Thursday, November 11, 2010

Read: Hawkman v.2:no.1

Issue: Hawkman v.2:no.1
Title: "Secrets..."
Published Date: Aug 1986
Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shayera
Retcon Status: Out of Continuity

Summary: One year after the opening salvo of the Shadow War, the Thanagarians continue to play their quiet invasion of Earth.  Meanwhile, Hawkman and Hawkwoman are frustrated with their lack of progress thanks to their detector not being able to give them enough notice to stop incoming Thanagarians from hiding out amongst humanity.  As they ponder this, the alarm goes off.  The two heroes suit up, blowing off a meeting with Midway City Museum press secretary Joe Tracy to investigate a landing at the Justice Center.  They arrive at the Center to find Captain Frazier and his team already there.  The prisoners have managed to seize control of the building and black it out, plus shoot down a police helicopter from the roof.  

The Hawks spring into action, dropping gas bombs on the roof.  But when they land, they find no escapees, only the Shadow-Thief!  The Thief mocks the Winged Wonders, and tells tham that his employers want to make them an offer -- rejoin the Thanagarians!  Hawkman is having nothing of it, but Shadow-Thief has a new trick up his sleeve, as he is able to control his tangibility by thought!  He then brings the escaped prisoners onto the roof from the Thanagarian Distortion Field he was controlling.  Thief makes a fast getaway while the Hawks mop up the prisoners.

The next day at the museum, Carter and Shiera's office is bust into by Joe Tracy, along his fellow employee Coral.  Tracy raves at the two curators and makes veiled threats before storming off.  Coral explains that Joe is back on the bottle, and that he has been a wreck since the death of Mavis Trent, whom he harbored a secret love for.  She promises to calm him down, but she is lying; we see that Coral is a Thanagarian agent who has been enabling Joe's drinking.  The confrontation with Joe inspires Carter to reinvestigate the previous landing sites, and this time the Hawks come across a hood ornament from the "Hyathis Corporation" -- the name of the entity which brought so much despair to Thanagar.  Glad to find a new angle, they have no idea what awaits them -- for the Thanagarians are busy rigging the upcoming Presidential election, while Joe Tracy has published an expose revealing the true identities of Hawkman and Hawkwoman!

Review: The new series begins much the way Shadow War ended, which is appropriate, given as it's the same creative team for the most part.  It's definitely got that mid-80s style, sort of a modernized take on the classic setup.  It's interesting to see how Isabella was revamping the Hawks in a very subtle sort of way now that we have the luxury of being able to look ahead at what Truman and Ostrander would do a few years down the road.  Still, I enjoyed this issue and it made me very eager to see how the various plots would play out.  Plus, I dig Howell's rendition of the Shadow-Thief, always a favorite of mine.  The last page shocker took me totally by surprise!  

Image: Hawkman v.2:no.1, 1986, Richard Howell.


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

hey i just wanted to say that this is the first i'm seeing of this Hawkman blog of yours which is great cause Hawkman is one of my favorite DC characters. i just started a little over two weeks ago the first blog (as far as i know) for the Suicide Squad. it's a shame Carter Hall and the Squad never crossed paths. do you ever post original Hawkman related art on this blog?

Mr P said...

I LOVE the Isabella/Howell era Hawkman! Not only did the Shadow War make me a life-long fan of Hawkman and Hawkwoman, but they're what I credit with making me a fan of comics in general.

Luke said...

@Mr. P: I am really digging this stuff as well. I would have been about 6 when these were published originally so I would probably have been too young to appreciate them at the time! I imagine had I read Volume 3 beyond the first two issues I would have gotten hooked earlier.

@David: Welcome aboard! I will have to check out your Suicide Squad blog. I have never read much of the Squad but they are such an awesome concept you have to like them. Col. Flagg is a classic badass. Anyway, regarding art, yes, I used to do a Hawk sketch every Friday, but as you can see I am out of practice on it. If you do a search for "sketch" here you'll be able to see most of them. I need to get back into the habit as I have lots of images saved I have yet to share!

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

if you like Rick Flag this is the posting for you:

plus the posting a few days before that one is about Flag and Bronze Tiger. my email address is on the right hand side bar below the translation icons,drop me a line.

Doug said...

There are some choice Richard Howell bits that didn't make it into the Hawkman Companion. Richard was very generoius with his time, talent, and art. I'll have to hit the archives and see if I can dig those up.

Of course "archives" is code-speak for "the shambles of collective piles that fill the room I once called an office," but I'm sure there's some good stuff in there.

Mr P said...

Heh, I was just 5 when this came out myself, but five years later, when I was getting into comic books I somehow ended up with an issue of the Shadow War mini-series.
From then on I started hunting through the back issue bins for all the Hawkman stuff I could find. Thusly I was reading Hawkman vol 2 instead of Hawkworld and Satellite era JLA instead of Justice League International.