Hawkman has been reincarnated into a new series! How is it? Click and find out!
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
Hawkman's gone savage in his new series! Writen by Tony S. Daniel and illustrated by Billy Tan, how does the new series stand up to our 52apolooza reviewers? Read on and find out!
Grab Bag Reviewer: Veggieleezy
Writing: Ah, Hawkman... One of the most convoluted characters in the DC universe... Can Tony Daniel turn this character into something readers can understand? For the most part, yes, he can.
The first issue is an "origin" of sorts for this new version of Hawkman. The villain seems to be some kind of fusion between Venom from Spider-Man and Parasite from Superman. That's not to say the similarities are a bad thing; it'll just be interesting to see how it develops itself to be unique. Another fun point is that Hawkman's armor is now a part of him and comes out of his skin in moments of battle. That's kind of cool. He also has developed a healing power, which is pretty cool too.
[Editor's Note: The Nth Metal has always had healing properties, but the new status quo makes holding the metal to wounds unnecessary]
The story works pretty well for a number one, but it follows off of the "old" DCU. Hawkman "sounds" like Hawkman and the story builds at an interesting pace. The dialogue and character development are a little bit off, but they introduce the characters and fit the tone of the book. Also, there's plenty of action and cool sequences involved. See the Accessibility section of my review for more, as this one's a little tricky to do.
Art: This is some of the coolest art I've ever seen. Philip Tan does a great job of getting the science fiction feel of the book into pictures. It has a pseudo-painted quality, comparable to the art in Captain Atom or Lee Bermejo's work in Joker or Luthor. All of the characters are distinguishable from each other, which is also a bonus.
Something I've grown to appreciate is the use of color and shading. The action sequences are shaded more heavily than the story sequences, which is a nice touch. The color choices are also very nice. The gold of the Nth metal gives off a nice metallic look and the bad guy looks very evil with his all-black body. Something I noticed, though, was that the emblem on Hawkman's chest seems to have been swapped from previous incarnations. I just found that a little bit of trivia to note.
Accessibility: Hawkman has always been somewhat of a trouble zone for DC. When he first came out, he was Carter Hall. Then he became Katar Hol. Then he was both, then he was both at the same time, and it just became a cluster**** to sort out. This issue kind of clears things up in that regard.
It reestablishes xenocryptologist (alien translator) Carter Hall as our Hawkman, but it refers to his history as Hawkman in his past lives. It's still a little confusing, but longtime fans of Hawkman shouldn't have too much trouble getting it. New readers will get the gist: Carter Hall is Hawkman and doesn't want the responsibility anymore because he's apparently been doing it for a very long time. Once the reader gets past the opening sequence, it's a pretty easy read. It's just a little tricky at first.
Enjoyability: This is actually a pretty fun book to read. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first saw this, but the book gives readers a cool science-fiction action story that sets up an interesting arc. The real action doesn't really start until the last 4-5 pages, but the rest of it provides some good detail of Carter Hall- the man. The premise for this book has great potential.
That said, the majority of the supporting characters haven't really been developed to a point of caring about them yet. A couple of them are basically "redshirts" in this issue, but at least their demise is kind of amusing. I'm just wondering how Daniel intends on separating his new villain from other similar villains like the ones I've mentioned earlier. Still, the book is an intriguing read and easy to plow through and enjoy.
Overall Opinion: Gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm probably going to be in the minority opinion again, but whatever. Hawkman's a character I've wanted to understand for a while now. I tried reading some of Geoff Johns' run with him, but it didn't do too much good. This issue doesn't really do too much to set Hawkman up as Hawkman, other than to show that he's got wings.
If you're curious about the character or have been a longtime fan and are considering buying this book, I won't discourage you. It's worth the $2.99. It's fun and could easily find an audience. Unfortunately, this one didn't quite make my final cut on the list. However, that doesn't mean I didn't like it. I'll be interested to know how this book does in the long run. Oh, also, there wasn't anything particularly "savage" in this book that I could see. Except that he runs around hacking alien monsters to bits with a battleaxe. ...Yeah, that's pretty savage, I guess.
Final Score- 80/100