Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Hawkgirl’

Hawkman (2002 Series) #26

July 24, 2012 Leave a comment

March 20, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Rest

A mistake from Hawkman’s past comes back to haunt him.

Writer: Josh Siegal
Pencils: John Byrne
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: John Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics

Writer Josh Siegal is a new name to me, but after reading this issue of Hawkman I find myself asking why he’s only doing a fill-in until the new creative team comes on instead of handling writing chores full-time. This is a really smart issue, wherein Hawkman and Hawkgirl find themselves facing off the bloody menace of a vampire.

Siegal takes the fact that Hawkman has been around for thousands of years in hundreds of incarnations and runs with it, showing how an honest mistake can get magnified over the centuries, leading to the current predicament. He shows the flip side of that too, though, employing skills that may go unused for hundreds of years, but are never forgotten.

Siegal also employs a non-linear storytelling style, bouncing further and further into the past to show how the characters were brought to the point. The structure of the story (if not the content) reminds me very much of one of m favorite movies, “Memento,” which tells the story from the end to the beginning. It’s not an easy technique to pull off, and Siegal does a fantastic job.

John Byrne seems to be drawing a lot of vampires lately. He did it last week in JLA and he’s doing it here. They both look good, though, so I’m not going to complain. Lary Stucker’s inks compliment the pencils very well, and we have a comic book that manages to straddle the line between superhero storytelling and horror. Visually, this book could fit into either category, and that’s what it needs to do.

After the great run Geoff Johns had on this title, it’s going to be hard to follow up. This may be a done-in-one fill-in issue, but it’s a very good one. Hawkman fans will be highly satisfied.

Rating: 8/10

Brightest Day #19

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

February 5, 2011

Title: Aquawar Part One

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Art:
Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert & Rob Hunter
Colorist:
Peter Steigerwald
Letterer:
Rob Clark, Jr.
Cover:
David Finch
Editors:
Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza
Publisher:
DC Comics

As Deadman interrogates the White Lantern, trying to figure out why it would destroy Hawkman and Hawkgirl, in the depths of the ocean a war is brewing. The army from Mera’s dimension is swarming the beaches on the surface world, Black Manta at their command, leaving Aquaman and Aqualad as the only line of defense.

The Deadman stuff goes quick this issue, although we get a nice chunk of information. We still don’t quite know what the White Lantern’s true game is, but I feel like we have more of the puzzle pieces we need to put it all together. The battle scenes are impressive – large in scope, sprawling and chaotic. We definitely get a sense that our heroes are at war in this issue. The final pages are pretty abrupt, with a final cliffhanger that echoes some of the more interesting things that have happened to Aquaman in the past. It’s been plain from the outset that the writers have plans for Arthur Curry, and this issue makes that clearer than ever. I still can’t quite figure out where they intend to take him, but the surety that there is a plan is important.

Good story, great artwork.

Rating: 8/10

Brightest Day #8

September 13, 2010 Leave a comment

September 6, 2010

Title: Defiance

Writers: Geoff Johns & Peter J. Tomasi
Pencils:
Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis & Ardian Syaf
Inks:
Vicente Cifuentes, Rebecca Buchman, Mark Irwin & Ivan Reis
Colorist:
Peter Steigerwald & John Starr
Letterer:
Rob Clark, Jr.
Cover:
David Finch
Editor:
Eddie Berganza
Publisher:
DC Comics

J’onn J’onzz delves into Miss Martian’s mind, seeing through her eyes her recent encounter with the new Green Martian who is loose on Earth somewhere. Back on Hawkworld, Hawkman and Hawkgirl find themselves almost in a state of worship following their recent burst of White Lantern energy, and the healing properties that came with them.

I hate saying it, but the Hawks’ story still isn’t grabbing me the way the rest of this title is, and spending most of the issue on it lessens my enjoyment of the tale considerably. It feels as if Johns and Tomasi are trying for a sort of “John Carter of Mars” story, having them take on the roles of Earth heroes fighting the cosmic barbarians on a far-off planet. While there’s plenty of potential in that idea, somehow the execution is just falling short for me. I’m finding it hard to keep track of the other players in their story, and I’m not particularly concerned about what happens to the main cast as the tale moves forward.

