Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Post No. 542"


REVIEWING: HAWKMAN (DC) #'s 40 thru 49 (2005-2006)

I can see why the history of the DC Comics' Hawkman character is so confusing. Even if you look it up on Wikipedia, you may or may not make any sense of it.

Over the years, and thru DC's myriad number of "Crisis" series, this character has gotten so screwed-up that he wouldn't even make sense if one was to take him all the way back to his Silver-Age roots and start over with Square One in The Brave & The Bold #34 (Feb.-Mar., 1961 issue).

I sat down and read, over a couple of days, a run of the 2002 (?) series, #'s 40 thru 49, and 50 thru 59 (with a title switch over to Hawkgirl with #50), and the writing seemed purposely done do as to confuse (and annoy)anyone who liked the adventures of this hero.

Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmoitti's little foreword on Hawkman (from issue 41) went as follows:

"My name is Carter Hall. I've lived and died many times and led many lives. I was once an Egyptian prince, a samurai, a knight, a gunslinger, an archeologist...The list goes on and on. There was a time when I was trapped between the world of the living and the world of the dead. A place called Arion. Although my soul was lost in that limbo, I was not alone. With me was a police office named Katar Hol from the planet Thanagar, who had come to our world and fought alongside The Justice League. Katar Hol eventually called Earth his home and came to defend it with his life. When Onimarr Synn, "The Sin Eater", threatened to destroy Hol's Home world of Thanagar, I was pulled from "The Well of Souls" by my one true love, the woman who has walked with me through this world a thousand times. Her birthname was Chay-Ara but this time she has been reborn as Kendra Saunders. When I returned, so did my memories of not only every life I've lived, but Katar Hol's memories as well."

A little long, huh?

Any way...issues #'s 40 thru 45 (July '05 thru Nov. '05) dealt with Hawkman apparently being killed by a villian called "The Fadeaway Man", and Hawkgirl being seriously injured. Enter the old former Teen Titan, "The Golden Eagle", who now claims to be the son of Hawkman, and wants to disguise himself as Hawkman to keep the villians on edge. With Hawkgirl's aid, they kill or trap all of the villians that had joined up with The Fadeaway Man, as well as F-A Man himself. Case closed, you say? Just another hero taking up the Hawkman mantle? Wrong.

It happened that The Golden Eagle was feeding everyone a pack of lies and he, himself, was behind the demise of Hawkman. This comes to a boil when he tries to seduce Hawkgirl, only to find---("Taa-Daa"!) The REAL Hawkman returns!

Okay, so..."what-the-hell"....?

This was all just a ploy of Hawkman to bring out the actual villian who had attacked him, and he had his real son (who is the current incarnation of "Dr. Fate") cast a spell of illusion over everyone (including "The Justice Society of America") to believe he was dead.

Hawkman beats the crap outta this wannabe to his mantle, sticks him in a Thanagorian spaceship and sends it off to that planet with evidence in the computer banks showing that The Golden Eagle's actual father was a traitor to that planet, and leaves the justice for them to deal with.

(Confused enuff, yet? Hey! I'm just warming up!)

Because next we move into issue #47 which drops the readers right smack into the middle of the Rann-Thanagar War, as well as the multi-crossovers series of "Infinite Crisis", along with aspects of the OMAC Project. And I won't even attempt to explain all of those; you just need to click onto each of those links to get a summary.

But, in #47 we have Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Adam Strange, Starman (the one from the 80's Adventure Comics series), Captain Comet, and a couple of Green Lanterns all embroiled in a life-and-death battle on Thanagar, which eventually leads to HMan & HGirl's true feelings coming out for one another, and when we get finally to issue #49, this all becomes something of a mute point since between 49 and 50, it's supposed to be "One Year Later" in The DC Universe and we have a title change to Hawkgirl, as well as a new writer and artist on this title.

And to know all of the events that occured during "that year" in the DCU, one would have to read DC's entire "52" series (of which there are 52 issues).

I will say that I'm actually happy that comics today aren't so imposed upon by The Comics Code Authority as there's certain scenes within and on the cover of #48 (shown above) that one simply would not have seen otherwise that worked out well in the story.


Overall, my rating of these issues would be a: :^).

Next: HAWKGIRL #'s 50 thru 59.

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