Review – Hawkman #26: Cycle’s End

Comic Books DC This Week
Hawkman #26 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Hawkman #26 – Robert Venditti, Writer; Fernando Pasari, Penciller; Oclair Albert, Wade Von Grawbadger, Inkers; Jeromy Cox, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: What a surprise this series has been. Maybe the best work of Robert Venditti’s career (although don’t sleep on his excellent digital-exclusive Superman: Man of Tomorrow series running right now), this book has reinvented the Hawkman mythology and given it a new jolt of life. Now, he brings to a close the arc that has been running since issue #1, as Carter and Shayera confront the Lord Beyond the Void. The former master of Ktar Deathbringer, this villain wants to drain their past lives to power himself—something that even Atom and Adam Strange can feel as he begins his ascent. The segment where the Lord sucks the lives out of them one by one is chilling, and it’s matched by an amazing segment where they willingly give every last bit of their past lives to destroy him. This moment reminded me a lot of the best scenes from the Avatar saga, and it brings an end to the endless cycle of reincarnations as the heroes finally face their judgement.

Dark moon rising. Via DC Comics.

I was skeptical that we would ever get there, because books with a ticking clock device as their framework rarely actually get to the end. But saving the entire multiverse does a lot to balance the scales, and soon Carter and Shayera are facing judgement once again—and this time, being granted the mercy and clemency they’ve earned. That give them a near-impossible choice—to finally move on and end their cycle, or return to Earth one last time to live their lives without the burden placed on them. I was sure we were heading back to the present, but Venditti has one last great twist waiting for us as the heroes return to the life that meant the most to them—and tie into an upcoming major revival that features some iconic DC heroes. There have been some great Hawkman runs over the years, but this might be the one where the writer was the most effective at getting me invested in the character’s mythology.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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