Hawkman #5 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Andrew Currie, Inker; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: It Gets Kinda Silver Age
Ray: Robert Venditti’s fast-paced adventure continues to unfold as Hawkman finds himself in one of the most unexpected environs yet – the Microverse–in Hawkman #5. The bad news is that this adds yet another wrinkle to his long, tangled backstory – at one point he was resurrected in the Microverse, a fact he finds very hard to wrap his mind around. The good news is that his current location means he’s reunited with one of his best friends, Ray Palmer. The original Atom was last seen helping to save the microverse with his protege Ryan Choi in Justice League of America, and now he watches over the entire realm. When Hawkman arrives, their reunion turns into an attempt to fill in the blanks – Ray winds up explaining to Hawkman his theory of his resurrections. This segment could have been very dry, but the back-and-forth between the two of them keeps the issue moving fast. But it’s once that segment is over that the story really gets moving.
Hawkman and The Atom go searching for the remnant of Nth Metal that marks Hawkman’s time in this realm, and they find it – on the most dangerous planet in the Microverse, Moz-Ga. This living planet possessed by the spirit of a wizard made its debut in Justice League of America, where the being at its core emerged for the first time in eons. That didn’t end well for anyone, so he’s retreated again and the planet is now an inhospitable wasteland. When the heroes arrive, they come under attack by an army of living trees – and Hawkman responds with his traditional lack of subtlety. The story here is pretty compelling, but what really makes the issue sing is Bryan Hitch’s art. He’s been on all five issues of the series, and it’s some of the best work he’s ever done. Shifting from sci-fi to fantasy to the modern day within an issue, every installment is a surprise and I can’t wait to see where this series goes next. It’s been well over a decade since Hawkman was this compelling.
Corrina: I can think of no artist better suited to jump to different time periods, different worlds, and different universes than Bryan Hitch. He did something like this with his run on Justice League. There, he went into Krypton’s past, the far future, and seemingly every place in between. That feels like a warm-up to Hawkman, as Hitch was mostly the writer on Justice League, and now he cuts loose with this art.
The story might be lost in the scenery and the resurrection tech-talk, save for the friendship between Ray and Carter. That’s evident not just in the reunion page seen above but, later, when Ray is valiantly attempting to make Carter stop and think for a change. Ray’s frustrated as only an old friend could be.
I’m still not sure where the whole series is going, other than a trip into all corners of the DC Universe, and I’m not enamored of Carter’s impulsiveness. And I also miss Hawkgirl. But this has been interesting so far.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.