Monday, September 21, 2009

Read: Shadow War Of Hawkman #3


Issue: Shadow War Of Hawkman #3
Title: "My Worlds Opposed"
Published Date: Jul 1985
Generation: Silver Age Katar
Retcon Status: Out Of Continuity

Summary: The Thanagarian who killed Hawkwoman against orders is installed as the "permanant monitor" by having his brain wired directly into an Absorbascon, putting him in mental contact with every single human being on Earth.

Meanwhile, Hawkman is not impressed by Fell Andar and his invasion force, and lays into his fellow Thanagarian.  Eventually, however, Hawkman is overcome by sheer numbers and restrained.  But, he is saved by the timely arrival of none other than... Hawkwoman!  Shayera saves and frees her husband and partner, and the two wing off in a tactical retreat.

Shayera reveals that it was, in fact, Mavis Trent who had dressed up in her uniform back at the museum, and was intent on breaking into their office to play a cruel joke on them when she was spotted and murdered.  Shayera quickly disguised herself as Mavis Trent to avoid tipping any humans off that she was still alive -- for if any humans knew she still survived, the Absorbascon-wielding invaders would know immediately.  The Hawks regroup and figure that they need to destroy any data of theirs held in the Justice League's computer banks, so that Fell's group does not get their hands on it.  They head off to Detroit and infiltrate the League's new HQ.

The Hawks come up on Aquaman on moniotr duty, but the King Of The Seven Seas is subdued with Shayera's stun gun from behind without putting up a fight.  But their intrusion is met by the Elongated Man, who demands to know why they have broken in and attacked a member of the League.  But the Hawks cannot tell Ralph the truth lest he unwittingly tell Fell's invaders.  Finally stunning the Stretchable Slueth, the Hawks beging deleting their data from the computers, just in time to receive a transmission from Fell: he is on their ship, coming to kill them with their own vessel.

Review: Another very strong issue in what is a definitely strong miniseries, featuring not only the shocking (well, at the time I am sure) return of Hawkwoman as well as beat-down of two old school members of the Justice League.  Actually, the fight is somewhat tame; Aquaman is shot with the stun gun in the back, and Ralph puts up a good fight but he too succumbs pretty quickly.  How insane would it have been to have the Hawks fight the whole Detroit League?

That notwithstanding, the reunion between the Hawks is very touching, and me being a big married softie, I rather appreciated the emotion on display.  (Although, how did Shayera know that if she told a human she was alive the invaders would find out?)  Furthermore, the nature of the "shadow war" is spelled out in logical terms and the rising action clearly handled by Isabella.  Howell's pencils continue to impress, and Alfredo Alcala's inks look great, especially in the early stages in the caverns where he gets a chance to crazy feathering the shadows.  I can't imagine reading this and not being overly eager for the conclusion.

The big swerve comes after halfway through the issue, and comes after a "Continued on Third Page Following" note, which I thought was appropriate.  Also, when we see that Rab Mekir is connected to every human mind on Earth, amongst those pictured is Tony Isabella's most famous creation, Black Lightning.

Image: Shadow War of Hawkman #3, 1985, Richard Howell.

2 comments:

Frank Lee Delano said...

Hawkman smashing Vibe with a mace? You tease!

Luke said...

If this comic featured Hawkman hitting Vibe with a mace, I would have it dipped in bronze.

Can you imagine Hawkman and Steel? Yikes!