Art by Prentis Rollins (2017, Commissioned by Tim Board)

Mar 12, 2020

Board Review of Hawkman No. 22: Death's Doorway: From End to Beginning

Hawkman 22 Cover by Mikel Janin
Intense! There have been many Hawkman comics over the years that made me hold my breath as I read them. The Hawkworld series by Tim Truman and the Return of Hawkman in the JSA series by Geoff Johns come to mind. This issue was at that level. It was an intense story with the Sky Tyrant story seemingly approaching the climax.

At the end of Hawkman No. 21, Hawkwoman, Atom, and Adam Strange had captured the Sky Tyrant, recovered the Key, and they were trying to find a way to reverse the infection and bring Carter Hall back.
Five days ago, Aipt released the first few pages of Hawkman No. 22 and we were treated to a shocker double spread of Hawkwoman that we were not expecting. Just as many of Hawkman's past lives were revealed in Hawkman No. 1 (August 2018), we got Hawkwoman's version in this issue. It is absolutely beautiful. This preview had Hawkman readers eagerly waiting for this issue to come out and Great Polaris were we entertained! This issue was all about Hawkwoman and her reactions to everything that was going on. You could feel the shock, the horror, the anger, and the desperation pouring out of the pages. The issue was so pivotal for the history of Hawkwoman that the cliffhanger ending was somewhat bearable.
We found out Shayera’s name when she was the red-haired woman who rescued Ktar Deathbringer in Hawkman No. 7 (February 2019). The double-page spread revealed all kinds of known and unknown Hawkwomen. We found out that Shayera has been in the dark about her past as much as Carter. We saw the strength of Carter’s will. It was actually nice to see him affect the story again. It’s been a while. I’m not complaining because the story has been intensely (there’s that word again) entertaining, but I do miss our hero.
There were some frustrating things about the issue. I’m not a fan of Hawkwoman’s helmet. It’s standard Hawkworld-issue wingman style, but I love Shayera with her long red hair flowing all over the place. The Atom and Adam Strange went down way too easy, but there were only 22 pages so I suppose it couldn’t be helped. And there was that patented “No, don’t open the cell door!” moment, but again, to move the story forward, it had to happen. Maybe a little bit of overconfidence and desperation caused Shayera to do that. But all those added together is still not enough to interfere with the quality of the story.
The cliffhanger left us without a clue as to what will happen next. I suspect we’re going to finally see the connection that the Lord of the Void has with Carter and Shayera. But I gave up trying to guess what writer Venditti is going to come up with a long time ago. Whatever happens, I’m guessing it’s going to a monumental moment in the history of the Hawks. 

This issue is Venditti's 22nd Hawkman book, and that moves him into the top four of Hawkman writers. He now only trails Gardner Fox, John Ostrander, and Geoff Johns as a writer with the most Hawkman comics written. The Hawkman series continues to be one of the best (no bias here!) DC Comics is offering at the moment. With the Lord of the Void coming into the story, it seems like the next two or three issues are again going to be a pivotal moment in the history of Hawkman and Hawkwoman. We are so very fortunate to have Venditti doing this book. Cherish this time while it lasts. 
The art is fantastic. Fernando Pasarin (pencils), Oclair Albert (inks), and Wade Von Grawbadger (inks) continues to give us a book that is fun to look at. Jeromy Cox's colors are bold and loud like a rock concert that doesn't get tiring. I can't wait to see their work all collected in a trade. 
The cover title of "The Infection Breaks" and one of Hawkman's formers lives called the Plague Doctor coming up in the next issue is eerily on mark with what is happening in the world today. And it appears that another big moment is coming up in the next few issues. If you know of someone who is not reading Hawkman, be a good friend and let them know. This series has been one of the best in comics over the past two years, and it appears it will continue. Don't miss out on this classic. 
Hawkman 22 Variant Cover by Gerardo Zaffino

Hawkman 22
Death's Doorway: From End to Conclusion
Writer: Robert Venditti

Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Oclair Albert
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Cover: Mikel Janin
Variant Cover: Gerardo Zaffino
Editors: Andrea Shea, Alex R. Carr

Rating: 10/10


  1. Just read
    HAWKMAN no.21~25
    Absolutely blew me away!!
    THE LORD BEYOND THE VOID is one of the best villains in ages and the artwork is incredible!


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