By: Matthew Rapier
Hawkman is a character who I’ve always thought looked really awesome, but has never had a good team to bring his popularity out to a mass audience. His back story is a bit confusing at times which makes it hard to get a grasp on why he’s worth liking. When it was announced he would be getting his own title it seemed like the perfect opportunity for DC to propel him to new heights. Although there isn’t a clear history from this first issue it’s still enjoyable and is worthy of staying on.
It opens up with Carter Hall driving out deep into the woods to bury his Hawkman attire, claiming that one of them had to die and he’s glad it was the costume. While leaving the scene, a fire with the form of a hawk bursts from the ground and engulfs his body.
Out at sea on a research vessel, a crew discovers an alien shipwreck which is said to have possibly been there a few hundred years before the Titanic’s destruction. Professor Zigler is the lead man of the operation and asks for Carter, but members of the crew inform the professor of his absence as he hasn’t answered phone calls for a week. He requests for a man named Terrance to find Carter and it’s revealed that he’s a cryptologist.
Carter wakes up in an alley outside of his apartment with no memory of how he got there. Terrance takes him to the laboratory where the remains of the wreckage is being kept and is shown what looks to be a mummified being that is assumed to be an alien abducted human. A sample of black goo is taken from the body which eventually turns into a monster of sorts and attacks the lab assistants. Carter’s body transforms on its own to reveal the Nth metal outfit of the Hawkman. A battle ensues and as the black goo monster consumes the energy of Carter, it’s transformed into a demon hawk-like hybrid.
This issue wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I wanted a little more of the past and how he came to getting the Hawkman gear in the first place, but this information could be saved for reveals throughout the various arcs. It was still an enjoyable story with a good set up for some crazy things to happen in issue #2. Tony Daniel gave us enough insight to at least understand all the events going on and made the characters worth caring about. It seems like the last time I saw Phillip Tan’s art he was working on Green Lantern and the style was different. Here it has a bit of a murky, painted quality which is probably because of the colorist. The art goes hand in hand with the content of the story and remained consistently good from the first page to the last.
The redesigned suit for Hawkman is the best thing about the character at this point until we get deeper into the story Tony Daniel is setting up. It’s a solid first issue with mystery, intrigue and action which makes it well worth coming back to for me.
Overall Grade: 7/10