully aware that killing the men isn't right either, but in a kill or be killed situation, will do it).

The women and children are non-combatants, so them being victims of death or sexual assault is not the same situation.

Date: 2012-01-24 11:41 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Pedestal thing, innit?

Let's just hope he doesn't end up in a relationship with any girl or woman he didn't murder/protected.

Makes sense in the story, doesn't have to be a product of the boys OWN oppressive sexism ("we had to kill the men cos that's the rules of village take-over and what we were sent yo do but once they were dead we'd won so the killing could stop").. But agreed - no fun, no fun at all.

Date: 2012-01-25 12:22 am (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Default)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
I actually like the book and don't mind the violence. Something about it just seems to fit with this particular book. So as far as dark books go, this one I'll allow.

Date: 2012-01-25 01:20 am (UTC)
pyrotwilight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pyrotwilight
The continual death of the Kingdom Members has been bothersome. Earthstrike, Thunderfall and Dawnfire are all dead and I think the 4th, whose codename escapes me, was kidnapped or vanished in the last issue. And I'm dissapointed that the books implying whatever peace or heroism the Kingdom brought about had some huge dark side no one in the public knew, which combined with Massacre going after the former members is just too easy for story purposes.

Date: 2012-01-25 02:10 am (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Information (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
damn.. am i going to have to read this book?

Date: 2012-01-25 02:13 am (UTC)
shadowpsykie: Sad (We'll meet again Tiger)
From: [personal profile] shadowpsykie
one of his hit and miss titles.... its like... some books he excels immensely at... and others.... not so much...

Date: 2012-01-25 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Earlier in the scans he specified that they killed all the "armed men" (which implies the presence of *unarmed* men as well), but then later he makes it sound as though only women and children were left alive after the villages defeat - or at least that they were the only ones worthy of protection.

But I'm pretty sure that in a real life village takeover, it wouldn't be as simple as men = combatants, women and children = non-combatants. It''s hard to imagine what such a situation would be like, but I have strong feeling that if my hometown were under an armed attack like that I would try to fight back.

For that matter, David and his fellow soldiers are children - but they are still combatants (and actually, a substantial portion of African child soldiers are girls).

Date: 2012-01-25 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
"we had to kill the men cos that's the rules of village take-over and what we were sent yo do but once they were dead we'd won so the killing could stop"

Yep - because the men are the villages citizens (so once you get rid of all of them it is officially vanquished), while the women are just the villages *resources* :/

Date: 2012-01-25 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I think it's mostly intentional on Winick's part. While he's talked about it mostly being written like a normal superhero book but in a different environment, he's also said that if you look at some of the dictators and the like we've seen in Africa, they're the closest we get to real-life super-villains.

Date: 2012-01-25 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
I was going to ask how David could end up in a relationship with someone he's murdered, but then I realized this is the DCU and stranger things have happened.

Date: 2012-01-25 11:02 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Hah! They probably have, too.

I did say someone he DIDN'T murder, though.. :3

Date: 2012-01-25 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] darkknightjrk
Well, the way it's worded, "let's how he doesn't end up in a relationship with someone he didn't murder," makes it sound like it's possible that he can, that's what I was poking fun at. :P

Date: 2012-01-25 11:12 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
*I'm* in a relationship with someone I didn't murder.. I thought that was normal!!

I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I getcha.


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