Hawkman #24 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Fernando Pasarin, Penciller; Oclair Albert, Inker; Jeromy Cox, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: When we last left Hawkman, we were introduced to one of his past lives as a plague doctor—only to be thrown back into the present day, when he and Shayera found themselves in a mysterious dimension complete with a giant obelisk. In this issue, we learn exactly where they are—in the slave dimension he built as Ktar Deathbringer in his first life, and where he banished his former army after he turned on them and sought redemption. So needless to say, neither group here is very happy to see him. As he and Shayera try to figure out their next move, the slaves hear his voice and attack him for their plight – which brings the attention of the red-clad armored warriors, who are ready to tear their former commander apart. It’s a visually impressive high-flying battle, but it also takes up a bit too much of the issue as the two heroes play batting practice with random armored goons.
Still, it’s interesting to see this title come back to the thorny topic of Carter’s horrible past sins. Making your main character a former genocidal warlord seeking redemption is a thorny topic, but Venditti’s done well with it in what’s probably his most consistently entertaining DC work. What doesn’t work quite as well is the reveal of the villain, as it’s a mystery with only one suspect and no real twist ending here. Fernando Pasarin’s art is reminiscent of Bryan Hitch’s original style on the book, making him a good choice. As we are about to hit the 25th-issue mark, it makes sense that the title is heading back to where it started. The addition of Hawkwoman has given it a new lease on life, but it’s still rarely as compelling as when it focuses on the diverse past lives of its lead characters and takes us to different worlds and times. No other book like it when it’s on its game.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.