Our Hawkman sketch today is by Dan Panosian, aka the Urban Barbarian, who is best known right now probably for his work on the current X-Factor Forever series.
It's a nice headshot, with a sort of Mignola vibe to it. I like the details on the helmet, and the use of lines on his faces, giving him an aged-but-still-tough look. The colors are nice too. All in all a nice sketch.
Any Hawkstuff in shops this week? Let's find out! (Yes I know this is late a day. Contractor at the house, yeesh.)
DC Library Justice League of America By George Perez v.2 -- Man I dig George Rerez doing the big players of the DC Universe, including the Hawks in this collection of some of his work from the 80s. This includes the seminal JLA #200 as well!
Stumbled across this site after getting a link from... someone... and thought I would pass it along. Faux DC is a fanfiction site wherein the authors continue ongoing series with their own ideas. Author TJ Burns has penned several issues of Hawkman continuing from Volume 3 of the series. I have not had a chance to read all of them yet, but it's a good site definitely worth poking around. Check it out!
(By the way, sorry about the lame couple of days... my brain is not working right here for some reason.)
Will the newly-revived Winged Wonders show up anywhere this week? Let's see what we can see.
Blackest Night Director's Cut -- Hrrm, well. Okay, so this probably won't feature the revived Hawkman and Hawkgirl, but promises to give some insight into the event which killed them in the first place! I wonder if this sort of stuff will make it into the Blackest Night hardcover?
Today I thought I would briefly talk about the Generations which I use in my reviews and other posts to let the reader know which Hawks they are reading about. Considering how complex some of the Hawk continuity is regarding retcons and what-have-you, keeping track of the heroes of the stories when they were published is useful -- hence why I include it, and this reference.
Keep in mind that when I try to figure out the Retcon Status, if I say "Changed Generation," that means that the story started out with one of these generations and now exists with another. A lot of the Silver Age stories were Retconed to feature the Golden Age Hawks, for instance, after Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is not really an exact science for me, since I am looking at it all after-the-fact, but if one of the hurdles to being a Hawkfan is keeping track of which Hawk is which, then I want to make those hurdles as low as possible. Also, this will not cover any non-"true" Hawks, such as the imposter Fel Andar. Maybe that will be another post?
Golden Age Carter/Golden Age Shiera -- The originals, first appearing in Flash Comics in 1940. Carter Hall is an archeologist, and the reincarnated spirit of the ancient Egyptian Prince Khufu. Shiera Hall-nee-Saunders, his wife, is the reincarnation of Khufu's bride Princess Chay-era. They fight crime using ancient weapons along with the mysterious Nth Metal in their wing harnesses which allow them to fly. Both were eventually members of the Justice Society of America.
Silver Age Katar/Silver Age Shayera -- Possibly the most iconic representation of the Hawks. Katar Hol and Shayera Hol-nee-Thal are a husband-and-wife team of police officers from the planet Thanagar, which orbits the star Polaris. After chasing a Thanagarian criminal to Earth, they stayed and made a life for themselves. They hold the secret identities of Carter and Shiera Hall, curators of the Midway City Museum. They fight crime using both ancient weapons and advanced Thanagarian science, and fly using the Thanagarian Nth Metal in their wing harnesses. The pair can also talk to Earth birds using their *wheet wheet* powers. Both were eventually members of the Justice League of America, and Shiera eventually changed her name to Hawkwoman. Also known as the "Pre-Crisis Hawkman and Hawkgirl."
Modern Katar/Modern Shayera -- Introduced by Tim Truman in the Hawkworld miniseries, these Hawks were a drastic departure from those who had come before them. Katar Hol and Shayera Thal were two "Wingmen" or law enforcement officers from the totaltarian planet Thanagar. After chasing a Thanagarian criminal to Earth, the set up shop in Chicago. Wearing their full Wingman's uniforms, they fought crime with modern weapons, including firearms, in addition to hand-to-hand weapons (including Hawkman's katar sword) and Thanagarian technology. Katar eventually ventured off on his own, and was possessed by the Hawk Avatar, an animal spirit, then driven mad and banished into limbo. Shayera was always known as Hawkwoman, and continued to fight crime until she died during the Rann-Thanagar War. This duo is also known as the "Post-Crisis Hawkman and Hawkwoman."
