Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Read: Hawkman v.3:no.2

Issue: Hawkman v.3:no.2
Title: "Dead End"
Published Date: Oct 1993
Generation: Modern Katar
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary:  In his dingy apartment, Hawkman dreams of two hawks battling death, and after the male hawk is wounded, the female hawk is swallowed by the reaper and caged.  Meanwhile, at Metatech HQ, Dr. Moon and an associate put the armored Marauder suit through its paces, and it performs admirable.  Metatech had hired local mobster Johnny Van to hire Deadline to attack the Netherworld, so Van must be eliminated to break all ties between them.

Johnny Van gets tipped off that the police are looking for him right when Hawkman finds him instead!  He threatens Van into giving up who hired him, when he is interrupted by the arrival of Hal Jordan!  GL wants to take them both into custody to sort things out, putting Hawkman into a light-construct cage; he doesn't count on Hawkman's golden wings cutting right through it!  Hawkman says he will explain to GL, who covers Van's eyes and ears.  This leads to Hawkman taking off his helmet and revealing himself to be Katar Hol, who needs his enemies to think that he is dead so that he can find the thought-to-be-dead Shayera, whom he suspects is alive somewhere.

Marauder, who has observed the entire exchange (much to the delight of Moon and Moon's boss), attacks, trying to kill Van.  Hawkman fends off the attack, and Van makes an escape in his sports sedan.  Marauder attacks the Loop and blows up Van's car, killing him.  Green Lantern helps the other motorists while Hawkman mixes it up with Marauder.  Calling upon "Brother Hawk" to enhance his vision, he picks out the Marauder's weak spot and attacks, disabling the suit.  The pilot removes the helmet and reveals herself to be apparently be Shayera Thal!  Right at the time, Moon triggers the self-destruct and the suit explodes.  Hawkman tells GL that it was not Shayera, just someone made to look like her.  A quick analysis shows that the Marauder armor was built using Nth metal, further evidence that someone has taken Shayera and her technology.  Back at Metatech, Moon's boss is revealed as... the real Shayera?!

Review: Ostrander starts Hawkman's fourth series in motion here, establishing what Katar is out to do (find Shayera) and the shadowy figures moving against him.  Pretty prototypical early 90s DC comic, with good mix of action and dialogue.  Hal Jordan is in his salt-and-pepper look from before Emerald Twilight, which is a funny flashback considering his current appearance.  I really like Durrsema's character work, which is very expressive.  When Hawkman threatens Johnny Van with his katar, his face and helmet look amazing -- it's only marred by the oh-so-1993 inclusion of an earring.  Reading this now I know why I may have not gotten #3 back in the day, since I didn't know my Hawk-history and thus the Shayera stuff is totally over my head.  Pretty decent read now, though.

Image: Hawman v.3:no.2, 1993, Jan Duursema.


Diabolu Frank said...

Have you read ahead of this point, because I thought I remembered Katar not being Katar? It's been twenty years though, so my memory is pretty fuzzy. I also recall not caring for this first arc, especially Duursema's art.

Luke said...

I have not read ahead, no. So for right now, anyways, this is Katar Hol!

Funny, I thought Duursema's art really suited the story well, and her take on the helmet and costume was a strong fit for the agressive nature of this Hawkman. Different strokes for different folks I guess!

Diabolu Frank said...

...which wasn't as spoilery as my first draft, and I could still be wrong.

Duursema did some nice work in the '80s, especially when inked by her husband Tom Mandrake. She adapted her style to the '90s, though, and I've found it distasteful ever since. Then again, I was on a blog the other day that singled out Jon Bogdanove as the worst artist on X-Tinction Agenda, and I liked his stuff the best in retrospect, even over Jim Lee. Different strokes indeed.

Luke said...

What I like about Duursema's Hawkman work (so far anyway) is that she seems to be avoiding some of the really excessive stuff which popped up so often in this era. The giant, overpacked teeth, the lines of spittle, the shoulderpads, and so forth. It's, like I said "agressive" without drifting into, ahem, "eXtreme" territory just yet.

Regarding spoilers, considering that whole portions of this book may or may not have ever "really" happened at this point, does it really matter? ;)