Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review: HAWKMAN #1

HAWKMAN No. 1 (2018)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Robert Venditti
PENCILS: Bryan Hitch
INKS: Andrew Currie and Bryan Hitch
COLORS: Alex Sinclair
LETTERS: Starkings & Comicraft
EDITOR: Marie Javins
COVER: Bryan Hitch with Alex Sinclair
VARIANT COVER: Stejpan Sejic
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (August 2018)

Rated “T” for “Teen”

“Awakening” Part One: “What's Past is Prologue”

Hawkman is a DC Comics superhero.  There are multiple versions of the character, and two of them are the best known.  The first is the “Golden Age” Hawkman, a human archaeologist named Carter Hall, who is the modern-day reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince named Khufu.  That character was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dennis Neville and first appeared in Flash Comics #1, published in 1940 by All-American Publications (which eventually entered a merger that would form DC Comics' predecessor, National Periodical Publications).

The second is the alien police officer, Katar Hol, from the planet, Thanagar.  Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, Hol first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #34 (cover dated: March-February 1961).  The common denominator among the various versions of Hawkman is that they wear large, artificial wings, attached to a harness made from the special Nth metal that allows them to fly.

There is a  new comic book series starring the character, entitled Hawkman.  It is written by Robert Venditti; drawn by Bryan Hitch (pencils and inks) and Andrew Currie (inks); colored by Alex Sinclair; and lettered by Starkings & Comicraft.  The series finds Hawkman/Carter Hall trying to unravel the secrets of his many pasts.

Hawkman #1 (“What's Past is Prologue”) finds the superhero Hawkman flying over an island twelve miles south of Santorini, Greece.  Carter Hall is an archaeologist and an explorer of the ancient and unknown, and the greatest unknown seems to be Carter Hall.  Hawkman is searching for a relic, “the Nautilus of Revealment.”  With the help of Madame Xanadu, Carter will use the Nautilus to make discoveries about his reincarnations and surprisingly, to discover something about his fate.

After reading a few pages of Hawkman #1 2018, I was sure that I would not like it, but by the end of the first issue, I was really liking it.  I don't think I need to go through a litany about the creative team.  Robert Venditti is an imaginative writer.  Bryan Hitch is an influential stylist, and inker Andrew Currie usually captures both the power and grace of Hitch's pencil compositions.  Colorist Alex Sinclair is subtly muting his usual vivid coloring here to serve the moodiness of the story.  Starkings & Comicraft's lettering shifts fonts and designs and is excellent... of course.

What really stands out is that Hawkman #1 suggests that Hawkman 2018 is trying for something different.  Like Carter Hall, this new Hawkman comic book will offer a story that is about exploring the ancient and unknown.  There is a sense of mystery and of a little magic.  Venditti and Hitch are trying to do something than can truly be described as different.  I hope...

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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