Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Read: Hawkman v.1:no.2.2
Title: "Wings Across Time"
Published Date: Jun/Jul 1964
Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shay-era
Retcon Status: Changed Generations / Out of Continuity (See below)
Summary: An underwater archaeologist (wha... ?) off the coast of Crete discovers a set of wings made from wax and feathers, and determines them to be the wings worn by Icarus in the days of Ancient Greece! Midway City Museum press secretary Joe Tracy thinks the wings will be a perfect centerpiece to their fundraising activities for the new wing they want to build, and sets up a photo op where curator Carter Hall will fly with the wings. Carter is bemused by the idea, and makes sure to fly a little awkwardly so that no one will suspect that he is actually Hawkman. After the publicity stunt, Hawkman takes the wings to his spaceship to run tests on them to determine if they are in fact Icarus' wings.
Back on Earth, Hawkman stumbles upon a truck robbery in progress. Giving pursuit, the Pinioned Palladin is able to disarm two of the thugs, but the third one, Eddie, shoots Hawkman with a strange bazooka like gun, destroying his wings and knocking the hero out. With his anti-gravity belt on full, Hawkman rapidly ascends into the atmosphere. Awoken just outside of low-Earth orbit, Hawkman makes his way back to the ship. There, he equips himself with the Icarus wings (proven to be so by the Thanagarian instruments) and an ancient Grecian battering ram. Returning to Earth, Hawkman makes quick work of the thieves, and has the Midway City PD donate the reward to the Museum, which helps fund the new wing.
Review: Overall a very weak second story for this issue. Anderson's art is fine, but the story takes what should be a novel idea -- Hawkman using the mythological wings of Icarus -- and essentially squanders it. We never learn what exactly the weapon does, only one of the crooks even gets a name, and we don't get even get to see Hawkgirl! The lead story from this issue was not one of the best from this era, but it's head and shoulders better than this tale, unfortunately.
I am sort of scratching my head over the Retcon Status of this issue. Some elements of this story seem to fit really well with the Earth-2 Hawkman (the wings of Icarus, a Grecian battering ram), while the reliance on Thanagarian technology and the Hawks' space ship make it a hard for a Generation change. So while I suppose the Golden Age Hawks might have acquired a fully equipped Thanagarian space ship at some point, that doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. This is one of those stories which doesn't fit neatly into either category, which, considering it's quality, is not the end of the world.
Image: Hawkman v.1:no.2, 1964, Murphy Anderson.