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This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Batwing, a DC Comics superhero. To date, two individuals have held the Batwing identity.
Supposedly, the concept of Batwing is inspired in part by a fictional version of Batman that appeared in “The Batman Nobody Knows,” a story from July 1973’s “Batman” #250.
The first Batwing is David Zavimbe, who first appeared in “Batman, Incorporated” #5 (May 2011). David was created by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham. David appeared just before the New 52 revamp with a slightly different origin. However, the New 52 gave him his own series, as well as some origin revisions. I’m going with the revised version below, as it’s much more prominent.
David is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. An orphan at an early age, David eventually escaped being a child soldier. David subsequently grew up to become a police officer. Eventually, David’s recruited by Batman. The Dark Knight had set up “Batman, Incorporated,” a global network of non-powered costumed crime-fighters. (Also an updated version of the 1950s’ “The Batmen of All Nations.”)
David assumed the role of “Batwing,” using his own skills and some gadgets supplied by Batman to fight crime as the “Batman of Africa.” Batwing helped Batman and other heroes fight crime elsewhere, but also had his own enemies to deal with.
David eventually retired as Africa’s Masked Manhunter, but a second man took up the role: Lucas “Luke” Fox, the son of Wayne Enterprises COO Lucius Fox. Luke first appeared in “Batman” (vol. 2) #19 (June 2013). Luke was created by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Eduardo Pansica.
A bright man, Luke holds a degree in engineering from MIT. He’s also trained in boxing and mixed martial arts. Initially, Luke served as the “Batman of Africa”; however, he ended up fighting criminals around the world, as well as back in Gotham City.
Luke’s first animated appearance was in 2016’s “Batman: Bad Blood,” a direct-to-DVD movie. Actor Gaius Charles voiced the hero.