Issue: Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special Title: "Hands Of Fate" Published Date: Apr 2006 Generation: Modern Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: With the strange rift in time and space which cropped up at the end of the miniseries starting to spread and endanger the universe, Donna Troy's assemblage of heroes start doing whatever they can to help out. Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and Jade throw all of their energy at what appear to be a set of giant hands coming from the rift.
Meanwhile, Adam Strange gets a message from Tigorr of the Omega Men. Adam, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl meet with Tigorr who shows them surveillance footage from a Thanagarian satelite, which shows a red-and-blue blur forcing Rann and Thanagar to collide. Unfortunately the satelite is destroyed shortly thereafter, but Adam has an idea on how to broker a peace between the two races.
The battlr against the hands is not going well, with each pulse of energy it generates stronger than the last. Finally, Jade is unable to take another shot, and is killed by the tremendous electro-magnetic wave the hands generated. Her green energy is transferred back into Kyle, and his power grows tremendously. Kyle brings Jade's body back to her father, Alan Scott, but as he holds her in his arms, another energy wave destroys her remains. Kyle, his uniform changed to reflect his new power, tells her that her spirit will live on forever in him.
On Thanagar, Adam and the Hawks find evidence to support the theory that the strange blur is what caused the destruction of the planet, and not just it's sudden arrival in the solar system: two handprints set in an enormous crater, belonging to Superboy Prime. Armed with this knowledge, and lead by Kyle Rayner, as Ion, the united heroes set out to stop the rift from spreading.
Review: The miniseries is finally tied back to the big event, with Alexander Luthor's hands from the middle stages of Infinite Crisis being the major threat. Overall, it's not a really convincing connection -- yeah, its a direct plot point from IC, but this issue is really little more than a running fight and a contrived effort to kill off Jade and turn Kyle into Ion. Rann-Thanagar War truly was the sequel to Planet Heist, and not anything more grand than that.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Gibbons and Reis give it a good go, but ultimately this Special feels very slight and rushed. Even Reis's normally excellent pencils have some annoying inconsistancies: is Hawkman wearing a rebreather mask or not? It seems to change from page to page. Even more frustrating is that, just like the miniseries, nothing is resolved here, as it all has to come back to the Crisis. I suppose that is unaviodable, but still. As a big cosmic brawl, this was pretty fun, and a nice endcap to the miniseries, but nothing worth specifically seeking out.
Image: Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special, 2006, Dave Gibbons.
Issue: Flash Comics #11 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1) Title: "Trouble In Suburbia" (Suggested Title) Published Date: Nov 1940 Generation: Golden Age Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: One of Carter and Shiera's friends is buying a big house in Suburbia, but when he goes to sign the papers, the real estate agent busts out a clause which doubles the price. What's worse, the neighborhood is out of sorts: children play recklessly in the streets because the playground promised by the developers, Real Buys Corporation, never happened. When Carter's friend accidently hits a boy diving after a football, Hawkman decides it is time to investigate... as does Shiera! Hawkman breaks into the Real Buys office and finds the safe. He is accosted by a guard, whom he knocks out. In the process, he accidently throws him into the recently-arrived Shiera, knocking her out!
As Hawkman interrogates the guard by dropping him from a high altitude, Shiera revives and finds the incriminating files, only to be captured and tied up when the Big Boss, Northrup, arrives. Hawkman returns and takes out the guards, once again accidently knocking Shiera out when she is in the path of a goon he throws! Northrup beats a path to his private jet, but cannot escape Hawkman. Meanwhile, Shiera manages to avoid getting hit with flying thugs long enough to get the files to the police, right as Hawkman deposits Northrup on the precinct steps. Later, Shiera boasts about shutting down Real Buys all by herself, which amuses Carter greatly.
