Art by Adam Kubert

Dec 29, 2018

Review of Hawkworld 2018

 
What a difference a year makes! At the end of last year, Hawkman and Hawkgirl had no comic, but they had been brought back in Scott Snyder's Metal series and we were anxiously waiting for news of a comic. Let's look back on the amazing year the Hawks had in 2018!

When the year started, Jeff Lemire and Bryan Hitch's Hawkman Found Metal Tie-in issue had just been released. It was a beautiful comic and ignited the hopes of the return of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. January and February brought us the fifth issue of Dark Nights: Metal and a lot of rumors, but the solicitations had nothing listed so the frustrations were increasing a bit. And then it happened.
March 14, 2018; this is a day that will be celebrated by many Hawkman fans for years to come. I live in Japan, which means I am 14 hours ahead of the U.S. east coast. Just after 2 a.m. on March 15th (Japan time), I suddenly woke up for some reason. I believe now that my inner Hawk sensor was wheeting like crazy. I got out of bed to check the news and there it was; Washington Post's David Betancourt had just released his article announcing the new Hawkman series by Robert Venditti and Hitch. The news quickly spread through Hawkworld. After five years since the end of the Savage Hawkman series, Hawkman would finally have his own regular title again. There was some concern about where Hawkgirl was, but we soon found out that she would be a regular member of the new Justice League series by Scott Snyder.
While at first I some reservations about a Hawkman comic without Hawkgirl, I eventually realized this was the best way to go. Both Snyder and Venditti mentioned that they wanted to establish each character in their own right before bringing them back together. After the Metal series, Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders appeared to have different origins and powers now, so it seemed like a fresh take on the Winged Warriors.
Justice League started on June 6th. The development of Hawkgirl has been slower than expected, but Scott Snyder, James Tynion, Jim Cheung and Jorge Jimenez have given us a beautifully drawn, no-time-to-catch-your-breath story. There are still many questions about Kendra Saunders, but hopefully, they will be answered in the near future. The variant cover of Hawkgirl for issue No. 3 by Jim Lee was instantly one of the best Hawkgirl covers ever. With the Hawkworld story underway, there will be many more Hawkgirl highlights ahead.
The new Hawkman series by Venditti and Hitch took flight on June 13 and it has received rave reviews by Hawkman fans and comic critics. What Venditti has done with Hawkman is nothing short of a miracle. He has somehow managed to craft a story that new fans can jump right into without knowing any of his histories, and at the same time thrilling the veteran fans. The instant costume change, the new mace, the friendship network, the discovery of other past lives, the clashes with the past lives, the T-Rex, the reunion with Ray Palmer and so many other things have been an absolute joy to read. And that was all before December 12th.
In the seventh issue released on December 12th, Venditti gave Hawkman a new origin. Some casual fans may roll their eyes and think, "Oh great, another origin for Hawkman!" Starting with the Ocean Theory mentioned by Ray Palmer in issue No. 5, Venditti has brilliantly explained how everything originated in one man, Ktar. Venditti has established one solid foundation for the story of Hawkman, and all of the other versions of Hawkman are built upon that. This is a simple and easily understood explanation that doesn't make you immediately reach for the strongest drink you can find. This series has been a joy to anticipate and read.
Art by Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie and Jeremiah Skipper
I haven't even mentioned the art yet. When Hawkman Found came out at the end of 2017, I was stunned. It is the most beautiful Hawkman comic I have ever laid my eyes on. When Hitch was announced as the artist for the new series as well, I could not wait to see what was in store. We have not been disappointed. The artwork has been just jaw-dropping page after page. From the first page of issue No. 1, Hitch has continued to do work that baffles the imagination. The scenes of Thanagar and the double-page spread of Hawkman flying with the Atom are the two pages that stand out for me, and I'm sure many Hawkman fans have their own favorites.
Art from Hawkman No. 4
The attention to detail, the panel sequences, the double-page spreads stop you in your tracks. Hitch, along with Andrew Currie (inks), Daniel Henriques (inks), Jeremiah Skipper (colors), Comicraft (letters), and Alex Sinclair (cover), have brought us the most beautiful Hawkman comic month after month. The variant covers by Stjepan Sejic (#1-3), Dale Keown (#4), Matteo Scalera (#5-6), and Julian Totino Tedesco (#7) have been frame worthy as well. 
Art by Julian Totino Tedesco
After their return in June, Hawkman and Hawkgirl have made some appearances in other comics;
Justice League #1 (Hawkman)
Action Comics #1000 (Hawkman)
Wonder Woman #48 (Hawkgirl)
Flash Comics #49 (Hawkman)
Wonder Woman #50 (Hawkman, Hawkgirl)
Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester #1 (Hawkman, Hawkgirl)
Superman #2 (Hawkman)
The Unexpected #5-7 (Hawkman)
Wonder woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1 (Hawkgirl)
Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth Special #1 (Hawkman)
In the Justice League series, a three-issue story called Hawkworld has started. The story started off with a bang with the return of Shayera Hol and Katar Hol. We even have a new Thanagar called Thanagar Prime. This series by Snyder and Tynion may reveal even more about Kendra and Thanagar so don't miss the next issues of Justice League in January!
Cover by Jim Cheung and Tomeu Morey
Hawkman also made a few appearances in the animated film The Death of Superman this year. It was a non-vocal role, except for a few uncredited grunts, but it's a start!
Hawkman and Hawkgirl have returned with a very loud wheet this year and they are soaring high. A comic book fan should always be able to find their favorite superhero in a book every month, so it has been great to be able to do that again this year.
On a personal note, Hawkworld Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have continued to grow and welcome new friends and followers this year. It's been great being able to post and tweet about everything going on with fellow fans. Hawkgirl Day on April 25th was great fun, and Hawkman Day on November 10th really took off this year. Many comic book sites, podcasts, and YouTube channels promoted the event and even invited me to their show. Venditti and Hitch also joined in promoting Hawkman Day and to be honest this just blew my mind. I was also able to join Venditti on a podcast on two occasions, even though I was not worthy, as well as a show with Doug Zawisza, the author of Hawkman Companion. Many, many thanks to The Comic Source's Jace Milam for giving me that opportunity.
By Bryan Hitch
I also enjoyed doing the Hawkman Comic giveaway every month on Facebook and Twitter. Many thanks to Altered Ego Comics in Orange Park, Florida for helping out with that contest. It's been great fun giving out comics to fans, and this year I was able to give out copies of Hawkman, Justice League and Hawkman Companion to 26 lucky winners. It was great fun promoting the books as well as sharing them with fellow fans and I look forward to continuing it next year.
On that topic, the sales of Hawkman have been struggling a bit recently. The book opened up at 33rd place on the Diamond Sales rankings with 42k copies sold to comic book stores, but the most recent rankings show Hawkman at No. 97 with 21l copies sold. Venditti and Hitch are giving us a great comic, so if it is at all within your means to pick up the comic each month, tell your comic book stores to promote it and tell your friends to pick it up, then we might have a chance of keeping this amazing comic going for a long time. It is my hope to see Hawkman #100 and beyond someday. Let's make that happen. Hawkman No. 8 will be released on January 16th, and the Justice League will be released on the 9th (issue No. 15) and the 23rd (issue No. 16). Don't miss it!
So 2018 comes to a close and what a year it has been. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are soaring high, taking us fans along for the flight. May we soar even higher in 2019!

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