Hawkman #8 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Penciller; Andrew Currie, Andy Owens, Inkers; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Best Issue of the Series
Ray: After last issue’s wild reveal that the original Hawkman was the leader of the Deathbringers, this series is spinning off in a vastly different direction as Carter Hall struggles to make amends for the horrific actions of his past lives. His quest through his history takes him to one of his most unexpected lives in Hawkman #8 – on the planet Krypton. But as we all know, Krypton didn’t meet its end at the hands of the Deathbringers. As he arrives to meet his past self, Hawkman records his thoughts in a journal – only to find out that his time is shorter than he thought. Catar-Ol is waiting for him, but Krypton is already primed to explode as the core rips itself apart. This issue is essentially a bottle episode, taking place almost entirely in one room as Hawkman and Catar try to get all the meaning they can out of a few brief moments. And Bryan Hitch’s stunning art realizes the destruction of Krypton in a way few artists have – up close and personal.
Robert Venditti has made Catar-Ol one of the more interesting waystations in Hawkman’s quest, because he’s one of the major steps on the character’s road to redemption. A scholar and scientist, he was a friend to the El clan and was, in fact, Kara’s teacher – he’s relieved to find out that she’s on her way to Earth. But complicating the situation is the fact that Hawkman needs to retrieve a relic from the dying planet before he goes – something that’s impossible, and about to become more so when everything is atomized. Although the first half of the issue has a slow, melancholy pace, that changes in a big way as it becomes a race against time. That’s why this is easily one of Venditti’s best DC work – Hawkman’s story is both epic and cosmic, and deeply personal. It’s a story of a man’s fight for redemption against an interdimensional backdrop, and it’s easily the best story the character’s had since the Johns run in the early 2000s.
Corrina: After Hawkman #7 was my least favorite issue, in steps Hawkman #8 and becomes my favorite of the run.
Melancholy permeates the story, as Carter and Catar-Ol have a conversation about past and present with Krypton literally falling apart around them. HItch sells the utter devastation of a world’s destruction but also avoids allowing that to distract from the conversation between Hawkmen, as Catar-Ol accepts his fate and his failure, and Carter vows not to do the same.
Long-time comic readers have seen Krypton destroyed over and over, most recently over in the Superman titles. But rarely has the destruction felt so…personal.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.