The new Hawkgirl series has finally begun and it's a whole new Hawkgirl/Kendra Saunders. Kendra has gone through many changes over the years like any other character; the reluctant hero trying to find her own destiny, the confident former Lady Blackhawk who became an important and powerful member of the Justice League, and now a mature hero is trying to find her own place again after the end of the Justice League.
Who is this Hawkgirl? Let's start from there. When Shiera Saunders-Hall died, her soul was reincarnated into two beings; Shayera Hol, also known as Hawkwoman, and Kendra Saunders, the current Hawkgirl. Let's take a quick look at Kendra to understand where she is coming from.
After the death of Shiera Saunders, Kendra was born on Earth. She remembered all of her past lives, but she felt no connection with Carter Hall. She went on to become Lady Blackhawk and tried to help the Justice League prevent Barbatos of the Dark Multiverse from entering the Multiverse, but they were unsuccessful. The power of Barbatos even transformed Kendra into an evil version of Hawkgirl, but Wonder Woman used her Lasso of Truth to bring Kendra back. As a result, Kendra now had Nth metal wings and was extremely powerful, strong enough to knock the Martian Manhunter into next week.
|Justice League #9 (December 2018)|
When Kendra and the Justice League visited Thanagar Prime where Shayera Hol (Hawkwoman) was the Empress, they discovered that they had been split from Shiera Saunders, their former life. Starman appeared and used his powers to make both Kendra and Shayera complete and whole, with their own separate lives. While Shayera knew her destiny was to be with Carter Hall, Kendra went her own way. She joined the Justice League and started a relationship with the Martian Manhunter. They even discovered that they had a son in another dimension.
|Dark Crisis: Worlds without a Justice League - Green Lantern (October 2022)|
When the Justice League was seemingly killed, an altered version of Kendra found herself on a planet where she was looking for the Vase of Mortality to end her cycle of reincarnation and live her last life to the fullest. However, the Justice League was brought back to their Earth and the team disbanded. Kendra was now on her own, maybe for the first time in her life.
From here, there are spoilers so by the lives of the seven gods, you have been warned.
This is where the current story finds Kendra. We find Kendra in Metropolis where she has relocated and she is fighting some cute fireball aliens with Superman, Black Canary, and Power Girl. Right away bridges are burning left and right as we discover that Kendra has no desire to ever go back to the Blackhawks, and that she has broken up with the Martian Manhunter.
|Galaxy by Jadzia Axelrod|
During the fight, Hawkgirl meets Galaxy, a character with several powers. I liked the way Galaxy described Kendra's Nth Metal wings. "Energy that decided to be metal. Like a cold son." Interesting way to put it.
Throughout the issue, we run into several LGBTQ+ characters, which almost made me feel like I was back in June. It even suggests that Kendra might be bisexual. That's something we haven't seen before, so I guess we'll have to see where that goes. This will not bother some comics fans, but it will probably cause some fans to drop the book. It is what it is. I am not familiar with the writer Jadzia Axelrod's style, but this seems to be the trend lately so it's not that surprising. Personally, it's not going to cause me to drop the book, but I'll probably skim over the Galaxy-Kat panels if they continue to pop up.
Batman also shows up in the book to give Kendra some info on Galaxy. All the appearances seem to be setting up Kendra's place in the current DC Universe so for the first issue I guess it's good. Axelrod has said that Hawkman will not be appearing in the series, but what about Hawkwoman? It's been over four years since we have seen them together. It would be fun to see them interact in an issue or two.
There is also a new villain named...hold on....Vulpecula. She is using a girl named Maureen to open a door to the Nth World. OK, now you have my attention. We've never heard of such a place before but it definitely sounds interesting. What this Vulpecula is planning to do once she finds it but maybe we'll find out more about the Nth Metal, something DC Comics has really been lacking in ever since it was introduced in 1939.
The art by Amancay Nahuelpan was on and off in my opinion. Hawkgirl looked great in her costume when she was in action, but some of the art seemed uneven. Maybe that is Nahuelpan's style. I do like the way he draws Kendra's wings. They are staying with the wings that Kendra has had since the Justice League series in 2018 so that's good to see.
Overall, it was a promising start and the way Axelrod is approaching the Nth metal is very interesting. We'll see where it leads.
Hawkgirl #2 is out on August 15!