The Martian Manhunter stuff this issue is considerably more entertaining. It’s easy to forget that the shapeshifting Miss Martian is actually a White Martian that’s fighting off her own worst instincts, and that makes the character herself seem more heroic for the ability. J’onn’s search seems to finally be gaining a focus, as he takes off for one of the DC Universe’s most recently changed cities.

The artwork is back and forth – none of it bad, but the different artists on each section definitely have different styles than one another, and that weakens the book, just a little.

Any time the Hawks take center stage, my appreciation for this book dips. Here’s hoping their story gets better, and some of the more interesting characters move into the forefront soon.

Rating: 7/10

Hawkman (2002 Series) #22

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

December 2, 2003

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Blood and Lies (The Headhunter Part Three)

Hawkman engages the Headhunter in bloody battle as Hawkgirl traces down the origin of their foe.

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

Hawkman is really taken to the brink this issue, reverting in battle to a cruel, brutal creature, abandoning his job, his life in St. Roch and even his partner, Hawkgirl, to take down the Headhunter. Johns paints a truly tortured hero in this book, and does it well.

Normally, I don’t like comics (or movies or anything) set in Louisiana, because it seems every writer is under the impression that every in this state, my home, speaks with a Cajun accent that automatically deducts 50 IQ points and that Mardi Gras is happening every other weekend year-round. (If I ever met Gambit in person, I’d throw a rock at him.) Johns, thankfully, escapes this track, although he does skirt dangerously close to the edge with the Headhunter’s voodoo origin. It’s not many a writer that could flirt with that very thin line between drawing on legitimate cultural influences for his story and lapsing into offensive stereotyping, but he just manages to pull it off. The villain comes across as suitably dangerous and frightening without getting me mad.

Morales is such a good choice for the art chores in this title. He handles everything well, from the Hawks in flight to the PC, code-approved “black blood” Hawkman is drenched in to the quaintness of the St. Roch’s “Voodoo District.” There is nary a misstep. It’s really a shame that he and Johns are leaving this title in a few months, the new creative team has a lot to live up to.

Most surprisingly, although this issue is the last of this story arc, it does not wrap things up in a neat little package. Instead, Johns is clearly setting up the chess pieces for next month’s Hawkman/JSA crossover, “Black Reign.” Crossing this title over with the best superhero book on the market, particularly with the same writer guiding both titles, can only be a good thing.

Rating: 8/10

Hawkman (2002 Series) #21

June 11, 2010 Leave a comment

November 2, 2003

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Taking Off the Mask (The Headhunter Part II)

Hawkman faces off against a dark foe with designs on his past and future.

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

After I began writing these advance reviews, I have found myself sometimes trying to come in at the middle of a story, hoping to comprehend what is going on. The best endorsement I can give Hawkman #21 is that, unlike other times I’ve come in during the middle of a story, I want to go get the back issues to find out what happened before.

Kendra Saunders, alias Hawkgirl, arrives home from a date to find her partner beaten and bloodied, with a hooded man holding a long blade to his neck. Although I’ve only read a few issues of Hawkman before, I’ve long followed these two characters in JSA and I understand the dynamic between them, which works well here. We see Kendra trying to fight what she sees as a destiny she does not want, whereas Carter Hall (Hawkman, for the uninitiated) is dealing with the fact that the woman he has loved for thousands of years no longer wants to be with him. The action stuff in this title is good, but a little difficult to follow without knowing the previous storylines. The character stuff needs no preamble, though – it works beautifully. Anyone who’s been trapped in a relationship can relate to Kendra, anyone who’s loved someone who doesn’t love them back can relate to Carter. Many of us can relate to both.

I’ve watched Morales’s artwork since his old days at Valiant, and he’s really showing his stuff here. The dark scenes are never too dark, the cemetery scene is appropriately spooky and the last page, including several old DCU characters, most of whom I recognize, was great.

Hawkman is a character that suffers not because of the creative team (not the current creative team, at any rate), but because he’s well known for having a confusing continuity and because he’s never been quite as big an icon as even DC’s other second-string A-list (Flash, Green Lantern and the like). Neither of those factors are a deterrent to reading this series – people who want good superhero action with good characterization could do a lot worse than look into this title.

The other endorsement I can give Hawkman? I want to see what happens next.

Rating: 7/10