Monday, March 23, 2015


In 1994 DC Comics published Zero Hour, a five issue mini-series designed to not only serve as a major summer crossover but also fix some of the continuity problems that had plagued their universe after the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Some have suggested that Zero Hour caused more problems than it fixed but at the time it was the dawn of an exciting new era for DC.  To kick off this new age DC followed Zero Hour with Zero Month.  As the name suggests all of the main DC books were rolled back to zero though each one had a different approach to the idea  Some books featured a new origin.  Some contained tweaks to the existing origin.  Some contained brand new versions of old characters.  All of them served as a jumping on point for new and old readers alike.  

To celebrate this new era (or perhaps to bury it) some of us in the comic book blogging community have banded together from remote galaxies to discuss how the characters we cover were rebooted/revamped by looking at the solicitations of our character's zero issues as well as delving into the Wizard Magazine Zero Hour Special, which was a magazine published around the time of Zero Hour to promote the series, what was coming next and the history of DC in general.

Up first is the Zero Hour Special...

Huh.  That's certainly one way to put it -- "the past several years" seems a bit generous considering that Hawkworld had come out in 1991. I do find it odd as well that they go to Dan Jurgens for a quote when Bill Messener-Loebs is the one who really orchestrated the revamp of Hawkman.  But, it is a nice little summary of the changes which happened to the Winged Wonder in the wake of Zero Hour.  I especially like the last paragraph, including how Hawkman would "strive to find his place in the post-Zero Hour DC Universe," which given the events of "Eyes Of The Hawk" and "Way Of The Warrior."  It was not to last, but then again, who does?

And now the solicit from DC... 

"Unguessable impact" seems pretty prophetic, since I doubt anyone could have guessed at the eventual end of the "Hawkgod" / "merged" Hawkman storyline!  I do have to laugh that DC made a point of mentioning that Hawkman was going to tangle with Badblood, like that would be a selling point. I do like the subtle bit of hype at the beginning, with the new direction "redefining and expanding Hawkman's role."  It had the best of intentions, so who am I to question that? 

As this is a blog crossover be sure to check out the links below to find out how other characters were treated during Zero Month.

And a big shoutout to Mike Bailey of The Fortress of Baileytude for bringing this whole crossover shindig together!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Convergence: Hawkman #2 Variant Cover by Chip Kidd

Keeping with the theme from the first month of Convergence, the second month's offerings also feature variant covers designed by Chip Kidd. including this alternate cover to Convergence: Hawkman #2.  

These covers are all essentially the same as the first set of variants, just with the color "wipe" on the opposite side of the cover.  I guess that makes sense, but honestly I was expecting something a little more creative -- maybe the "wipe" having covered the older version of the hero to be replaced with the current New 52 version?  Like reality was warping and the cover was changing?  I'm spit balling here, but that's just my opinion.  Still, the bold use of color on these covers does make them "pop," similar to how Marvel made a lot of their Civil War tie in books stand out on the shelves by using half covers with high contrast, two color symmetrical covers.

So what do you folks think?  Will you be seeking out the Chip Kidd covers for the Convergence tie-ins or sticking with the regularly solicited covers?

Image: Convergence: Hawkman #2 variant cover, 2015, Chip Kidd.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Postopia Hawkgirl Trading Card

I have had this one sitting on my work desk for a while, but every time I tried to post it, the scan would be pretty much awful.  So with a new scanner, I gave it another shot.  The verdict is still not great, but at least it's readable!

Anyway, this Hawkgirl trading card comes from the good people at Post Cereal as part of their Postopia ad campaign.  There were 7 cards in the series, one for each member of the Justice League as featured on the cartoon of the same name.  The front features the well known piece of stock Bruce Timm-style art of Shayera getting ready to lay the smack down with her mace.  The back side of the card features more stock art, and your standard-issue biographical information.  Interestingly, there are some changes from her comics origin as part of her cartoon origin -- the use of a "dimensional transport beam" really smacks of Adam Strange and the Zeta Beam more than Katar and Shayera.  Another nice touch is Shayera's role as an undercover police officer, which does not explain her uniform, but is a novel change none the less.

This card came to me via my brother, who is always finding oddball stuff like this.  Thanks, J!

Sadly, I got this card long after the ceased to exist, so I do not know what entering the code "THANAGAR4" would have generated as part of your "Justice League on-line adventure."  Anyone have any information on that?

Image: Postopia Hawkgirl trading card, 2004, image scanned personally.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jeff Parker Talks About Convergence: Hawkman

As the hype continues to build for DC's Convergence, the interviews have begun for the different creators working on the various miniseries.  Here at Being Carter Hall, I've always got my raptor-like eyes peeled (yeah right) for new interviews with Hawk-creators, so when Newsarama posted this piece with scribe of the forthcoming Convergence: Hawkman mini, Jeff Parker, I was pleasantly surprised, as most Hawkman books don't get much (positive) attention from the comic book press nowadays.

A couple of interesting exchanges:

Nrama: Where do we pick up the story of the Hawks in the first issue? What has just happened in their timeline when we meet them in this story?

Parker: This falls right after the Shadow War miniseries of the '80s, when we find that the Hawks' homeworld of Thanagar has agents throughout the galaxy looking to undermine other civilizations. And they're working on Earth, following Katar and Shayera Hol around, so they get pulled into the Convergence with the heroes.

I think this placement is a good move in that it lets Parker and company play with the Shadow War setting without having to worry about some of the developments from the ongoing series which followed it, such as the stuff with George Emmett or Gerald Trent.  Also, I find the idea that these Thangarian agents getting drawn into the Convergence accidentally to be really funny.  I can just see Fell Andar flipping out over his agents' incompetence.

As an aside, I wonder how many DC readers who came to the line in the 90s and 00s have no idea what the Shadow War is?  I know when I first became interested in Hawkman, I had no clue.

Nrama: As you mentioned, you're using Shayera Hol. How would you describe her?

Parker: She's more upbeat and assertive. It's no secret that versions of Hawkwoman later usurped Hawkman in cartoons and comics. I try to infer that by beefing up her role.

First off, a beefy role for Hawkwoman sounds just fine to me.  I've always espoused that one of the aspects which make the Hawks unique is that they truly are partners rather than hero and sidekick.  I also like Parker's acknowledgement of her status as a solo character thanks to Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, as well as Kendra Saunders' flying solo in JSA, JLoA, and her own title.

Secondly, and perhaps more important to me as a nitpicking fanboy, is that Parker specifically calls her Hawkwoman.  It seems like the interviewer (uncredited in the piece) sets him up by the phrasing of the question -- using "Shayera Hol" instead of either codename -- and Parker responds with "Hawkwoman."  Previously I had touched on the fact that the solicits for this series had referred to her as Hawkgirl, despite Shayera using the Hawkwoman moniker by the era this story is based around (Shadow War).  This is a very encouraging sign -- if the writer of the series is calling her Hawkwoman, I have to believe that there is a good chance she willbe called Hawkwoman in the actual book.  (Speculation: Maybe the solicit used Hawkgirl as that name is more well known?)

Mr. Parker also touches on working with Tim Truman and Enrique Alcatena, his use of humor in comics, and his thoughts on Convergence in general.  Definitely a bit of a puff piece, but still appreciated!

Upcoming: Convergence: Justice Society of America #2

One last Hawkman-related Convergence solicitation: the second issue of Convergence: Justice Society of America!  Take it away, Newsarama:

Written by DAN ABNETT
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 27 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! The original Justice Society is powered up and ready to fight the Weaponers of Qward – but with youth and power comes the ultimate cost!
This extra-sized issue includes a sneak peek at what's coming up in the DC Universe!

I am very excited by this series, if only to read Dan Abnett's take on the old school Justice Society of America coupled with Derenick's line work.  Dan Panosian's cover has a similar style to the cover to the first issue, but I like his pulpy take on Hawkman, Flash, GL, and Doctor Fate, so that's cool with me.  I have to wonder -- will the other Society members show up in this, or are these four our stars?  What about Wildcat, Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, and so forth?  I guess we'll have to wait and see!

I am definitely going to be buying this series.  What about you folks -- are you planning on picking up Convergence: Justice Society of America?

Image: Convergence: Justice Society of America #2, 2015, Dan Panosian.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Upcoming: Convergence -- Month 2!

I am putting my order together for the first month's worth of Convergence comics, so you know what that means: time for the second month to be solicited!  

Up first is the second issue of Convergence: Hawkman, dropping on "Week 3":

Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE / Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 20 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Thanagarian Shadow Agents set out to destroy the deadly bat people and rat people from the land of Kamandi!
This extra-sized issue includes a sneak peek at what's coming up in the DC Universe!

Not really tipping much off, is it?  Pretty much what I would suspect given the short length of the series and the seeming emphasis on mash-up smash-ups in the tie-in miniseries.  The cover is pretty darn awesome though!  And I do like the mention of Thanagarian Shadow Agents!

The "sneak peek of what's coming up in the DC Universe" is, I suspect, going to be the same for each issue.  Which kinda sucks, but oh well.  Maybe some of those pages will also be allotted to the main story in addition to the preview?  Yeah, I doubt that too, but a guy can dream.  

Also solicited is the second issue of Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle, which features the Bat-kids fighting the Hawkpeople from Flashpoint!

Written by GAIL SIMONE
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale MAY 6 • 40 pg, FC, 2 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
The fairy tale starring Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon tries to survive one more night – and a brutal attack by Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman!

As I said previously, I don't expect much from the Flashpoint Hawks here, as it's Gail Simone writing Nightwing and Oracle.  Got a feeling that it will be pretty obvious what to expect in this title.  Still, have to admit the concept is a bit intriguing, and Simone has surprised me in the past with some of her more offbeat use of characters.  Hope springs eternal.

So, what looks good to you folks about the second month of Convergence?

Image: Convergence: Hawkman #2, 2015, Rafael Albuquerque.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Upcoming: Convergence: Justice Society of America

The Convergence hits just keep on coming from DC Comics, as we have one more Convergence miniseries which features Hawkman.  And it's no surprise to this blogger that the final series is Convergence: Justice Society of America.  Take it away, Newsarama:

Written by DAN ABNETT
Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD
On sale APRIL 29 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T
STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! Older and in full retirement under the dome, members of the Justice Society get the chance to regain their youth to stave off forces from the Qward Universe. But the promise of youth comes with a deadly price!

As with all of these Convergence books, this sounds like a fun romp, especially with Dan Abnett at the helm.  Tom Derenick has a smooth style which should translate nicely with the bold, old fashioned uniforms of the JSA, especially with Scott's embellishment.  I even like the cover, wherein Dan Panosian has tapped a sort of Howard Chaykin vibe.  Flash, GL, Dr. Fate, and Hawkman all sport a sort of "real world fantastic" aesthetic which is a good fit for the original mystery men.  The Chip Kidd variant features Jay Garrick.

Convergence is shaping up to be a fairly decent investment for me, but with all these books being only two-parters, I can afford to indulge a little bit -- especially when we are getting so many old favorites back.  What about you -- will Convergence: Justice Society of America make it into your pull box?

Image: Convergence: Justice Society of America #1, 2015, Dan Panosian.