Comic Book Review: Hawkman #5
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding this very issue of Hawkman. As I’ve said before, this is one of the first times that I’ve actually put investment into Carter Hall/Hawkman and that means there is much that is very new to me about his character history. Namely the very thing readers are excited about being his reunion with his longtime Justice League partner the Atom. While I couldn’t get pumped like everyone else, I was certainly wondering what could bring the winged-man to the Microverse.
Where this issue began, the reunion of Hawkman and the Atom was nice. I may not understand the importance of their friendship like others might, but I can appreciate the emotional weight from these two being able to catch-up again. It makes sense that there could have been distance between them when one is the protector of an entire sub-atomic world, and the other spends his times exploring ancient sites and being tossed through time. I mean when you put it like that, you can also see why they would find more common ground than other heroes having a passion for exploration and discovery above all else. With that said, the pacing again stood out when little time was wasted in Carter trying to figure out why the artifact brought him to the Microverse of all places. Just from looking at this latest artifact, you could already see why this was his next destination, even if the details were not yet clear.
Now of course the reason for the disc bringing Carter to the Microverse was pretty obvious when you’ve put the clues together from every other journey so far. What needed to follow was the relevance of the Microverse to Carter beyond the idea that he had maybe reincarnated there. There had to be something in this world that would get him from point A to B being the next clue leads them to the thinking planet known as Moz-Ga. Before that, I found the conversation between them interesting. I would say engaging if you weren’t as lost as Carter, but it was interesting for the fact that we finally had that moment to evaluate everything we know about this situation so far. Carter is a simple man, so it was about time to bring in someone who can process the facts and put it down on paper. Getting to the living planet, Moz-Ga, that was where things got exciting. I was caught off guard by how crazy things could get once finding out that what they needed was hidden so well, for better or for worse.
The great thing about running into the Atom, was that this was an excellent way of getting to know him as well. Honestly he isn’t one of those heroes who you want to assume everyone knows. My only true exposure to the character so far has been through DC’s Legends of Tomorrow on the CW, but clearly that is not the same Ray as from the books. Seeing where he operates, how, and what drives him as a hero who shrinks was a quick info-dump that you wouldn’t take for granted.
Hawkman #5 has some of the best work from this art team in my opinion. For this issue in particular, I enjoyed the focus that went into separating Hawkman from Carter. You could really see the difference between the man who is confident and ready to spring into action, and the man who is full of doubt about knowing what he’s doing. The look is in his face, and it is a look you are familiar with if you have ever questioned your own sense of direction. Everything about the design of the Microverse I found so elegant and unique. This world is unlike anywhere you will see in the DC Universe, and only truly pops out with the right colorist on board as well. It was engaging to go from the cosmic array of colors in the atmosphere, to the grounded color work of Atom’s lab, to the bleak selection that made up the scenery of Moz-Ga. The art team as a whole stretched their legs here and simply had fun with what is possible in this realm. This also goes for the splash pages which really grab your attention for the larger than life action scenes. There was not a key moment here that they let us overlook by squinting at it.
It did not hurt one bit at a stage like this for Hawkman to find himself able to run into a familiar face. Hawkman #5 opened us up to what has been a thrilling next destination for Carter Hall when finally able to find some direction in his mission. He just needed the right nudge, even if that meant fighting a planet that isn’t too welcoming to strangers.