Kendra -- Kendra Saunders, grand-niece of the Golden Age Shiera, was a troubled woman who committed suicide. When she did, her great-great-aunt's soul entered her body. But the reincarnation did not work correctly, and she did not retain any memories of her past lives. Joined the new version of the Justice Society of America, and eventually partnered with the Modern Carter Hall in St. Roch, Lousiana. She fought crime using ancient weapons and is able to fly thanks to the Thanagarian Nth Metal in her belt. Kendra was murdered by during the Blackest Night event.
Modern Carter -- A reincarnation of the Golden Age Carter Hall, but with a few differences. During a ritual on Thanagar, the soul of Carter Hall was returned to a copy of Katar Hol's body, giving him black hair instead of blonde. Carter would become a mainstay at the Stonechat House museum in St. Roch, Lousiana, as well as become the chairman of the new Justice Society of America. Carter liked to use ancient weapons pretty much exclusively, and flew thanks to the Thanagarian Nth Metal in his wing harness. Carter was murdered at the beginning of Blackest Night, but brought back to life by The Entity.
Modern Shiera -- First seen during the end of the Blackest Night event. When The Entity resurrected a dozen dead heroes and villians, Kendra Saunders was ostensibly one of them -- but it was Shiera Hall who came back, with all of the memories of her past lives intact. The hows and whys of her return are still a mystery, apparently to be explained in the Brightest Day series.
Issue: Brightest Day #0 Title: "Carpe Diem" Published Date: Apr 2010 Generation: Modern Carter, Modern Shiera Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: In St. Roch, Carter shows Shiera relics from their past lives, all of which she remembers, along with the details about them and their lives. Carter becomes meloncholy, wondering if now that he and Shiera are truly back together it will only be a matter of time before they must die and be driven apart again. Shiera comforts him, telling him that they always have to live for the present, and their time together must be cherished. The two fall into a passionate embrace (not even noticing Boston Brand, who is mysteriously transported into their presence, but doesn't spy on them).
A shard of a gem Shiera had in her belt glows violet and snaps onto the Claw of Horus like a magnet. Shiera tells Carter that the shard was given to her by a Star Sapphire, and is part of the Heart of Zamaron. They two Hawks wing off to investigate. They both feel a a strange chill, however, when a group of men working for an unidentified "client" locate the bodies of Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-era in the Himalayas.
Later, Boston Brand recieves a headful of jumbled images, including Hawkman and Hawkgirl coming to blows with each other.
Review: For these reviews, I am just going to be covering the relevant Hawk stuff. Alright? Alright. I have also added a Generation for Hawkgirl, which I think is only appropriate.
Anyways, this was an excellent introduction to what Johns has in store for his resurrected characters, and the dynamics of those characters. Carter and Shiera taking the trip down memory lane was great, as was Carter's sudden depression and Shiera's comforting. I really got a great vibe off of this couple and that alone makes me happy. It seems to me that Johns is going to be running with the retro-active concept that Carter's agression and anger is tempered by Shiera's patience. Fernando Pasarin is an artist whose work I have really enjoyed on other DC work, including Outsiders, so I am very jazzed about him working on so many classic DCers on this title. Definitely a great debut issue.
Also, it's not Hawk related but way to go Aquaman! (If you read the issue, you'll know what I mean!)
This just in (literally, as I caught the live stream on Newsarama) from the DC Nation Panel at Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo: [fan]: I really liked the tones of GL Rebirth and Flash Rebirth, any plans for a feature on Hawkman?
[Geoff] Johns: "He's a main character in Brightest Day, and there MAY be other plans."
The fan joked that he wanted plastic maces as the next giveaway. [Dan] DiDio "That's way too good an idea..."
This is the variant Ivan Reis cover for Brightest Day #0, in stores today. You can also check out a quick preview of the issue here, at the DC Source blog. Can't wait, even though I am going to have to wait until Friday most likely to get my comics this week!
Image: Brightest Day #0 variant cover, 2010, Ivan Reis.
There's only one Hawk-related comic on the shelves this week, but it's kind of a big deal.
Brightest Day #0 -- The resurrected heroes (and villians) from the pages of Blackest Night #8 begin their adventure here. We have been told that they were brought back "for a reason," and this Hawkfan (along with being an Aquafan, and a member of the M.M. Club) is especially eager to get a glimpse at that reason. Clearly there is a plan in place for these characters and its enough to get me to finally bite on one of these "maxi" series from DC. Even if it is only Hawkman, Hawkgirl/woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Atom, and Deadman having adventures, that seems like it would be worth the cost of admission -- but I imagine it will be much more than that!
