Monday, August 18, 2008
Read: Hawkman Special #1
Issue: Hawkman Special #1 (Although, there was another Hawkman Special #1 published twenty-two years prior to this one)
Title: "Actuality Contamination"
Published Date: Oct 2008 (released August 6, 2008)
Generation: Modern Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity
Synopsis: In a side story to the ongoing Rann-Thanagar Holy War, Hawkman takes a trio of Rannian soldiers to investigate some strange energy readings, and winds up facing down the mysterious and seemingly omnipotent Demiurge in the battlefield of Carter's own mind. The Demiurge tells Carter that he has been living a lie, and has been dealing with it for so long that he simply has assumed it to be true. Shrugging off Hawkman's attacks, the Demiurge transports them to ancient Egypt, right as Hath-Set murders Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara. Carter, unable to stop the proceedings, rages ineffectively, until the Demiurge begins to ask the hard questions: why has history completelt forgotten Prince Khufu? And his father? How many brothers did he have? Why has Cartner never thought about these questions before? The Demiurge reaches into Carter's brain and "removes" this imperfection, calling it part of a series of problems introduced because of the Crisis (Hawkman says the "Infinite Crisis," but the image more suggests COIE), before transporting them back to the present. Calling him one of the "Abberent Six," the Demiurge says that he and Hawkman shall cross paths again in the future, and says that Hawkman shall have to embrace his true identity: Katar Hol. Flying off, Hawkman wonders what all this means, how much of it was true, and why the Demiurge called him the name of a dead man.
Review: This was an interesting one-shot, with a lot of weird goings-on and seemingly contradictory actions. So, is all the stuff that Goyers and Johns created now not true? Or is it only not true for the part of Carter that was Katar Hol? Remember, in The Return Of Hawkman we learned that Carter was reborn in Katar's body, and Katar's spirit eventually drifted off to rest. Could that be the problem? You'll recall that I speculated that we could get a split between Carter and Katar, and this development could theoretically support that -- since all these problems came about because of "The Crisis," it's not unreasonable to think that undoing said problems might involve undoing the combining of the two Hawkmen. Of course part of that is just fanboy wishful thinking on my part. Anyway, as far as the issue itself, it's pretty good, with lots of weird backgrounds and heroic poses for Hawkman for Starlin to show off with. The dialogue is a little heavy-handed for 2008 (at one point Hawkman actually shouts something to the effect of "Everything I know has been a terrible lie!"), but Starlin is certainly game on that end as well. Whether this will be but a footnote or a major turning point remains to be seen, but I felt this was worth the price.