Monday, October 12, 2009

Read: Hawkman v.4:no.13

Issue: Hawkman v.4:no.13 (reprinted in Hawkman v.2: Allies & Enemies)
Title: "Killers, Part 1"
Published Date: May 2003
Generation: Modern Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: At the Stonechat Museum, the DEO arrives to arrest Kendra for the murder of a police officer when she was a girl.  The St. Roch police have been trying to contact Carter, but they have not been able to reach him (since the Hawks were on their Himalayan adventure).  As the DEO places Kendra in custody, Hawkman smashes a police cruiser with his mace, but Kendra tells him that he can't help that way.

In the car, Kendra finds that Chief Nadal is driving the car, and that he plans to run away with her.  When she asks him why, Nadal tells Kendra that he loves her, and she has an immediate revelation: Nadal is one of the police officers who tried to assault Kendra and her mother all those years ago, and caused his partner to be shot and killed.  Kendra accuses Nadal of murdering her parents, which he admits, saying they were getting too close to uncovering him after he made a new life for himself in St. Roch.  Kendra then slips her handcuffs and lashes out at him, sending the car careening down a hill and into a swamp, catching fire.  Nadal escapes, and Hawkman arrives in time to pull Kendra from the back, who then retrieves her helmet and wings from the trunk.  

Hawkgirl tells Hawkman of Nadal's confession, adding that her touching of the Absorbascon restored her repressed memories of this life, and grabs one of his spears, intending to kill the police chief.  Hawkman tries to stop her, but Kendra's rage is implacable, and the two Hawks tangle furiously in the sky.  Meanwhile, Nadal is trying to find his way out of the marsh when he runs right into the spectral form of the Gentleman Ghost!

Review: When I first read this issue, I was floored!  Nadal, the man who murdered Kendra's parents?  I guess it's not that surprising, considering his somewhat over-blown interest in Kendra, but I figured he would be to Kendra like Jayita was to Carter initially.  Needless to say this is a much different direction.  Geoff Johns captures Hawkgirl's fury really well, and her venom in arguing with Hawkman in the swamp.  Guest penciller and frequest Johns collaborator Ethan Van Sciver's Hawkman looks great, but his Hawkgirl has a weird angular thing going on which just looks a little bizarre.  Needless to say he has gotten better at the female form.  His Gentleman Ghost, though, pretty much makes up for any shortcoming (including some insane sfx coloring from the crew at Heroic Age).  A very strong story, starting to wrap up one of the introductory plotlines from the series, which is always nice.  I like protracted mysteries as much as the next guy, but it's always good to have them solved, too!  

Image: Hawkman v.4:no.13, 2003, Andrew Robinson.

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