We found out today that Bryan Hitch's run on the current Hawkman series will end with issue No. 12. I've known this for a while, but the official news made me reflect on the amazing run that Bryan has had with Hawkman. My love affair with Bryan's Hawkman began on December 29, 2017. That was the day Hawkman Found was released. I'll never forget it. I really didn't know what to expect but I was stunned. It was absolutely the most beautiful Hawkman comic I had ever seen. I had never seen the wings drawn that way and in such detail. The expressions of Carter Hall. Those Manhawks. The issue was a masterpiece and I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted more. And then about two and a half months later, my wish became reality.
One year and one day ago, we got the news that the new #Hawkman series would be starting with Robert Venditti on the writing and Bryan on the art. I couldn't believe us Hawkfans could be so fortunate. We were going to get an issue like Hawkman Found every month!
Then we started getting the first cover by Bryan and some WIPs. We even got a “How to “Draw Hawkman” in DC Nation issue No. 1. You could already see the changes Bryan was making on Hawkman. And it was good. Really good.
The series started on June 13, 2018. Bryan picked up right where he left off in Hawkman Found. He had made some changes to the helmet and boots, the wings and harness had more detail than I had ever seen before, and he made major changes to Carter Hall’s costume and mace. Then we got that double page spread.
From this page, I fell in love with the detail given to the art and Hawkman’s history. Bryan had done his homework. I was stunned by the magnitude of the page and what it meant for Hawkman going forward. Along with Venditti’s writing, these guys were going to reinvent the hero called Hawkman without erasing anything for his past. But this first issue was so amazing, I thought that surely he couldn’t keep this up.
Boy, was I wrong. Not only did Bryan keep it up, but he kept raising the bar with each issue.
The fight with Prince Khufu in mid-air.
The battle with the T-Rex.
The fight with the Feitherans.
The view of Thanagar.
Carter Hall and Ray Palmer’s Reunion.
The Hawk ship, or “Soarager” as I like to call it!
The last day of Krypton.
The Hawk Army. (I won’t post this just yet. Go buy the comic!) And so many other scenes and pictures.
Just time and time and time again, Bryan made my jaw hit the floor. After I finished reading it, I looked through the issues again and again and again. I felt like a kid again. It was like a fountain of youth.
Another amazing thing about Bryan is how he interacts with his fans on Twitter. He shares the process of his work and some WIPs often. Whoever isn’t following him on Twitter is missing out! When we did Hawkman Day back in November, he contacted me and graciously offered to do a Hawkman sketch for a contest for the fans. You could tell that he was committed to Hawkman and doing all he could to get everyone excited about the comic and introducing Hawkman to many new fans.
So Hitch's run with Hawkman will end with issue No. 12. Sure it’s disappointing, but I’m mostly just thankful right now. Bryan left a lot on the table and shoved some other projects back so he could give us one of the most amazing Hawkman runs ever. Most Hawkfans would say the best ever.
And it isn’t over yet! We still have two more issues to see how he will wind up his Hawkman series. Let’s look forward to that because it will be amazing. But I wanted to just say thank you to Bryan for giving us an amazing ride this year. From now on, when Hawkfans talk about the greatest Hawkman artists, Hitch will be right there in the middle of the debate and on top of many fans’ lists.
Note: For those wondering, Bryan Hitch announced it on his Twitter account after the solicitations for June came out. Will Conrad will be doing Issue No. 13.