Straight from The Source, the Mighty Mite Ray Palmer, AKA The Atom, is returning to his own feature this year! Admittedly, it is only a backup in Adventure Comics, but you have to start somewhere. This will follow after a Brightest Day: The Atom one-shot.
Could something similar be in the works for Hawkman and Hawkgirl? Is there an announcement waiting in the wings for the Pinioned Powerhouses? We'll have to wait and see for now.
In a move that is not exactly a surprise, MTV's Splash Page has pretty much confirmed that Hawkman is coming back this season on Smallville. The Winged Wonder, played by Michael Shanks, will be back, along with Stargirl and Cyborg in the season finale.
Geoff Johns pretty much already said as much, but it's good to know we can expect to see more of Carter Hall on the small screen. Maybe we can get Shiera in there as well? This season of Smallville has been tremendous, and with the developments currently brewing (including the Kandorians, Zod, Checkmate, and whoever it is that Detective John Jones seems to be working for), this should be a finale worth watching.
I have posted a poll, my first here at Being Carter Hall, and I would really like to get some responses from everyone out there. So take a look at it over there on the left and let me know: What kind of Hawkman series would you most like to see on the stands?
Issue: Hawkman v.4:no.16 (reprinted in Hawkman v.3: Wings of Fury) Title: "The Thanagarian, Part 2" Published Date: Aug 2003 Generation: Modern Carter / "Modern Katar" Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: The newly returned Katar Hol attacks Carter Hall, and an all-out brawl ensues between the two sets of Hawks. Shayera tries unsucessfully to calm everyone down, deducing that the Hawk Avatar has taken over Katar and driven him mad. Katar rants about the Avatar as well, saying that Carter Hall made sure that he was enslaved to it. But when Shayera points he gun at Katar to get him to stop his assault, he flees, dropping his mace as he does.
Kendra takes the mace to the police to get fingerprints off of it (while spreading some goodwill to the St. Roch PD), and Shayera follows Carter to Stonechat. At the museum, Carter tells Shayera that he has something for her, and gives her Katar's punching sword, the katar. Shayera laments the loss of her partner and heads out to search for him. She meets Animal Man at the zoo in order to learn more about the animal Avatars as a way to overcome the Hawk Avatar.
Kendra returns to Stonechat with the mace. The police nor the JLA were unable to make heads or tails of the fingerprints, which were all perfect concentric circles. Suddenly the mace comes to life, turning into a small monster! At the zoo, Shayera and Buddy Baker are ambushed by Katar... who promptly reveals himself to be the Thanagarian criminal Byth!
Review: The big twist from last issue is allowed to play out until the end, which I appreciated. Looking at it some seven years after the fact, it's obvious that Katar Hol never came back, but at the time I am sure it had more of an impact. Hence my cutesy Generation up there. It's still a pretty kick-ass story, and seeing all four Hawks together is always a treat.
Johns does a good job of incorporating the Volume 3 stuff with the Hawk Avatar, and I really appreciated bringing in Animal Man, a nice touch. Rags' art as always is top-notch. His Katar is nicely differentiated from Carter by dropping the irises from his eyes, giving him the Silver Age wing harness, more militaristic boots and gloves, and changing his mace up slightly. The battle which opens the issue looks fantastic. So far, this is an enjoyable Hawkman romp.
Our Hawkman sketch image today comes from Francesco Francavilla, probably best known for his Zorro work, as well as the Wildstorm series Garrison.
He presents us with a very stylized and stark Winged Wonder. The trim musculature reminds me of Kyle Baker's work from Wednesday Comics in a sort of tangential way (which further reminds me that I need to write my reviews of those...). I also really like the helmet, which gives a nice optical illusion of having a lower beak. The incorporation of the classic Hawkman logo is always a nice touch.
I found this image at the blog Comic Twart, which was passed to me from Skyhawke over at The Comic Forums. Thanks dude!
Disclaimer: I do not own or have possession of this sketch. It is being reposted from the cited website only.
--Shiera Hall is back! Kendra was the first Hawkgirl I ever read, but my further readings have made me a big fan of the classic. The reunion of these two was downright amazing. This leads into...
