Home > DC Comics > Hawkman (2002 Series) #23

Hawkman (2002 Series) #23

January 1, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title:Black Reign Part Two

The Justice Society visits Hawkman in St. Roch for his birthday, unaware of the violent actions their former teammates are taking in the middle east.

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Rags Morales
Inks: Michael Bair
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Bill Oakley
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Art: John Watson
Publisher: DC Comics

The JSA/Hawkman crossover continues, and the only people likely to be disappointed are Hawkman fans. This is a fantastic issue, but the title character is barely in it – this would have been a stronger issue if DC had printed this as JSA #56 and that issue as Hawkman #23 – granted, Hawkman isn’t in that issue either, but neither is anyone else in the JSA, and it would serve as a stronger prologue.

This criticism is only valid for people who read only Hawkman and not both titles, however – people reading both, or even people who only read JSA and are only getting this issue for the crossover, will have nothing but praise. The team goes down to the city of St. Roch (a veiled New Orleans clone) during a time of “celebration” (it’s Mardi Gras, folks). Johns uses this setting to give us a peek into the personalities of many of the characters — Wildcat loves it, Green Lantern is uncomfortable and Dr. Mid-Nite tries to help people who may not have realized they needed help. There’s a great subplot with Hourman talking to his late father, the first Hourman (via a device that will allow him one hour total to speak to his father in a time-pocket before he dies). We also get very good scenes with Power Girl, Stargirl, Captain Marvel and the Flash. Even Hawkman gets a good scene – the only problem is that, in his title, his moment doesn’t come until the very end. Oh, but what a moment it is.

Rags Morales is a fantastic artist, and he gets a lot of great scenes in this book – including Hawkman’s brief battle with a nameless old man trying to make himself into a supervillain and an absolutely fantastic last page. It’s a terrible shame that Morales will be leaving this title soon, and one can only hope DC has an artist with half his talent lined up to take his place.

I’m deducting one point from the overall score because I feel this book may let down Hawkman fans – but fans of both titles, like myself, should add a point and not hesitate to pick it up. It’s great superhero storytelling.

Rating: 7/10

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