FLASHBACK: See the Origins of 2011’s BATWING in 1973

I realized months ago that my cub reporter Jeff Reid doesn't actually need the college credits I offer in what is supposed to be a 90-day internship. But he can multitask and performs some kind of wizardry with the cranberry and tangerine mini muffins he brings in every Friday. He's also apparently 90 years old. With the encyclopedic knowledge and yellowing home library to boot. 

This week we saw the announcement of September's Batwing #1, a new series from Judd Winick and Ben Oliver spinning out of Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated series. Initially, IGN erroneously listed the character as "African American," though they've since noted the character is not of American origin. DC did remark in the announcement that Batwing is the first black in-continuity character to don the mantle of the Bat. The "in-continuity" caveat raised an eyebrow, but then I moved on to other things. Fortunately, Jeff didn't. 

"I suddenly realized this morning where I'd seen Batwing, the new Judd Winick African Batman, before. He's from the story "The Batman Nobody Knows" from Batman #250, which had a cover date of July, 1973. In this story, Bruce Wayne has taken three "ghetto-hardened" kids out into the middle of the wilderness for a camp out. Don't ask questions. Billionaires take kids into the woods alone all the time. Nothing to see here, Dr. Wertham! Anyway, around the camp fire these three kids each give their own versions of Batman. Ronnie's explanation of Batman looks nearly exactly the same as the Batwing character that we'll see in September. I thought it was worth sharing." 

Batwing #1 launches this September. Jeff Reid's internship continues through 2016. 


  1. “So, you think the Batman is SUPER-MOD?” “No, he’s one hip-dude!”

    Thanks, the 70s.

  2. Whose pencils? 

  3. Avatar photo Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    @WilliamKScurryJr  Frank Robbins wrote the short story and Dick Giordano did both pencils and inks.

  4. @JeffR  I think you just earned an A.  That should bring your GPA up to a respectable 3.25.  Keep it up.

  5. How this did not make it into that animated series episode “Tales of the Dark Knight” (or whatever the title is), i’ll never know.

  6. “…A one man army the Batman is Muhammad Ali–Jim Brown–Shaft–and SuperFly all rolled into one!”



  7. Awesome.

  8. African-Batmanian

  9. Hey, nothin spooky bout him ‘cept how he comes on.

  10. While Gordon (for those of us who have been around long enough to remember him), will always hold a special place in our hearts, Jeff is leaving a monster footprint of his own that will be tough to follow!

  11. I always loved that design when I was a kid and I’m very happy it’s been resurrected.

  12. He’s named after a sticky testicle condition?