Monday, October 5, 2009

Read: Shadow War of Hawkman #4

Issue: Shadow War Of Hawkman #4
Title: "No Sound Of Clashing Wars"
Published Date: Aug 1985
Generation: Silver Age Katar
Retcon Status: Out Of Continuity

Summary: Rab Mekir, tied to the Absorbascon, seeks out the secrets of key humans throughout the world, and the Thanagarian invaders seek them out and entrap them to do the aliens' bidding.

Meanwhile, in The Bunker in Detroit, Katar and Shayera are being taunted by Fell Andar from their ship, which he has captured.  Now that they have taken control of all of the Hawks' Thanagarian weapons, Fell's invasion is set to amp up to a full scale level.  The Hawks figure out a quick plan, and ride a Relativity Beam to their ship, where they are quickly surrounded.  But the heroes are one step ahead, having programmed the Beam to teleport them from the bridge to the computer room, where they overtake the guard and begin to override the master computer.

While hacking the computer, Hawkwoman discovers that Fell has programmed the ship onto a collision course with Detroit.  Suddenly, the Thanagarian guard stabs Hawkman with a screwdriver, and the rest of the invaders evacuate all of the air out of the room.  With time running out, and the invaders cutting through the wall to come and kill our heroes, Hawkman and Hawkwoman make a hard decision, and program the ship to self-destruct.

The Hawks survive, by riding the Relativity Beam back to Earth.  While they confront the fact that they were forced to kill their own countrymen, the Hawks head back to Grinder's Bluff, and find Rab Mekir still in agony hooked up to the Absorbascon.  While they talk about what to do with him, Fell Andar pops up and tries to kill our heroes once again -- but he doesn't get the chance, as Rab blasts his commander with a mental bolt, seeming killing both of them.

The adventure over, Carter and Shiera Hall retake their places at Midway City Museum, with a Commander Frazier in their confidence and a new museum artist being interviewed.  But all is not as it seems, as one of Fell's agents is still on Earth... the battle is over, but the war has just begun.

Review: The first salvo of the Shadow War finishes up here in fairly satisfying fashion.  There's actually a bit less going on in this issue than the last, but that's alright because there's a bit more action than plot is all that means.  It's a very straightforward story, but it does have some really nice touches.  One which stands out in my mind is the initial prologue, which features the Thanagarians going out and cornering various humans to their own ends.  This includes a panel where they bust through the comic and come right at the reader!  I'm always a sucker for that sort of sight gag.

Howell has a few opportunities to really cut loose, and he delivers nicely -- including a great splash page of the Hawks' ship detonating.  Isabella doesn't get much opportunity to pontificate, but the delivers the action element quite nicely, including the wounding of Katar Hol.  All in all it's a good wrap-up which does a good job of closing things out while still keeping the future wide open.  Of course, we all know that more was to come...

Image: Shadow War of Hawkman #4, 1985, Richard Howell.

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