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

Jun 17, 2020

Board Review of Hawkman No. 24: Hawks Eternal Part One: Side by Side

Hawkman No. 24
Writer: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin
Inks: Oclair Albert, Cam Smith, Wade von Grawbadger
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Letter: Rob Leigh
Editors: Andrea Shea, Alex R. Carr
Cover: Bryan Hitch, Alex Sinclair
Variant Cover: Gerardo Zaffino, Rain Beredo
DC Comics
Released June 16, 2020

Since Hawkman took off in June 2018, Robert Venditti has been rebuilding the character of Hawkman one step at a time. The steps have been in the form of Carter Hall's journal, the places he visits, the conversations he has had with the people he meets, and his past lives. At times he has taken very small steps, and at times he has taken giant strides.  Each step has revealed something about the man behind the Hawk helmet.

But there was always something missing. We all knew what it was, and we clung to every mention or hint of it, and we waited for the inevitable moment when that missing part of Hawkman's story would finally be added, the presence of Hawkwoman.

It's impossible to imagine Superman without Lois Lane, or Batman without Robin. Lois Lane or Robin may not be in every story, but their presence is always there, and they are often mentioned. I believe it is the same with Carter and Shayera. Hawkman may not be in every Hawkwoman story, and vice versa, but these two characters are so intertwined that it is almost impossible to think of one without the other.

Venditti showed remarkable restraint in waiting to bring Hawkwoman into the series. If you have read other comics by Venditti before, I think you'll probably agree that his women characters are incredibly strong, articulate, and pretty much 100 percent badasses. We've had Colonel Capshaw in X-O Manowar, Donna Caprese (Doll Woman) in Freedom Fighters, or Wonder Woman in the current Justice League series. It must have been an incredible temptation to bring her in sooner. Hawkman's character was the focus from the beginning, and now that we have a pretty good idea of the man behind the harness, we get to see how the characters are different and play off of each other so well. In this issue, Hawkwoman stood out more than any other character, and we got just enough to leave us begging for more. Carter is a formidable hero of course, but Shayera is one woman you don't want to mess with.

Since the series started, we have also been introduced to a lot of Hawkman's abilities; such as the way his wings go in and out at the drop of a feather, and the way he can control his mace. Does Hawkwoman have the same abilities? We get the answer in this issue.

Venditti's writing is the best in the business right now, and his ability to write a team is pure fun. We are currently seeing the Justice League fight like a team should in their series, and we get to see how Hawkman and Hawkwoman fight together here. Even though they are technically meeting for the first time in this life, their experience together in past lives automatically kicks in and their ability to fight as a team is a joy to see. That panel of seeing them flying at the enemy side by side was a happy-squeal moment.

The art by the current team is just incredible. Sharp lines, bold colors, great contrasts, and great attention to the characters' expressions make the story jump out of the pages. This is a hawktastic team and I hope they stick around for a long, long time. The book is worth the admission price for the art alone.

We finally get a good look at the Lord of the Void. Absolute Badass. This Satan-Blackest Night-Avatar-Predator-Demon-thing looks like all kinds of bad news so it's going to be interesting to see how the Hawks get out of this one. Although the title to the next story may be a clue.

Hawkman did some horrible things in his past, but he saw the error of his ways and he has set out to atone for his past deeds ever since. Some may be incapable of repenting and living for atonement, but it is possible for a man to repent, change his direction, and try to do better. That's a much-needed message during these trying times that we live in.

Hawkman continues to soar high and if you're not picking it up, you're really missing out on a good one. Comics need all the support we can give them right now so go pick this one up, buy an extra copy to give to a friend and let's make sure the Hawks get to soar for a long time to come.

Rating: 10/10

Variant by Gerardo Zaffino

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