Thursday, November 20, 2008

Read: The Brave And The Bold #44.2

Issue: The Brave And The Bold #44 (Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman v.1)
Title: "The Men Who Moved The World!"
Published Date: Oct/Nov 1962
Generation: Silver Age Katar
Retcon Status: Changed Generations

Summary: In Midway City, three strange humanoid creatures -- each with the head of a different animal -- break into the Midway City Museum to recover a special disc.  Hawkman intervenes, but the trip is able to elude him long enough to escape with their prize, which they intend to use to alter the orbit of Earth to what it had in the year 10000 BC.  The humanoids leave a faint trail of radioactivity which allows the Hawks to track them to the ancient city of Petra, in the Trans-Jordan region.  Using the disc, the humanoids have activated their Oribtron device, which will shift the poles and thus the oribt of Earth after running for one full day.  Their motivation?  The humanoids hail from the lost city of Lansinar, which once dominated the planet until a "rogue planet" passed too close to Earth 12000 years ago and altered it's orbital path.  The gravitational effects shifted the Earth's poles, freezing Lansinar under tons of Arctic ice.  The Lansinarians (?) put themselves into hyper-sleep at that time, and now finally have the disc they need to thaw out and re-establish the rule of Lansinar.

The Hawks come upon the Lansinarians hideout, and are counter-attacked by the humanoids in small jets.   The Lansinarians refuse to communicate with the Hawks, and draw the fight out as long as they can.  Receiving a signal that the Orbitron has been activated for a full day, they gloat over their victory to the Hawks.  But the Winged Wonders have a trick up their sleeve as well: the rotation of Earth 12000 years ago made the day only 18 hours instead of 24; the Lansinarians have miscalculated.  With the Orbitron deactivated, the Hawks round up the Lansinarians and hand them over to the UN.

Review: Definitely the "A" story of this issue and one of the all-around better Silver Age Hawkman stories I have read so far.  The science-fiction aspect of this story, with its strange villians and literally world-shaking implications, really helps it stand out.  Fox seems to have really put some thought into this one, as we get a lot of background on the humanoids and their city; of course, we'd never see them again!  I'm seriously surprised that we didn't see some variation of the lost city of Lansinar show up under Geoff Johns.  Although, apparently they did show up over in Wonder Woman at some point, so there you go.  The twist to defeat them is fairly novel as well, with the Hawks once more using that all-important Absorbascon knowledge to outthink their foes.  I also want to call out Joe Kubert's wonderful art, including that cover.  Wow!  Great fun all around.

Image: The Brave And The Bold #44, 1962, Joe Kubert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you. This is definitely the best story in that issue. Ha, it actually holds up better in your summary than the actual story, but hokey Silver Ageness or not, the art is just fantastic, and the aerial combat is just beautiful. It captures a great deal of what makes Hawkman great.

Exotic Local- Check
Colorful Enemies- Check
The Fantasy of Flight- Check
Ingenuitive Heroes- Check

These villains should definitely be tied in with some of Hawkman's other interesting foes (like the Yeti) and revamped in a new (classic) Hawkman series. ;)