The Original Batwing?

Before the Batman Inc. story gave us an African Batman named Batwing, there was Batman #250 (July 1973) and... "Batwings".In the last of three stories in that issue, "The Batman Nobody Knows" by Frank Robbins and Dick Giordano, three boys around a campfire tell each other (and Bruce Wayne) what they think Batman is REALLY like. You know the story. You might have seen a version of it on the Batman animated series, or more recently on the anime Batman: Gotham Knight DVD. In the original, one of the Batmen is an African-American hero with jet-powered wings and all sorts of cool gadgets. To this kid (named Ronnie), Batman is all the coolest black heroes rolled into one:
So Bruce Wayne rounds back, gets into his suit, and shows up as the "real" Batman, and they don't believe a word of it, immediately seeing through his disguise. Goes to show, Batman isn't scary to the innocent.
But seeing as Grant Morrison loves to reference obscure stories in his Batman work, is there any doubt that the visual for Batwing is based on this nearly 40-year-old tale?


Bubbashelby said...

It was stated somewhere that this story/Bat-imagining was indeed the inspiration for Batwing, but I do not have the reference handy at the moment. You'll just have to trust me.

Jeff R. said...

I think it's in the sketches/artists notes of the deluxe hardcover collecting the character's first appearances.


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