Monday, April 12, 2010

Read: Hawkman v.4:no.16

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.

Image: Hawkman v.4:no.16, 2003, John Watson.

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