--The Hawks are now once again the Ultimate Power Couple in the DCU. And I don't just mean the "Power" part of this so much as I mean the "Couple" part. Part of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's schtick which has really stuck with me is the idea of them as a loving couple, and having that dynamic back has me very excited. Plus we now have the possibility of seeing the wedding of Carter and Shiera!
Others may point to Green Arrow and Black Canary, or (now) Aquaman and Mera, but in my book the Hawks own this title and hopefully Johns and company will run with it.
--Regarding Ralph and Sue Dibny... I don't want them back in the land of the living. I think what we need is a run of them as the Ghost Detectives! Chuck Dixon wanted to use them in his Batman And The Outsiders run but that obviously didn't run quite as long as it was supposed to. But that would be a great backup feature in Detective or something, the two of them solving mysteries as a ghostly couple.
--Martian Manhunter is back! And this time he has pants! Not sure where he is going to end up after Brightest Day, but it sure is great to have Big Green back. Now hopefully some people out there will listen to some smartfolks and use J'Onn effectively.
--In the same vein, Aquaman is back, and he has both of his hands! Put the two of these guys in a $3.99 40-pager, I say! I mean, two of the co-feature books are going away in a few months so there's a spot in the lineup!
--Anti-Monitor back in the Anti-Matter Universe? That's bad. Very, very bad.
--I guess I need to stop complaining about Jim Starlin's Hawkman Special being taken off the board now, huh?
--In closing, I just want to say that from the opening salvo to the final panel, Blackest Night delivered on all fronts and stands as one hell of a good story and one amazing event. And now, with Hawkman and Hawkgirl back, I can hope for a new (Brightest?) day for the Winged Wonders.
Issue: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #8 Title: "Sacrifice And Loss" Published Date: Feb 2009 Generation: Modern Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: On Rann, our heroes are fighting a desperate battle against Synnar's forces, including the giant Inquisitor robots and throngs of Thanagarian Wingmen. While the tide of the combat ebbs and flows, Synnar is preparing his ritual which will gain him his next step in achieving universal power.
During the firefight, Lady Styx's flagship is brought down, and the "goddess" bursts forth, seeking fresh worshippers, only to be shut down by Prince Gavyn. With her monsterous form on display for all to see, her loyal subjects (including Sardath) are shocked and repulsed. Strange then tells Sardath to begin the mass Zeta-beam evacuation of Rann, which Sardath agrees to. Meanwhile, The Weird is busy absorbing as much energy as he can, intending to overload himself to stop Synnar. With The Weird hitting critical mass, the heroes Zeta-beam out, and Weird throws himself at the Demiurge -- leaving the two beings twisted into one bizarre form, and then causing a cataclysmic explosion which destroys Rann's atmosphere!
Back on Throneworld, the citizens of Rann are in need of a new home, and Prince Gavyn in need of new people to lead. He dubs the planet "New Rann," but the heroes agree that if the Rannians presence was known, they would be targetted by the Thanagarians again, so their existance is kept secret. As the team goes their seperate ways, on the wasteland that is Rann, Synnar muses on how his form was going to be temporary, but now that he is stuck in the Weird's body, things are not as they should be.
Review: If the summary seems a little light, it's because this issue is pretty sparse on plot, with a lot more action than anything else. Strange and Hawkman's team each gets a little character moment during the big battle, but in the end the entire story is throttling towards the climax. It's a good way to end the series, and there is no doubt that this series did a lot to change the face of the Non-GL DC cosmic stuff. It's unfortunate that a lot of Starlin's plans seem to have been nipped in the bud before he could develop them all the way (I don't even need to link to the Hawkman Special again, do I?).
All in all, reading this series again has been enjoyable. I wish I could have done it in a more timely fashion but sometimes you can't avoid that. All in all I think this is a good, exciting yarn and I am glad I decided (after the fact) to pick it up.
Image:Rann-Thanagar Holy War #8, 2009, Jim Starlin.
Hey folks, got back from visiting my family on Friday and have been playing catchup every since. I am hoping to start normal posting again tomorrow with the new week of comics. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Oh, and by the way: I HAVE NOT READ BLACKEST NIGHT #8 YET! I will read it once I get to the shop tomorrow but until then the suspense is killing me!