Comic Book Review: Hawkman #1
I must say, Hawkman is not exactly the book that I thought I would be willing to give a shot. For me it always depended on the version of Hawkman that they were willing to write. That was the dealbreaker. I think the last time I remember picking up a Hawkman book, he had claws, he was bloodthirsty, and always looking for the next big fight. That was partly what I was looking for, but at the same time this book looked like it offered more adventure in contrast to other DC titles.
The good thing about this story is that it feels like a refresher course for anyone who doesn’t know Hawkman at his core. Meaning the things dealing with his reincarnations, how his wings work, what drives him to search for hidden treasures and links to his past as Hawkman. Truthfully it alluded me all this time that he was also an explorer of the ancient and unknown until this point. Some might see the first part for this issue as a slow crawl, but introductions are always welcomed. That is how you put new readers and longtime readers on the same page before moving forward. So with that said, the exploration versus discovery was great for where this first takes us and Hawkman. The kind of dangers he runs into was refreshing considering there wasn’t a new or old face to run into. Just something that could only be encountered by exploring places no one has dared to venture.
What I wasn’t used to at this point was what Hawkman is like when he’s just Carter Hall. Fortunately he was just as interesting as he is when he’s Hawkman. Someone who is plagued by the very things he doesn’t understand about himself. It was about time that someone was willing to take that leap for Carter to look towards personal discovery for true purpose. In terms of things new, it was just as shocking for him as it was for us to find out that there was much more to the lives Carter has lived. Who he turned to for help was thinking outside the box and a nice interaction for someone who also struggles with believing in something that he doesn’t see for himself.
Now my only question here as someone who wasn’t fully captivated by Dark Nights: Metal, is what makes this a story spinning out of those events. Even if I wouldn’t want strong connections to that event, it also helps to know that there isn’t anything that you would be missing out jumping straight into this series. Luckily that feeling of loss was adverted which left nothing to focus on but what goes on in the here and now.
They chose a great art team to tackle this series, though Bryan Hitch in particular was a good choice for penciler. When you think of Hawkman, what comes to mind is an element of grace to the way he takes flight and springs into action. He nails this from start to finish showing all the things that make Hawkman experienced as a flier. Agile in the air, able to quite literally think on his feet without the wings, and at the same time formidable when he decides there’s little room to be peaceful. In general, Hitch has a strong touch to his pencils that make his work clean, detailed, and with form to human anatomy. It helped also having help with the inks which provided depth to make the art pop. That aside, it was the creativity throughout which further grabs your attention whether it is the uniqueness of the ruins, the unique situation he is thrown into while in the ruins, and the creativeness of some of the past lives he lived that seemed too cool to be true. Alex Sinclair on colors is always a smart choice. Bold, in your face, and has excellent range overall. He add energy to any story that would easily fall flat with the wrong color artist.
Hawkman #1 was a solid start for delivering action, character exploration, and depth to a character that can be hit or miss depending on the version they try to capture. The tie-in to Dark Nights: Metal is assumed to be big, but nothing that you would feel you need to have read from the event to understand what drives Carter Hall to go to such lengths to piece together his past.