Review – Hawkman #2: Back to the Past

Comic Books DC This Week
Hawkman #2 Variant cover, credit to DC Comics.

Hawkman #2 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Andrew Currie, Daniel Henriques, Inkers; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Two issues in, it’s clear that Robert Venditti has a vision for Hawkman, which is something that has eluded the character for much of his long and confusing history. In Hawkman #2, he’s committing to the reincarnation element that defines the character, while past writers have often tried to confine him to one era or even turn him into a simple barbarian. Beyond that, though, he’s broadening the concept of reincarnation to far beyond human history, showing Hawkman’s process of discovering that his history may go far beyond Earth – and feature an enemy who has pursued him beyond time and space. Hawkman has never had much of a supporting cast, mostly interacting with Hawkgirl. The two of them are off on different missions now, with Hawkgirl starring in Scott Snyder’s Justice League. That allows Venditti to figure out who Carter Hall is on his own. He gets off to a good start this issue, showing his relationships with two civilian cast members – Gertie, a friendly subway conductor, and Simon, a mercurial museum curator and scientific cohort of Carter’s.

The many lives of Hawkman. Credit to DC Comics.

Carter is chasing the mystery of what he discovered from Madame Xanadu last issue – countless past lives, spanning the galaxy and many planets including Mars and Krypton, and a mysterious figure stalking them across them all. That leads him back to the museum exhibit dedicated to King Khufu, one of his earliest known lives, as he wonders the implications of the caging of the god Horus. However, before he can find any answers, he gets swept back in time, and then next thing he knows he’s being thrown into a battle with King Khufu himself, who views the mysterious winged warrior as an enemy invading his kingdom. This is a past self of Hawkman, of course, which makes this battle doubly tricky – Khufu is a dangerous warrior, but Hawkman can’t hurt him in any way without risking his own future. Bryan Hitch, although he gets a lot of inking assistance this issue, delivers some strong pencils with a genuinely epic vibe, and Robert Venditti is one of the best when it comes to classic comic book action. I’m more fascinated by Hawkman’s story than I have been in a long time, and this is looking like a worthy successor to Venditti’s extended Green Lantern run.

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