Review – Hawkman #12: Who Will Wield the Mace?

Comic Books DC This Week
Hawkman #12 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Hawkman #12 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Bryan Hitch, Penciller; Andrew Currie, Norm Rapmund, Scott Hanna, Inkers; Jeremiah Skipper, Colorist


Ray – 8.5/10

Corrina: Eye-Popping

Ray: Robert Venditti’s Hawkman run is continuing indefinitely – he’s said he has years-long plans to flesh out his bold new status quo for the character – but Hawkman #12 is the end of Bryan Hitch’s run and of the twelve-issue mega-arc that introduced us to dozens of other Hawkman. Now with all of them pulled through time to make a last stand against the Deathbringers, the creative team delivers one last epic fight on both a massive and intimate scale. As the issue begins, the army of Hawkmen is facing off against the forces of the Deathbringers while Katar takes the fight to the seemingly immortal Idamm. With hundreds of winged warriors around them, the two enter a mid-air death spiral and plummet to the street for a final battle. Meanwhile, the Kryptonian hawk steals the issue with a spectacular display of heat vision as he harnesses his powers for the first time. One giant warship after another goes down, until there’s only one left – still enough to wipe out Earth.

The fight with Idamm maybe goes on a little too long and starts to resemble a wrestling match between bickering brothers, but it’s all in service of a great twist – Katar realizes that the only way to stop the Deathbringers for good is to take them back under his control. So the story ends with a pacifist Hawkman once again controlling the war machine he built eons ago, and no real clue what to do with them. There are some great lines about turning them into farmers, but no real answers. Katar gets his full memories back in a gorgeous double-page spread, which sets up more adventures and discoveries down the line. Will Conrad is stepping on the next issue, a good choice to keep the sweeping scale of this series going, but this run has been the best work Bryan Hitch has done in a while. If you want to capture a truly epic vibe, you need a truly epic artist – and this run delivered on all levels.

The Deathbringers at the beginning. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: Let’s talk about the art because Hawkman #12 is a feast for the eyes.

The art team handles an army of Hawkmen across various eras, in different costumes, with different skill sets, often in crowded panels, plus the Deathbringer army, plus the giant mechanical ships that are about to destroy Earth.

Hitch deserves a huge amount of the credit of course, especially in those panels that are full of backgrounds with various Hawkmen and Deathbringers. He sells the epicness of the story as the Kryptonian version of Hawkman takes out one of the ships in spectacular fashion. But credit also goes to the inkers and colorists who take what Hitch has laid down and make it a gorgeous feast of colors and movement.

The twist of Carter finally taking control of the Deathbringers again works well as a solution once the giant weapons are destroyed, as well as providing story fodder for the feature. We know nothing about this army or the individuals in it, and now there’s a chance to explore them. So, the run will continue.

But the next art team has big shoes to fill.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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