Hawkman #9 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Andrew Currie, Inker; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Prelude to the Big Struggle
Ray: After several issues taking him through past lives on Thanagar, Krypton, and the Microverse, Hawkman returns home in Hawkman #9 – but he’s not coming alone. His first stop calls back to the first issue of this series and the beginning of his quest, as he returns to London to meet with Madame Xanadu. While last time he was filled with questions, now he’s filled with urgency – he knows the Deathbringers are coming, and he’s hoping Xanadu can give him more answers. But he may already be too late, as London suddenly comes under a digital attack that seems to block all communications into and out of the city. As he reveals the dark history he shares with the Deathbringers, London is cloaked in shadow and the trio of ancient harbingers of doom hover overhead, ready to make Earth the next prey in their campaign of destruction. But this time their attack may be more personal.
Over the last few issues, this series has become more plot-heavy and improved as a result. This issue feels like a step back, relying more on Bryan Hitch’s spectacular visuals and a lot of splash pages as the Deathbringers descend. But Carter has a much more personal stake in this battle, determined to make this his last stand to keep his former allies from claiming another world. The arrival of his former friend Idamm ups the stakes, especially once it’s revealed Idamm is now the leader of the Deathbringers. It all feels a bit predictable – there’s no way all of those characters and plot elements were introduced two issues ago not to come back and haunt Carter – but over the last few issues we’ve become invested enough in Carter and his journey to redemption that it works. The Deathbringers still remain largely blank slates as villains, but the action and visuals are spectacular throughout.
Corrina: Damn, everything is a world-threatening event lately, from the Drowned Earth, the Dark Universe, the Otherkind, and the hole in the Source Wall. (Though the latter is going to wink out the universe, so nothing personal against Earth on that one.)
The Deathbringers are the latest but they seem to view Earth more as an afterthought.
They want Carter.
Hitch’s art emphasizes the heroic in Carter, especially his determination, and there’s a bit of female-fan service in the close-up action poses. Not overly sexualized, simply showing off Carter’s power and majesty in flight. Similarly, Hitch makes Madame Xanadu look gorgeous without sexualizing her, and I like how Venditti writes her as probably smarter (or less impulsive) than Carter. Because, hell, Carter, your solution of attacking giant floating beings in the sky with a seemingly endless collection of flying soldiers with a mace (even a powerful mace) seems a bit…short-sighted. But that’s Carter in a nutshell.
He hasn’t changed that much, despite the knowledge of his origin. Perhaps that’s also part of his curse.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.