Review: A fun adventure, with a change of pace for the setting (how often do you see superheroes deal with the 'burbs? Besides the X-Men?). Hawkman fighting against a corrupt real estate developer is the not the kind of plot one expects from a comic published in 1940, but obviously it remains very timely. Shiera makes a great show of herself here, despite getting knocked out after getting hit with a thrown thug not once but twice! Sheldon Moldoff turns in another quality job, especially in his handling of Shiera's capture by the thugs. It's subtle, but when she is tied up, her dress is off her shoulder, as if the goons were pawing at her. Once she escapes, it's back to normal. A nice touch.
Sadly, the great Moldoff cover has nothing to do with the story.
Got these in the mail yesterday. My brother was kind enough to order them from My Comic Shop Dot Com along with his last monthly Subservice order, so as to obtain free shipping! Of course, he had to then ship them to me, but that's neither here nor there. So now I can finally read the real end of Rann-Thanagar War, and re-read Rann-Thanagar Holy War, after Adama was so kind as to let me borrow his copies of 1-4 last month.
I did get a bonus of sorts with this set: a copy of Rann-Thanagar War #3. Apparently when my brother ordered these, the first time MCS sent them out, they sent R-TW #3 instead of R-THW #3. Not sure what to do with it since I have the collected edition, but hey, a bonus is a bonus, and at least it's got a cool cover!
What Hawk-related stuff is waiting for you this week at your local comic shop? Let's take a look!
Justice League of America #31 -- Not sure where this team is headed in this post-Final Crisis era we have entered into. Hopefully to a position of more prominence, instead of being being something of a prop to whatever storyline needs it at the moment. Kendra is still kicking around in here, right?
Trinity #43 -- With the collected editions of this series being announced, part of me is eager for it to end so I can start reading it! Hawkman may only play a secondary role but from what I have seen he still has a good presence.
Picked this guy up during that aforementioned trip to Walmart when I saw the DCIH Hawkman and Wingman three-pack. This one was a no-brainer, as he was "buy on sight" for me.
Unfortunately, thanks to my travel schedule, work, and home life, I haven't even had a chance to open him up yet! So hopefully this week I will get a shot to bust Carter out of his packaging and give him a full once over. Initial impressions are very good!
Image: DCUC Hawkman in packaging, 2009, image retrieved from ???
Our sketch this week is from mega-artist and MST3K fan Ethan Van Sciver. Best known for his amazing work on Green Lantern, EVS is a man of many talents, including writing his hilarious and sometimes downright bizarre occasional column on Newsarama entitled "Your Time Is Now Mine."
Despite only being a headshot, I really like this sketch. Van Sciver has a very fluid style which does not look labored over, but still retains a great level of detail, and this piece is a good example of that. I like that the helmet is not overstated like it so often is nowadays. Not that I mind, but a change of pace is always nice. I'd love to see a full body shot of the Winged Wonder!
Disclaimer: I do not own or have possession of this sketch. It is being reposted from the cited website only.
I was at Walmart last week and saw this set, featuring everyone's favorite Winged Wonder and a pair of Wingmen (oh, excuse me "Thanagarian Warrior"). I also saw a single-carded Wingman as well.
Hawkman looks pretty good, definitely espousing the modern visual style of the hero -- bulky musculature, gear-holding belt, big helmet. The Wingman mold I am less sure about. The general look is although, with the stubby wings and helmets, but something is a little off to me about it. The chest armor just looks a little odd at this size. But I am not really totally sold on this line yet anyway, so maybe that's just my bias talking.
Still, I like the Hawkman, and I do like "army builder" figures like the Wingmen. I am not sure if Hawkman will ever be available single-carded or not; I suppose I could pick up the three-pack along with the single-carded Adam Strange and play out my own version of Rann-Thanagar Holy War.
This sketch is not really a sketch, but a full-on pinup by Steve Pugh. It comes from the JLA Gallery, and not only features the Winged Wonder but also the King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman! These are two characters I always thought should be portrayed together more, as they have a good deal in common: ancient kingdoms, animal affinities, a love of babes with red hair, the inability to support a long running solo title... the list goes on and on.
