Issue: Hawkman v.4:no.20 Title: "The Headhunter, Part 1" Published Date: Dec 2003 Generation: Modern Carter, Kendra Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: During a tenement fire in St. Roch, Hawkman and Hawkgirl save a trapped family from the flames. The next day, Carter Hall is filling in at the University for the missing History professor, much to the delight of the starry-eyed female students. After class, Kendra tells Carter that she is re-enrolling in school... and going out on a date with a fellow film student. She is apprehensive, but Carter encourages her to go.
Later, Hawkman patrols the city with The Atom, and winds up at Kendra's favorite diner, claiming that he "felt like a burger." Later, Hawkman sits perched in the rain keeping watch over Kendra's apartment. When he spots a man in another apartment beating his wife, the Winged Wonder swoops in and takes him down. But he suddenly finds himself racked with pain as the Headhunter makes his appearance, stabbing a Hawkman voodoo doll. They fight up to Kendra's apartment, and Hawkman counterattacks, but ends up hurting himself as he his the doll. Headhunter retreats, biding his time, while Kendra returns to find Hawkman bleeding out!
Review: The new story arc kicks off with a bang this issue, as Johns and Rags bring their A-Game to this issue. Headhunter is a dangerous and evil new foe, and reading this story makes me super eager to read the next installment (even though I have read the arc several times at this point). This is the sort of story I like to read in modern superhero comics, in that it takes the basics of the heroes involved and pits them against a new threat, which fits in well with what has already been established. The Indiana Jones reference made me laugh, and was a nice juxtaposition with the grim scenes later on. After a few low key issues, this one is a winner.
Interesting note, the cover image actually does occur in the issue, a novel twist in the modern comics scene. Also, the wife beater is wearing a Strong Bad "Fhqwhgads" shirt!