Judd Winick's Batwing is one of those books I like and would rather love, but it's not quite there. It's been a while since I've talked about it, but I've kept up with it. It's cool, with a fresh setting and all the new original characters you could ask for, like Massacre and Lord Battle and this week's Father Lost – not to mention Dawn – and I'm down with it each month. It just hasn't made it over that edge into greatness.
This week, the "Finders of Lost" emerge, servants of Father Lost determined to pay tribute to some unnamed goddess with human sacrifice and blood. They act like mind-controlled puppets, possessed by an unseen force, in the process of slaughtering people until the aforementioned Dawn breaks in for some justice. A hooded woman with mystical or maybe electrical blades starts whipping up on the cretins until the police break in and corral the remaining cultists – which is one man, the only one who didn't kill themselves rather than be caught. Dawn has a vendetta against the Finders, likely something to do with the fact that her confidant Rene is entombed at a gravesite that Dawn nonetheless confides in for solace.
Meanwhile, another zombified servant is General Jordaan, who is about to crash a plane into the city of Tinasha, and Batwing's the guy who has to try and stop it – and the best he can do is divert it. Afterwards, his interrogation of the last surviving Finder goes badly, as he gets into Batwing's head – not long enough to assert control, but close enough to be scary, and at the end of the issue, he makes a very heroic appearance, in time to help Dawn in the midst of her next strike – at a Christian church, or what once was such.
It's interesting stuff, although blood cults are nothing particularly new. However, just the fact that this is set in Africa, where nobody sets anything, gives us characters who will likely not follow the same beats as normal superheroes and westerners would. That's what keeps this fresh. The rules are similar, but pointedly different. Marcus To's art is pretty nice as well, and the last splash page makes us sit up straight and go "Yes, sir."
Batwing is still good stuff. One hopes it doesn't fall by the wayside due to lack of attention.