Pugh is best known for his work on Animal Man and the Saint of Killers miniseries with Garth Ennis. His work is very dynamic in this piece, almost like a cartoon version of the two heroes. His take on Hawkman is nice, with a simple costume and colors. I especially like the grimace on his face!
Thanks to rob! over at The Aquaman Shrine who originally posted this sweet image!
Well, I am heading to Chicago this afternoon for business, to return on Friday night... to turn around Monday morning and fly back to Chicago for business again. Somehow, in some strange parallel Earth, this makes sense. So expect spotty posting, if any postings at all, for the next few days. I should have some kind of internet access, but as we all know, that may or may not allow me to post!
What is showing up at your local comic book shop with the Winged Wonders this week? Let's take a look!
Showcase Presents Justice League of America v.4 -- Collecting issues 61-83, this is a "meat and potatoes" collection of the JLA adventures. Featured in this timespan is the debuts of Red Tornado and Black Canary. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are regulars in this period, although this is that weird phase where Shayera was not a "real" member and all that. Still, lots of fun here.
Trinity #41 -- Hawkman, as usual, has been a semi-regular in this series and could pop up again this week.
In last week's Strange Adventures #1, our old friend from Rann-Thanagar Holy War, Deacon Dark, has been charged with studying the Abberant Six, and decides to begin his studies with Hawkman. However, while summoning the hero, Dark's assistant knocks over one of the candles used in the ritual, and Hawkman is apparently thrown into another dimension.
Meanwhile, "Superman" (with word baloons just like those Synnar the Demiurge uses) appears to Bizarro, and explains to him that time has changed, and he must become the warrior of the Abberant Six. Bizarro doesn't seem to comprehend, but "Superman" sends him on a quest which he feels will bring understanding. Deacon Dark then sends his assistant out to retrieve Hawkman, saying that he must return with him "or else."
So, this throws a wrench in things! Did Jim Starlin intend to use Hawkman only to have him taken away from him? Perhaps to play a big role in Blackest Night? Or because of the events of Final Crisis? On the other hand, is this all part of Starlin's plan, with Bizarro a stand-in for Hawkman for the time being? Perhaps both Bizarro AND Hawkman are members of the Abberant Six?
Issue: Flash Comics #10 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1) Title: "Adventures of the Spanish Blunderers" (suggested title) Published Date: Oct 1940 Generation: Golden Age Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Carter Hall is bidding on a Spanish blunderbuss at an auction, but is outbid. Suspicious, he tracks down the buyer, and finds a treasure map hidden inside the gun's barrell. A little research reveals that the buyer is working for John Denver (!!!) a cowboy out of Colorado. Hawkman heads out West, and follows the map to an old gold mine, and meets the owner, a young beauty named, appropriately, Goldie.
Denver soon arrives, and while Hawkman spies on him, he forces Goldie into the mine, intending to kill her and steal the gold. Hawkman make his move, but ends up trapped in the mine when Denver springs a trap on him. After some quick deductions, Hawkman escapes, captures Denver, and saves the day (and the girl).
Review: We take a hard right turn into Western territory with this adventure. It's a lesser story, certainly not Fox's best work. Moldoff makes good use of the setting, and turns in another strong artisitc effort in the out-of-ordinary surroundings (similar to Flash Comics#5 and #6). Overall though, nothing special.
One of the great shames of my life as a comic book fanboy is that I have never read Crisis on Infinite Earths. In fact, I can't say as I have ever read a Crisis on Any Earth! Growing up, I was always a Marvel fan. I knew more about COIE from Wizard than I ever did from actual DC comics! Only years later did I get my "mad on" for the DCU, and really start learning about the Crisis, but to this day I have never read the actual series.
Not exactly the best way to endear me to anyone reading this post, I know, but I figure honesty is the best policy in this age of full disclosure.
Anyways, despite the fact that I have never read the series, I have been in love with this George Perez-pencilled, Alex Ross-painted wraparound cover since the first moment I laid eyes on it. I mean, just, wow! That's really just an intense looking cover!
The full image is even crazier. With a mind-boggling 562 characters featured, it has got to be one of the largest collections of super-folk ever.
