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Comic Book Review: "Batwing #9: You Have Been Judged Unworthy"
DC Comics "Night of The Owls” crossover continues in the pages of Batwing. The Court of Owls has unleashed their immortal assassins, the Talons, onto Gotham City to kill every important member of society to prove their power and control over the city and Batman. David Zavimbe(Batwing) and Matu Ba (his right-hand man), members of Batman, Incorporated (representing Tinasha, within the Democratic Republic of the Congo) have come to Gotham City to have the high-tech Batwing Batsuit upgraded by Lucius Fox at the Batman, Inc. Headquarters. Written by Judd Winick, with art by Marcus To and Ryan Winn, “You Have Been Judged Unworthy” shows Batwing using his skills and training to battle the Talons while at a Batman, Inc. gala to protect one of the Court of Owls target: Lucius Fox.
Issue 9, “Night of The Owls: You Have Been Judged Unworthy”, begins in Gotham City in 1865. Members of the Court of Owls are holding a meeting concerning one of the Talons: Alexander Staunton. The majority of the Court feels that his time as a Talon has come to an end. Instead of being a silent assassin, he killed an entire family who overheard him loudly executing a target. It is decided that he is too dangerous and should be “retired”. They all agree, but a day may come when his unchained ferocity will be of service to the Court.
During the Night of Owls, at 4:30 p.m., at Batman, Inc. Research and Development in Gotham, Lucius Fox is thinking of adding more armor and strength to the Batwing Batsuit. David Zavimbe and Matu Ba don’t think it’s needed; it would hinder the suit’s maneuverability. They just want aquatic upgrades so Batwing can fight Somali pirates. Fox says it should take two days to do. He says the two of them deserve a break for the time being. There is a Batman, Incorporated gala being held that night. They should attend; many important people (dignitaries) would like to meet members of team Batwing.
In Gotham’s Upper East Side, the Court of Owls releases the Talons onto the city to assassinate various members of the elite society.
It’s 6:02 p.m. at the Batman, Inc. gala. Matu and David are mingling with the crowd. Matthew Kalu, the African prime minster, starts talking to them, Lucius Fox interrupts the conversation to reminder Kalu that the Russian attaché has arrived and Kalu goes off. Lucius, David and Matu discuss the evilness of the prime minister, who really is more of a vile warlord who should be in prison. Lucius says that Kalu stabilizes the region and the United States backs him. Compromises must be made for the greater good.
Suddenly, they smell smoke and burning gasoline. David runs off to help people as the room is set ablaze. He finds a few security guards dead. He realizes that it was a distraction and he needs his Batwing suit. He runs off hoping his retina scan will let him get the suit from the lab.
At 7:40 p.m. Matu gets the call from Alfred about the Court of Owls planned targets. Lucius Fox is trying to leave, but his security says their job is to protect him. Suddenly, one of the Talons, Alexander Staunton (recently resurrected), kills a security guard and tells Lucius Fox that the Court has called for his death.
David arrives suited up as Batwing and fights Staunton. Normal hand-to-hand combat seem ineffective. He realizes that the Talon can regenerate and he’ll need to take stronger measures to defeat him. He takes note that he fights like Nightwing. Finally he grabs him and flies out of the building and crashes him into a car. His back breaks and resets instantly. Staunton throws Batwing off of him and grabs the African Ambassador Vanul and threatens to kill him unless they bring him Fox.
Batwing realizes that if Talon kills the ambassador he would be seeing the death of a tyrant; he would be doing the world a favor. While David debates the choice between protecting a good man over a bad man, Lucius Fox offers himself up. As the Talon reaches out for Fox, Batwing fires two explosive rounds that blow off both of Staunton arms.
Batwing ties up the unconscious Talon, hoping he’ll stay knocked out long enough to properly isolate him. He finds it ironic that he could have done more good for the world if he had allows Staunton to kill a brutal dictator. As the ambassador attempts to thanks Batwing, calling him a brother, David elbows him in the face, knocking him to the ground. As he walks off with the tied up Talon, he tells Fox that that is how they compromise in Africa.
This is one of the first issues released for the "Night of The Owls” crossover throughout all the Bat-titles. It helps start the excitement of the entire story arc with the onslaught of the Talons throughout the city. David (Batwing) is a more direct fighter than other members of the Bat-family. Much of his arsenal is projectile weapons and explosives. These more aggressive weapons actually help him fight the nigh-unstoppable Talons more efficiently and effectively. Besides the larger “Night of the Owls” storyline, this issue touches on the delicate balance of international diplomacy. It explores the fundamental difficulty of trying to deal with the troubling issue of allowing dictators and tyrants to remain in power simply because there could be more violence and less stability without them. David’s sense of right and wrong is far more cut and dry. Evil people much be stopped; no quarter should be allotted. He doesn’t like the pandering of diplomatic sensitivities and takes his belief in justice as seriously as anyone. As for the "Night of The Owls”, the floodgates have opened and the storms begins.
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