Hawkman #11 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Artist; Andrew Currie, Inker; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Epic Battle Sequence
Ray: Now that we know Bryan Hitch is leaving Hawkman with the next issue (although Robert Venditti’s run will be continuing indefinitely), this first year starts to feel like a single mega-arc. Considering that, this penultimate issue delivers in the spectacle you’d expect from a grand finale. When we last left off, Hawkman had managed to summon all hundreds of his past lives to battle against Idamm and the Deathbringers, and Hawkman #11 opens with a spectacular double-page spread showing the army of Hawks in battle. We’ve met most but not all of them over the course of the run, and this issue gives each of them a chance to shine. We also get to see a few new ones, including the wingless gunslinger Nighthawk – and even the massive, corrupted Dragon of Barbatos, now harnessed to work for his fellow Hawkmen and deliver massive destruction to the forces of the Deathbringers.
But despite that overwhelming force, they start falling fast and the Deathbringers advance. Soon it comes down to Carter and Idamm in a brutal, one-on-one fight that Carter wins, seemingly bringing an end to the threat for good – or not. That might be my one big problem with this story arc. It’s spectacular, yes, but there’s very little in the way of rules here. We know the Deathbringers are all-powerful and ancient, but until now there’s been no sign that they’re unkillable. They are because that’s what the story demands. From the start the story has ridden high on one factor – just how good Venditti is at differentiating the countless Hawkmen, giving each of them their own personality. As it reaches its grand finale, it seems like that’s going to continue even while the main threat remains vague. Still the most compelling Hawkman has been in well over a decade.
Corrina: This is an all-action issue and there’s a sense of majesty to Hitch’s art as the battle ensues between the Hawkmen and the Deathbringers. It all looks glorious and it’s a feast for the eyes, as well as a feast for those who loved all those different incarnations of Hawkmen. (I recognized Nighthawk, as he featured years back in Geoff Johns’ Hawkman reboot. Or maybe it was in James Robinson’s Starman? In any case, he’s been around–if not as a Hawkman life–for quite a while.)
Unfortunately, it’s an action issue where not much seems to happen. No one is defeated, maybe we lost one or two Hawkmen, but the Deathbringers are about to destroy the city, still. (They are waiting a long time to push that button, for certain.)
I wonder if the next issue and the end of the arc will see a Hawkmen combined kind of mystical force? If that’s the case, I look forward to Hitch drawing it!
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received these comics for review purposes.