Unsurprisingly, given their longevity in the DC Pantheon, the various Hawk-characters appear in the series, and thus, appear in this piece.
Up first is Earth-1 or Silver Age Hawkman, Katar Hol. Found on the exteme left-hand side of the image, in front of who I assume is Chemo, Katar looks appropriately awed by the situation. I am not sure why he has who I am guessing is Zatanna flying through his wing, but I really like the bright, clean look he has here.
Earth-1 Hawkgirl (or Hawkwoman as she was called by this point) Chayera Hol is next, found in the middle third of the image, right under Phantom Lady's boot. She's flying right at the reader, so we don't see much of her, but what we do is really sweet: her beautiful wings and downright awesome helmet!
Next is Earth-2 or Golden Age Hawkman, the blonde bombshell known exclusively as Carter Hall. Almost directly above Hawkwoman and right behind Starfire, Carter is depicted in his "lucha libre" style masked look. I imagine that this was done to help differentiate between the two versions, as otherwise they'd be identical! Once more the bright colors really pop in this format.
Last but certainly not least is the Earth-2 Hawkgirl, Shiera Sanders. Found immediately next to Supergirl's right hand, Shiera is in a pretty prime piece of real estate. She looks very graceful in flight here, and I like seeing her red-and-green costume used.
Like any good crossover, this would not be complete without a few others getting in on the action as well! So in the same spirit of bringing different characters together to fight a threat, we're bringing different bloggers together to post about this sweet piece of art! Check out these other character-driven comic book blogs to get the low-down on some other fan favorites.
Issue: Hawkman v.4:no.12 (reprinted in Hawkman v.2: Allies & Enemies) Title: "The Darkraven" Published Date: Apr 2003 Generation: Modern Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: In the Himalayas, Hawkman thinks back to some of his past lives, but is quickly jogged back to the present day, where the bizarre bird-man called Darkraven is trying to avenge the death of his lover Helene Astor. While Hawkman tangles with Darkraven, Hawkgirl tries to grab the Absorbascon which turned Helene to stone in the previous issue. When she touches it, there is a flash of light from the alien deivce, but that is all. Kendra then dives into battle with her partner, and the two are able to beat down Darkraven -- just in time, too, as the fighting is causing the cavern to collapse, and the heroes get everyone out safely.
With the group in the Thanagarian ship, heading home for St. Roch, Speed Saunders says his goodbyes and skydives out, seeking new adventures. Back at the Stonechat Museum, Kendra and Carter have a heart-to-heart. It seems that the Absorbascon may have restored Kendra's memories of her past lives! But, she does not want to rush into anything, and the two agree to be friends as well as partners. Their moment is ruined, however, when the room is stormed by the DEO, who have a warrant for Hawkgirl's arrest on charges of murder!
Meanwhile, elsewhere in St. Roch, we see that the death of Helene Astor has not slowed down Hath-Set, who's spirit also inhabits that of Kristopher Roderick...
Review: The Yeti storyline wraps up in fairly satisfying fashion here, although the fight with Darkraven is somewhat abbreviated in order to fit in the stuff back in St. Roch. That's alright though, as I don't think Darkraven really was much of a threat to either of the Hawks, let alone both of them smashing him at the same time. Johns has a lot of ground to cover here and does so in a way that is not too rushed but not too relaxed either. And anytime you can work in one of my favorite superhero cliches ("You are under arrest!"), that makes me happy. Rags' work is, as always, standout, and here he gets to flex his muscles not only with action but also a good deal of quiet conversation, all of which looks great.
One thing: why does Kendra grab the Absorbascon? Didn't she just see Helene Astor turned to stone? Maybe she got tired of Carter's yo-yoing of her emotions and thought being a statue more appealing!
Not the way I expected to start March, especially in South Carolina! After the snowstorm yesterday, which pretty much kept me and my wife at home watching Charmed, things are a little hectic today at work. I should have some content for you later on today, but for now, please accept this lame apology instead!