Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Read: Brightest Day #8

Issue: Brightest Day #8
Title: "Defiance"
Published Date: Aug 2010
Generation: Modern Carter, Modern Shiera
Retcon Status: In Continuity,

Summary:  On Hawkworld, Hawkman is shown around by Tonrarr, the alpha male of the Lion-Mane Pride he has fallen in with.  Hawkman says that he has met "his kind" before, but Tonrarr says no Lion-Mane has ever left Hawkworld.  They enter the base of a large statue and Tonrarr explains the history of this strange land.  Centuries ago, man found the gateway to Hawkworld from Earth, and eventually made himself the ruler of it but pitting the various beasts against each other.  Eventually, Man grew listless, and found the portal to Thanagar, and left Hawkworld to be ruled by Queen Shrike.  The history lesson is cut short, but the arrival of a huge host of Beast Men outside the statue, who want to see the "healer."

Up in the Manhawks city, Hawkgirl has been put into a gladiatorial pit by Hath-Set, where she makes short work of her foes.  Tearing herself out of the cage, she attacks Hath-Set, but is put down by Queen Shrike.  Shrike admonishes Hawkgirl, saying she always had her father's temper and her mother's resolve.  The Queen then removes her helmet and reveals herself as... Shiera's mother?!

Review: Okay, now I don't know what to think.  It really seems like Johns and Tomasi are trying to link Thanagar and Earth on much stronger terms than what was done with the modern revamp of Carter Hall.  In that story, the main connections between Thanagar and the Hawks were the Nth metal itself and their spaceship.  But this reveal supposes a much deeper connection between not only Thanagar and the spirits of Khufu and Chay-era, but of Thanagar and Earth itself.  Were the ancient Thanagarians actually Earthlings?  Now that we know that life started on Earth, wouldn't the Thanagarians have to be some sort of descendant of Earthlings?  Other questions are raised, too: What is the connection between the Lion-Mane Pride and both of the terrestrial Lion-Manes?  How do the Manhawks fit into this?  Just who the heck was Shiera referring to as "mother?"  (My money has got to be on Chay-era's mother, especially given Shrike's bronzed skin tone.)  If this is the setup for the new status quo for the Hawks, color me intrigued.  It's almost as if the brass at DC wanted a Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl but Johns didn't want to let go of his modern Hawks.  Either way I am totally digging it.  The thought of Carter leading a charge of Beast Men against the Manhawks city in the sky has me itching with anticipation.  And you have got to like Shiera kicking butt and taking names!

Side Note: I am going to have to scan the two page spread of Tonrarr detailing the history of Hawkworld, because I don't think I really did it justice with my synopsis.

Image: Brightest Day #8, 2010, David Finch.

No comments: