I headed up to Charlotte yesterday, meeting up with my Green Lantern-obsessed friend Joe and general comics lunatic Adama, and we hit the Charlotte Comicon. All told this was a great little trip, and this is a fun small one day Con. It's worth the trip up to Charlotte if only because it means I get to visit with my friends as well.
Plus, it's always nice to pick up some new Hawkman swag!
I picked up three issues of Hawkworld -- #22, 30, and Annual 3 -- for fifty cents apiece. I already have the majority of this series, and these three issues leave me with a single issue left to have the entire run, #29. This series should make for interesting reading. Makes me reconsider my reading/blogging order which I have going on here, but that is a post for another time.
My other Hawk-related purchase was a much bigger one, both from a dollar standpoint and a size standpoint. The DC Direct Hawkman and Hawkgirl boxed set features the Winged Wonders in classic DC Direct style. What makes this set so cool (besides the fact that it's Hawkman and Hawkgirl!) is the swappable helmets which allows you to display them in either Golden Age or Silver Age style! Pretty snazzy, and hopefully I'll get the chance to open this (along with the long promised Hawkgirl vs Gentleman Ghost two-pack...) after the holidays.
I did leave one item behind which I considered buying. At three different booths, I found very clean copies of Hawkman v.1:no.5, the second full appearance of Shadow-Thief. And as I went down the line, the prices got cheaper and cheaper! However, I decided to pass, but at some point I might start buying these Silver Age Hawkman books, so watch out!
Definitely a fun Sunday afternoon talking and buying comics!
So I cruised over to Big Bad Toy Store this morning to check on the availability of my GI Joe preorders (as I have said before, I almost have GI Joe on the brain), and what do I see linked on the front page? Hawkman! So needless to say I had to click through on that, and now I have this cute vinyl Hawkman sitting on my Pile Of Loot, waiting to be shipped to my home (much to my wife's dismay I am sure).
I had seen these Funko POP Vinyl figures before, mostly at Target, but never had much interest in them because I don't need a funky statue of Captain America or whatnot. But a funky statue of Hawkman? Now you're speaking my language!
These guys remind me of Mighty Muggs (another line which was in desperate need of a Hawkman), and both of them remind me of the design aesthetic of the "Super Deformed" sort of candy and capsule toys which are commonplace in Japan, only larger. Since I have a little collection of those as well (both in number and stature), this is not exactly a huge leap purchase for me.
Here's to more inane Hawk-merch in 2012!
Image: Funko POP Vinyl Hawkman (Artist's Rendition), 2011, image retrieved from Big Bad Toy Store.
The Irredeemable Shag sent me these a while ago, and I thought I had posted them but evidently not! So thanks to Bearer of the Honor Wings Shag!
Hey Luke! I stumbled across some Batman: The Brave & the Bold temporary tattoos, and they feature both Firestorm and Gentleman Ghost!
It's no coincidence to me that Gentleman Ghost, probably the most well known of Hawkman's admittedly obscure rogues gallery, was a breakout bad guy on The Brave & The Bold as well as the only Hawkfoe to get any real extra-media attention, plus the first classic Hawkfoe to pop up in the New 52. Looks like "Gentleman" Jim Craddock will be hanging around for a while!
Gentleman Ghost's design from the show was clean and sleek, not unlike his appearance in Justice League Unlimited. His classic look is very straightforward so there is not really much you need to do to jazz it up. The logo is clearly a play on the TB&TB logo, not something I would normally associate with the Ghost, but I like the color.
You can also check out Shag's own superhero site, Firestorm Fan, for the latest on DC's Nuclear Men!
Image: Gentleman Ghost Temporary Tattoo, 2011, image provided by The Irredeemable Shag.
I was at Target yesterday and took this photo of their Imaginext display case, a plastic half cylinder which holds all of the Imaginext people you can buy... along with some you cannot, like this Hawkman! Arrgh! It's RIGHT THERE! LET ME GIVE YOU MONEY FOR IT!
At this point I'm down to either trying to talk to the manager of the department into letting me have it when they take it down or breaking into the case and taking the damn thing. Which I would never do... yes... never do...
Image: Imaginext Hawkman, 2011, From my cellphone.
Got my box from DCBS this evening, which means it's time for Savage Hawkman #3!
This issue plays "middle chapter" as the players move around the board for the finale. This is alright, though, because we finally get some answers to a few questions! Not all of them, but some of them, along with some other questions being raised (of course). Overall a lesser issue than the first two, but I enjoyed it. Tan's art continues to look great, and Daniel's story is nicely paced and informative without being data dump. All in all I am still jazzed about this story and can't wait to read the big finish!
Well folks, my box from DCBS has shipped, which means I should have my copy of The Savage Hawkman #3 in my hands shortly. As previous, I would expect a quick review followed by a more in-depth post. Very much looking forward to this issue and seeing where things go from where we were last time!
A lot of folks on the Internet seem dead set on declaring the New 52 a failure or otherwise point out the mistakes which DC has made. And don't get me wrong, there have been some big stumbling points so far on the relaunch. But on the other hand, the New 52 has reignited an excitement in me for characters who I had either cooled on, were reading more out of routine, or never really considered. I mean, I am excited every month for a new issue of Wonder Woman and Hawk & Dove! The Flash is firing on all cylinders again in a way it hasn't done in almost a decade! Aquaman is one of the best selling comics on the stands! There are two new, monthly War comics! For all the things DC is getting wrong, I swear to Synnar that they are getting a lot of stuff right as well!
Sometimes it pays to take off the cynical cap for a while and put on your mark out hat, folks.
Issue: Hawkman v.2:no.5 Title: "The Lionmane Diversion" Published Date: Dec 1986 Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shayera Retcon Status: Out of Continuity
Summary: Down on his luck archeologist Ed Dawson is haunted in his dreams by the spirit of Lionmane, and envisions himself tearing Hawkman apart...
In the waking world, amid a rally in support of Hawkman and Hawkwoman, a meeting of the Midway City Museum board of directors is taking place, with Joe Tracy leading the opposition to the Halls and George Emmett marshalling the defense. Also in attendance is Dawson, whom Carter has suggested be his replacement should he be asked to step down as curator. The meeting is interrupted by Gerald Trent, newspaper tycoon and father of the murdered Mavis Trent. He informs the board of his intentions to sue the museum for liability in the death of his daughter, unless the Halls resign. The board calls for a vote and the non-members must leave, leading to a confrontation between Joe Tracy and Carter in the hallway, with Carter berating Joe for how he is ruining the memory of Mavis by drinking himself into a raging stupor. The Hawks wing off to get some air, where they discuss leaving Midway City to more effectively battle the Thanagarian invasion.
Meanwhile, a Thanagarian plot is underway. While the spy Coral ropes Dawson to the basement, three Thanagarian agents move on the board room. In the basement, Coral shows Dawson a Mithra Meteorite, which will turn him into Lioname. Dawson resists, but is forced to touch the meteorite by two Thanagarians, and transforms. But, the beast is uncontrollable, and he rips apart the two alien toughs. Upstairs, the other three agents force themselves into the board room to kidnap Emmett, but the old man puts up a fight, taking out two of them before he is subdued.
Lionmane rages upstairs right as the Hawks return. Joe Tracy is freaking out because Coral was downstairs with the creature, and runs off to find her. The Hawks fight Lionmane, but he gets stronger as they do, developing more of his powers until he is able to knock Shayera unconscious. She wakes in a daze, but then finds Hawkman with a spear jammed into his chest!
Review: Wow! After the silly fun of the previous issue, this one is back into the main story with gusto. I really dig what Isabella is doing here with the main plot. The idea of "superheroes creating an unsafe environment" is cliche now, but seeing it put to such effective use as far back as 1986 is indictative of where DC was in this Post-Crisis era. The use of Gerald Trent is a nice touch as well, because we as readers can not only understand his position but sympathize with it as well (same as Carter does, for that matter). Lionmane is a suitably savage villain and him being used as an unwitting -- and unwilling -- pawn of the Thanagarians is a nice mix of old and new. I have maintained for a while that he would be a great modern foe for Hawkman and this story just reinforces that. And you can't beat a good cliffhanger.
The art is something of a mixed bag, as has been the norm for this series. Howell's pencils are concise and clean, but they are not really helped any by Don Heck's inking. They are not hurt, either, as Heck's work brings a sort of 60's Marvel aesthetic to the artwork, especially in the board room sceces. It's perfectly good art for the story though. The cover has a sort of Barry Windsor-Smith feel to it, as if Lionmane was fighting Conan or something. Another note about the cover: Lionmane is colored white, making him more like the Wendigo than anything else.
In the pro-Hawks protest outside the musuem, someone is holding a sign which says "Free The Kirby 8000!" That's a stumper to me, anyone out there have any thoughts?
Issue: Hawkman v.3:no.6 Title: "War Cry" Published Date: Feb 1994 Generation: Modern Katar and Shayera Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: The battle between the Hawks and Wonder Woman against Count Viper and his allies continues. Airstryke is game against Wonder Woman, but he is still injured, and otherwise outmatched against the Amazon. Shayera, in the old man's body, faces down Bloodwynd, but the mystical hero is able to break Viper's mental control, and helps fight the Eradicator. This leaves Katar (in Shayera's body) to confront Count Viper (still in Katar's body... you with me?), and the two strike furiously at each other. Katar beats Viper into unconsciousness, and the heroes take him to Katar's mother Naomi Carter (despite Eradicator's desire to kill Viper for controlling him).
After a quick flashback of Katar's parentage, Naomi puts Katar and Shayera into a trance, where they find themselves in the spirit world. Immediately they are confronted by the spirit of Count Viper, which has taken the shape of a giant serpent. Katar's spirit forms into that of a hawk-man and attacks Viper. Naomi's voice filters in, and she tells Shayera that her spirit is not that of a hawk, but of a predator -- a wolf. Shayera's spirit becomes a wolf-woman, and together the two heroes tear apart Viper's spirit. They wake up back in the real world... and back in their correct bodies. Katar and Shayera embrace and kiss, the ordeal finally over.
Review: Jan Duursema is greatly missed this time out. Liber's pencils are good in the spirit world sequence, but his fights and the flashback don't look all that good, really. I don't know if it's his pencils or rick Magyar's inks over them, but they are much less visually interesting to me. Still, the final sequence looks good, and the art is still clear and understandable, so that's good enough for me. Ostrander's story is very dense, with a lot of information crammed in there -- this definitely would have been three modern issues -- but he handles all of it nicely, without reading like a data dump. The final page is a nice send off to Ostrander's run on Katar and Shayera, as well. Although, it's not clear what happened to Count Viper, I can only assume he is in the old man's body now?
Looking back on the first arc (which, oddly, lasted 6 issues... writing for the trade, huh?), I thought it was good. It went in a lot of different directions, and kept me guessing. The body swapping bit is a gimmick, but it's Count Viper's gimmick, so I can't knock it too much. Overall, I liked these books more than I thought I would, but it's not surprising that this series was not a runaway hit when it was first published.
Alright folks, Turkey Day was a heck of a thing, with my infant son being sick and plans having to change at the last minute. So needless to say, Hawkman blogging was sadly low on the priority list. So I am hoping to get back on track shortly.
-- The Savage Hawkman #3 should be in my hands early next week, thanks to DCBS not shipping until this week. Expect a review shortly after I get it!
-- I will have a review of the next issue of Volume 3, the conclusion of the opening story arc of that volume, later in the week.
-- Also this week I am hoping to get a chance to open up the long awaited two-pack of DCUC Hawkgirl and Gentleman Ghost. Maybe I'll save Gentleman Ghost for when he reappears in a few months?
Sales figures for the comic book direct market have been published for the month of October, and The Savage Hawkman has cracked the Top 50 for the second straight month.
According to Comichron, Savage Hawkman #2 sold 42,987 units, enough to place it in 49th spot for the month. In September, Savage Hawkman #1 sold 50,359 issues, which put the title in 41st spot. This represents a 14.6% dropoff from #1 to #2, which seems about average if not a little higher than average. Still, it is not unexpected to have a decrease in sales from #1 to #2 of any series.
For reference, volume 4 of Hawkman, released in 2002, had sales of 52,298 for #1, which placed it an amazing 15th position for the month of March '02. Issue #2 moved 44,459 units, a drop of... 14.9%. Pretty close huh?
Also, it's pretty telling that moving 52k units in 2002 netted a Top 20 book, but moving that many books last month would have placed the title in 33rd spot.
Anyway, it's still too early to tell what the future holds for the title, but one thing is for sure -- The Savage Hawkman is certainly not a flop, nor is it one of the breakout books of the New 52. It's right where I figured it would be -- in the middle.
Carter Hall, better known as THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN has embarked on a crazy solo adventure since the start of DC's 'New 52,' and in the upcoming third issue written by Tony S. Daniel and illustrated by Philip Tan, Hawkman will have to do a little bit of detective work.
I am not checking out the preview, but please feel free to do so! Hawkman doing detective work? Are we back in the Silver Age all of a sudden?
DC has released a preview of their February solicitations for most of their titles, including the one starring our very own Winged Wonder! (Thanks to Newsarama!)
THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #6 Written by TONY S. DANIEL and JAMES BONNEY Art and cover by PHILIP TAN On sale FEBRUARY 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T Hawkman comes face to face with Jim Craddock, a.k.a. the Gentleman Ghost, a malevolent spirit obsessed with finding an ancient relic called the Mortis Orb. Can Hawkman stop Craddock from using the power of the Orb to unleash hell on Earth?
Wow! That's the new Gentleman Ghost? Definitely a different take on the traditionally spectral foe. I am guessing he is tied in with the zombies on the cover to #5? The how and the why of this new "Gentleman" Jim Craddock definitely has me itching to read this story. Readers of this blog will remember that Gentleman Ghost was one of my predictions for classic Hawkfoes who would show up in the new series sooner rather than later, and it looks like I was right on that front.
Philip Tan is really knocking it out of the park on these covers. I'd really like a "Savage Hawkman Cover Gallery" special. What do you say DC?
Also, James Bonney is once more credited as a co-writer with Tony Daniel. How long will this collaboration last? We'll have to wait and see!
I first became aware of Joe Jusko back in the 90s with the Marvel Masterpiece trading card sets. For those who don't know, they were a set of fully-painted cards and was Marvel's first "prestige" card set. So whenever I hear Jusko I think of Marvel Masterpiece. But here we have a rather striking Convention Sketch of the Winged Wonder!
Man, can you imagine Jusko on a Hawkman series? Would be something to see!
DC has announced the first round of collected editions of the New 52 (well, mostly... Wonder Woman is missing for some reason...Frank, get on this!), including The Savage Hawkman!
THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN VOL. 1 TP Writer: Tony S. Daniel and James Bonney Artist: Philip Tan Collects: THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1-6 $14.99 US, 144 pg
Collecting six issues for $15 is pretty standard, so that's no surprise. Makes me wonder if the zombie threat introduced in #5 will be wrapped in #6, thus not ending in the middle of a story. Or perhaps #5 and #6 are stand-alone stories? (Also note that Jim Bonney is listed as a writer; according to solicits for #5 he is credited on that issue. We'll have to see if he continues on beyond that.)
For what it's worth, the first collection of Hawkman v.4 featured 6 issues for $15, and was a 4-part story followed by a 2-part story.
Besides the omission of Wonder Woman (which by most accounts seems to be a popular title), the strange part of this announcement to me is the mix of softcovers and hardcovers. 14 of the 51 are hardcovers, and most of them are the usual suspects: Justice League, Batman/Detective, Superman/Action, Green Lantern, Flash. Clearly these are the big "money maker" titles for DC so putting them into the more prestigious HC format makes sense. What's worth mentioning is some of the other titles which make the HC cut, including Aquaman, Batwoman, Batgirl, and nearly all of the supporting Bat-Family and GL-centric books. Clearly DC still has faith in the Bat and GL brands and feels they can sell these HCs.
I also wonder if the books will have similar trade dress (something related to "New 52") or will each one be branded uniquely? Maybe some combination thereof? And will the HCs eventually be put out in TP format as well (seems like a no-brainer to me).
What are your thoughts on how DC is collecting the New 52?
Issue: The Savage Hawkman #2 Title: "Wings of Darkness" Published Date: Oct 2011 Generation: New 52 Carter Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Morphicius is trying to absorb all of Hawkman's life force and the Nth metal, but it is burning him severely. Finally, the metal erupts into a fiery bird of pure energy, knocking the alien back. Hawkman faces Morphicius again, but the alien teleports outside of the building. Hawkman gives chase and the two clash once more. Morphicius is already beginning to take control of the Nth metal he has absorbed, and the metal begins to retreat from Carter's skin! Unarmed and unarmored, Carter can do nothing as Morphicius leaves the wrecked scene.
Meanwhile, at the Manhattan office of the Non-Lethal Alternative Studies (NLAS), Mr Hogarth Kane is called upon by two federal agents who want an update on his progress. He shows them his primate experiments, which involve temporarily erasing the memories of combatants on the battlefield, when his assistant Aksana tells him he has a phone call. The call involves a loose "subject," but Dr. Kane puts his best hunter on the project.
At the hospital, Carter meets with Emma, Prof. Ziegler, and Terrence, and they talk about the men who died at the lab. Prof. Ziegler gives Carter some pictures of the markings on the craft to translate. A nurse tells Carter than the police want to see him, but he makes an escape out the window before they arrive, the Nth metal creating his costume once more.
We then catch up with Morphicius, who is struggling with his newly acquired Nth metal powers when suddenly he is mentally pulled to the ground by a pale skinned man. Morphicius claims that the only beings who could invade the mind of a Xenusian such as himself is a Vexaphonian, but that they are all dead. The pale man, who's name is Waker, claims to be the last Vexaphon, and that he has been sent to save Morphicius's life.
At Carter's apartment, our hero finds the landlord evicting him, but is able to bribe him with a chest of valuable artifacts. Carter studies the pictures of the alien markings, and strangely, the longer he looks at them the more sense they make. Emma shows up with dinner in tow. Emma asks some questions trying to figure out why Carter was so eager to jump into danger to save the men at the lab, and the two end up fighting, with Emma leaving angrilly.
Back at NLAS, Dr. Kane has Morphicius in a tube, while Waker says that Morphicius's vitals are slowing down as if he had been poisoned. He says they must act quickly, but Dr. Kane says that he can get what he needs from an autopsy. Waker disagrees, but he is quickly disabled by Aksana, who's arm has changed into a large black claw. Dr. Kane says that they may now get to work on their project: The Extinction Virus.
Review: Well, there's no shortage of stuff going down in this eventful issue! I had expected to get a brawl between Hawkman and Morphicius, but instead we get a short encounter between the two and then a whole lot of new plot developments and characters. Who are Dr. Kane, Aksana, and Waker, and what connection does the NLAS have to the government? Why is Dr. Kane creating an "Extinction Virus?" What is going on with the Nth metal in the first place? Lots of questions are raised and none are answered.
Everyone's motivation seems to be shrouded in darkness for the time being. Daniel is building up a bigger storyline here so everyone has to behave in mysterious fashion. The inclusion of another alien character (Waker), along with a character who may or may not be an alien (Aksana), is giving this series a definite science fiction feel, a big change from the more historical and mystical sort of vibe which permeated a lot of Volume 4. Hawkman has been a sci-fi character before so these elements are not unwelcome to me, and the use of all of these new characters is keeping me guessing as a reader, which is always good. I just hope that Daniel brings it all together satisfactorily. This issue is a dense one and had a lot of plot and a lot of action, but definitely is a "middle chapter" kind of story. It does have it's own little arc with Waker and Morphicius, so it's not completely a "middle chapter" but you do need to have read the first one.
Tan's art is pretty excellent throughout. The double page spread of the Nth metal firebird is pretty insane, really. The only negative I can find is the end of the battle between Hawkman and Morphicius. Morphicius says that the "Nth metal is giving up on you," but it's not entirely clear what is going on. Is the metal retreating into Hawkman's body? Or is it sloughing off and going to Morphicius? I can't tell for sure.
Still, I am enjoying this story and now I am eager to see what the heck Kane and his compatriots are up to, and how the Nth Metal is effecting Carter. So bring on #3!
I got home late last night (I went to the WWE Smackdown! taping at the Bi-Lo Center... look for me on Friday night on SyFy, I'll be the guy wearing the Big Show t-shirt), but I did get my box from DCBS and did get a chance to read The Savage Hawkman #2.
Quick Thoughts: After the first issue, I was expecting something totally different than what we got. Tony Daniel is building up to something but at this point I have no idea where it could be going. Philip Tan's art is still fantastic. I liked the issue but definitely leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Very eager to see where the heck this story goes next.
Hawkman was in a bad way at the end of the last issue, seemingly drained of his life force by the mysterious alien creature Morphicius. But the Winged Wonder has never been one to back down from a challenge, and with his strange new Nth-metal derived powers, I'm willing to bet that the Savage Hawkman will come back swinging! Tony Daniel and Philip Tan continue their new direction for Hawkman and you can see it all today!
Pick up your copy of Savage Hawkman #2 in your LCS today! Or, if you are like me, start fretting angrily as you wait for your mail order box to ship!
Issue: Hawkman v.4:no.21 (Reprinted in Hawkman v.3: Wings of Fury) Title: "The Headhunter Part 2: Taking Off The Mask" Published Date: Jan 2004. Generation: Modern Carter and Kendra (See Note below) Retcon Status: In Continuity (See Note below)
Summary: Kendra is just finishing up the movie she and her date were seeing (Buster Keaton's The Cameraman) when she sees emergency vehicles speeding towards her apartment complex. She gives chase, while inside the apartment the Headhunter has Hawkman at his mercy. Ranting to himself about the ability of Hawkman's spirit to survive, Headhunter is about to decapitate our hero when Kendra bursts in. She lays into Headhunter, including burying a hatchet in his mask, but the mysterious villain throws a strange dust in the air and escapes. Kendra angrily demands to know why Hawkman is in her apartment, but he has no answers for her before he leaves, taking the Headhunter's Hawkman voodoo doll.
Later, temporary Professor Carter Hall gets a phone call from Ray Palmer, who informs him that the dust used by the Headhunter is actually finely ground Nth Metal. The voodoo doll is covered with traces of embalming fluids and soil, which leads Ray and Carter to deduce that it had been in a graveyard recently. Inspecting one of St. Roch's above ground graveyards, Hawkman is ambushed by Headhunter once more. The masked foe throws Carter's rubbings of his former graves at him, claiming that he now controls all of Hawkman's past lives. Headhunter throws a series of bones into the earth, and the decayed forms of all of Carter's former lives rise up to kill him!
Review: The danger level gets pumped up a notch in the middle chapter of the story, with things going from bad to worse for the Winged Wonder. I like the angst we get from Kendra as well, and cameos from the Atom are always welcome. I thought the close-quarters combat in Kendra's apartment was well handled and not overlong, but the best part of this issue (to me anyway) was tying the stand alone issues from earlier in the run with the present. Those single issue stories where Carter learned about his past lives were nice, but it made me happy to see that information used again, revealing them to be actual foreshadowing and not just filler. Strong installment with a great cliffhanger.
At this point I don't think I can add anything more about Rags Morales on this series other than we get to see a bit more full body shots of the Headhunter and he certainly looks menacing. Something like a South Pacific tribal witch doctor mixed with a Caribbean voodoo priest. Watson's cover is super striking as well, with the blood and gore put to great use.
Note: In light of the New 52 relaunch, Generation and Retcon Status are going to be getting new categories very soon. Keep watching this space to stay informed!
Issue: Flash Comics #21 (Reprinted in The Golden Age Hawkman Archives v.1) Title: "Menace From Space" Published Date: Sep. 1941 Generation: Golden Age Hawkman Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Hawkman is on patrol when he spots a space ship crashing! Investigating, he finds a race of giants on board, along with a mysterious egg and a journal -- half in an alien language and half in English. He learns that the egg is the gestating infant of the giants, who are from Neptune. Carter takes the egg home to study it, but Shiera plays a prank on him by swiping it, and the egg eventually winds up in the hands of Noel Ratchford, who is also experimenting with growing things inside eggs.
Eventually the egg hatches, and a Neptunian boy emerges. Noel begins to train the boy to be his tool for destruction, claiming to be Carter Hall so that the boy will commit acts of carnage in his name. Noel sends the boy on a killing spree, using the electrical fire-beams from his eyes and destroying buildings. Hawkman swoops in with a spear, blinding the giant in one eye and forcing him to take him to his master. Finding Noel, the giant boy tries to kill both of them, but Hawkman kills the alien and gets Noel arrested, clearing himself in the process.
Review: There's some insane moments in this story, from the very concept of a giant baby hatching from an egg, to his eventual rampage through New York, including stomping a woman under his foot! It's like something from a daikaiju movie. Beyond that, this is a rather out-there science fiction story. The whole concept of a giant blue skinned alien from Neptune shooting electronic beams from his eyes is pretty darn awesome. Unfortunately the Noel plot takes up too much time and takes away a lot of panels from Hawkman fighting a giant humanoid alien. Hawkman gets to act fairly barbaric here, including spearing the alien in the eye, and then stabbing him in the back of the neck to kill him! Pretty fun short story all told.
As usual, Moldoff gets in some glamorous panels of Shiera even if she is partly responsible for the Neptunian's appearance. Moldoff's cover is also one of the best I have seen so far in this series.
Thanks to The Source, we now have solicits for issue #5 of The Savage Hawkman!
THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #5 Written by TONY S. DANIEL and JIM BONNY Art and cover by PHILIP TAN On sale JANUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T The appearance of an otherworldly visitor to the city sets in motion a series of horrifying visions of the dead walking the streets of New York City. But only Carter can see them, causing him to question his own sanity. Can Hawkman unravel the mystery before it consumes him?
Hawkman fighting the living dead? How trendy! If I can speculate, it seems as if the Morphicius storyline will wrap up in #4, opening the door for this story. Although from the solicit, I suppose that this could be tied to that storyline as well.
I really dig Tan's cover, with Hawkman battling a group of zombies. I think the Winged Wonder is about to open a can of whoopin'!
Not much in the way of news from this past weekend's NYCC, but we did get this nugget from the DC Justice League panel:
[Tony] Daniel pointed out the "incredible job" Philip Tan is doing on the artwork. He said the core essence of the title is "action," "excitement," and "character development of Carter Hall." The art shown was from issue #3, and Daniel pointed out a new villain, and said he wanted to give him some formidable rogues.
Unfortunately, Newsarama did not show the aforementioned artwork, but new villains are always welcome. I think that Daniel's statement about the title's core being action and excitement is a good fit for Hawkman, so hopefully we will get that kind of book as we go forward.
Issue: Hawkman v.1:no.2.2 (Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Hawkman v.1) Title: "Wings Across Time" Published Date: Jun/Jul 1964 Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shay-era Retcon Status: Changed Generations / Out of Continuity (See below)
Summary: An underwater archaeologist (wha... ?) off the coast of Crete discovers a set of wings made from wax and feathers, and determines them to be the wings worn by Icarus in the days of Ancient Greece! Midway City Museum press secretary Joe Tracy thinks the wings will be a perfect centerpiece to their fundraising activities for the new wing they want to build, and sets up a photo op where curator Carter Hall will fly with the wings. Carter is bemused by the idea, and makes sure to fly a little awkwardly so that no one will suspect that he is actually Hawkman. After the publicity stunt, Hawkman takes the wings to his spaceship to run tests on them to determine if they are in fact Icarus' wings.
Back on Earth, Hawkman stumbles upon a truck robbery in progress. Giving pursuit, the Pinioned Palladin is able to disarm two of the thugs, but the third one, Eddie, shoots Hawkman with a strange bazooka like gun, destroying his wings and knocking the hero out. With his anti-gravity belt on full, Hawkman rapidly ascends into the atmosphere. Awoken just outside of low-Earth orbit, Hawkman makes his way back to the ship. There, he equips himself with the Icarus wings (proven to be so by the Thanagarian instruments) and an ancient Grecian battering ram. Returning to Earth, Hawkman makes quick work of the thieves, and has the Midway City PD donate the reward to the Museum, which helps fund the new wing.
Review: Overall a very weak second story for this issue. Anderson's art is fine, but the story takes what should be a novel idea -- Hawkman using the mythological wings of Icarus -- and essentially squanders it. We never learn what exactly the weapon does, only one of the crooks even gets a name, and we don't get even get to see Hawkgirl! The lead story from this issue was not one of the best from this era, but it's head and shoulders better than this tale, unfortunately.
I am sort of scratching my head over the Retcon Status of this issue. Some elements of this story seem to fit really well with the Earth-2 Hawkman (the wings of Icarus, a Grecian battering ram), while the reliance on Thanagarian technology and the Hawks' space ship make it a hard for a Generation change. So while I suppose the Golden Age Hawks might have acquired a fully equipped Thanagarian space ship at some point, that doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. This is one of those stories which doesn't fit neatly into either category, which, considering it's quality, is not the end of the world.
Issue: The Savage Hawkman #1 Title: "Hawkman Rising" Published Date: Sep 2011 Generation: New 52 Carter (note: new designation) Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Carter Hall drives out into the middle of the woods, and digs a small pit, into which he dumps his Hawkman costume and equipment. He sets the uniform on fire, claiming that if one of them was going to die. Suddenly, the flaming Nth metal twists and changes into a fiery bird, which envelopes Carter in it's grasp...
Carter then wakes back in his ill-kept brownstone, seemingly alright save for some burns on his hands and a broken window. He tries to figure out how he got home (while naked, even) when his coworker Terrence shows up. Professor Ziegler and his daughter Emma have found an alien shipwreck several hundred years older than the Titanic, and Carter is needed for the examination. Carter goes with Terrence, but not before noticing that his hands are now fully healed.
At Ziegler's facility, the examination is under way. Inside the wreck, the Professor has found several pods, each containing an alien mummy! But as two of Ziegler's men examine one of the pods, they are attacked by an inky substance coming from inside the mummy. The men are quickly consumed and become slimy humanoid beasts. Carter gets everyone out and leaps to attack the creatures, thinking that this will be his last fight. But his skin begins to burble, and the Nth metal erupts from his skin, arming and armoring him as the hero Hawkman once again! Hawkman attacks the main creature, who calls himself Morphicius, and claims that he consumes and expends energy. The two warriors brawl back and forth with neither able to get the upper hand. Morphicius finds Hawkman's life force strangely resistant, but he begins to absorb his foe's life force, giving his alien form wings and golden armor, while Hawkman is a drained husk!
Review:The Savage Hawkman is here! And it's a pretty powerful debut at that. In short order we are introduced to Carter Hall at his lowest, and then he is thrown in a strange new direction right as a new alien menace rears its head.
Philip Tan's art is excellent. I thought his stuff on Outsiders was the cat's pajamas, and if anything this book looks better. The full page reveal of Hawkman's new gear is screaming to be a poster. I really dig the morphing weapon, which starts out as a short handled axe, and then becomes a morningstar. The spiked kneepads add a layer of welcome barbarism and even the shoulderpads work for me. The helmet is also suitably "savage." About the only thing which would have been really cool would be if the wings were metallic as well, but the feathered wings are so classic that it is hard to fault them. I really hope Tan can keep on deadline because his Hawkman is one I want to see.
Now, what about Tony Daniel's story? Frankly, I liked it. After I read the issue, I wanted to read it again. Seeing Carter at the absolute bottom ties in so strongly with the end of Brightest Day that it seems that, in some way shape or form, that the Hawks' story still went down. And much like I said at the end of that book, a Hawkman without Hawkgirl to ground him is a dangerous individual. The idea of Carter working as a cryptologist is a twist on the classic museum curator/archaeologist riff, and it looks like Daniel is introducing a new supporting cast with some potential. I like the mysterious appearance of Morphicius and am very curious what his origin is. The little bit about "alien mummies" made me grin too. Plus its one heck of a cliffhanger!
To me the most controversial aspect is the Nth metal becoming seemingly a part of Carter himself. It's very similar to how Iron Man's armor currently works, oddly enough. I think it's certainly going to streamline his powers since he doesn't have to "gear up" before heading out, and it opens the door to stories of just what the heck the Nth metal has done to him. This sort of approach is preferable to me than the sort of vague, "He's spent a lot of time around Nth metal" excuse for various odd happenings. So at first blush I am cool with it.
Overall, I was very satisfied with this issue and am now champing at the bit for #2. This is a new Hawkman for a new universe, and hopefully this clean slate and new direction will be one which will last for a good long while!
I also really marked out for the "Hawkman created by Gardner Fox" credit. Keep it up DC!
Well folks I SHOULD be getting my DCBS box tonight, which means that I will get my copy of The Savage Hawkman #1! Unfortunately it looks like I will be on a business trip tomorrow so I may not be able to post my thoughts about it! Arrgh! Doesn't DC and DCBS know that I have a blog to run here? I'll try and get some thoughts posted tonight if I can, so watch this space...
The Savage Hawkman #1 -- Today's the day! After months of speculation and impatience, the fifth volume of Hawkman comics starts today. I don't know what else I can say at this point which I have not said already other than GO OUT AND BUY THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN!
Time for the last wave of the New 52 from DC Comics!
All-Star Western #1 -- Jonah Hex in Gotham City? Sounds like a novel idea. Definitely interested in seeing where this one goes. Want To Check Out.
Aquaman #1 -- I'll always give Aquaman a peek, he's a great classic hero and it seems like he is primed for his push to the top of the card. Picking Up.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 -- I have yet to figure out why this book exists. Pass.
Blackhawks #1 -- The counterpart to Men Of War, this one looks a little but more like Military Fantasy in the vein of GI Joe, which is awesome. Picking Up (Mail Order).
Flash #1 -- It's the Flash, so of course I am going to check it out. Time for Barry Allen to shine. Picking Up (Mail Order).
Fury of Firestorm #1 -- Shag has talked me up enough on this one, coupled with the awesome Firestorm storyline in Brightest Day. Picking Up.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 -- There certainly are a lot of Green Lantern books on the stands now, huh? Pass.
I, Vampire #1 -- I dismissed this book out of hand when I saw the cover, thinking it was shooting for a twinkling vampire effect. The interiors seem to suggest a more serious horror book, so now I am torn. Want To Check Out.
Justice League Dark #1 -- *sigh* Pass just on the title.
Superman #1 -- Superman by George Perez? Color me intrigued. I have my concerns with Action Comics but Superman looks like it might be fun. Picking Up.
Teen Titans #1 -- I am really hopeful that this book will be a success, because I think the DCU needs a good team of Teen Titans. But I have not had an interest in them in a long time. Pass.
Voodoo #1 -- The only Wildstorm book I have ever liked was the reboot of Wetworks. I don't think the WS characters are going to be integrated very well into the regular DCU, and Voodoo is not a character I am interested in anyway. Pass.
It's coming! In just two days The Savage Hawkman #1 will be on comic shop shelves all over the country! And we now have the first preview of the book courtesy of UGO!
I have NOT read this preview and I will not; I try not to read previews for books I am buying, especially ones which I have been anticipating as much as this one. So please keep that in mind if you make any comments.
Of course, I will have to wait a few days beyond that to read the issue as I will have to wait on my shipment from DCBService.com. I am seriously considering not ordering this title mail order just so I can get it faster. Stay tuned.
We have to wait one more week for The Savage Hawkman #1, which means once more than yours truly will be running through the New 52 titles for this week!
Batman #1 -- Scott Snyder is handling the writing chores on this book, and thanks to the Batman Minimum Appreciation Index, I have a mild interest in checking this out. Mildly Interested.
Birds of Prey #1 -- Katana has had some bad costumes in her day, but this one takes the cake. Pass.
Blue Beetle #1 -- Jaime is a good character but this is not my scene. Pass.
Catpain Atom #1 -- Eh. Not feeling it. Pass.
Catwoman #1 -- I am glad to see Selina have her own title in the New 52. But that doesn't mean I am buying it. Pass.
DC Universe Presents #1 -- I like anthologies, and I like secondary characters, and I dug Boston Brand in both Wednesday Comics (remember that?) and Brightest Day, so this one has my attention. Want to Read.
Green Lantern Corps #1 -- Like the other GL titles, I was not reading these titles beforehand so I have little interest in reading them now. Pass.
Legion of Superheroes #1 -- Not doing anything for me. Pass.
Nightwing #1 -- Isn't this something of a backwards move for Dick Grayson? I am sure his fans don't mind too much though. Especially his fans of the, ahem, female persuasion. Pass.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 -- The most irritating of all the New 52 to me, because this is the title which is replacing Outsiders. Right down to the format of the title, this is the book which is taking the place of a title which I liked a LOT before this reboot. And to make things worse, it's got a cast of characters I do not want to read. Pass.
Supergirl #1 -- I started to really like Supergirl while I was reading the "New Krypton" epic. This series apparently jettisons all of the stuff I liked. Pass.
Wonder Woman #1 -- I can't explain my attraction to Wonder Woman (oh not that type of "attraction" and you know it) but the chance to get in on the ground floor with her is very intriguing to me. And Cliff Chiang's artwork looks fantastic. Want to Read.
Still fairly slim but more books than last week, anyway!
Showcase Presents: All-Star Comics v.1 -- Reprinting All-Star Comics #58-74 and Adventure Comics #461-466, these Bronze Age stories feature the Earth-2 Justice Society of America, including Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The Hawks don't feature in every story but Carter does rate the cover. If you are interested in hearing about the Justice Society of America, I recommend the Tales of the JSA podcast from the Two True Freaks! network.
Here we have two cosplayers from DragonCon -- photos courtesy of The Irredeemable Shag, who came back from Atlanta this year with over 700 pictures! Thank Hashut for digital cameras, huh? You can head on over to either Flickr or The Unique Geek to check out all the pics!
Anyways, the Hawkman
Hawkman looks suitably beefy for the Winged Wonder. His shield is hiding his trunks so I am going to assume they are red. The shoulder armor is nice and readily identifies this as the modern Hawkman as well. But the shield is actually my favorite part of this costume. You don't always see Hawks armed with a shield in cosplay but this is a very nice looking piece, properly weathered as it is.
The Hawkgirl cosplayer I think I have seen before. I like her angelic wings (though they seem to be sagging in this picture) and her belt, plus her proper looking stomach for Kendra's midriff bearing costume. The mace and wrist bracers are nice touches, too.
Good as always to see the Hawks getting some love at DragonCon!
Image: Hawkman cosplayer at DragonCon 2011, 2011, image obtained from The Unique Geek.
Image: Hawkgirl cosplayer at DragonCon 2011, 2011, image obtained from The Unique Geek.
DC Comics has released the solicitation copy for the Justice League titles coming out in December, including The Savage Hawkman #4:
THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #4 Written by TONY S. DANIEL Art and cover by PHILIP TAN On sale DECEMBER 28 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T The exciting conclusion to the Savage Hawkman's first adventure is here! Hawkman battles his way through Dr. Kane's compound, where the alien monstrosity known as Morphicius is sheltered. But in his quest for alien knowledge, Dr. Kane unknowingly jumpstarts what Morphicius refers to as the Black Plague. Can Hawkman contain this deadly outbreak, or will New York soon become infected with lethal, fast-spreading alien organisms?
Is Dr. Kane the new archenemy which we have heard reference to previously? Will New York being Hawkman's regular stomping grounds? Does Morphicus have any connections to Thanagar or Hawkworld ala Brightest Day? Plus how awesome do Hawkman's wings look on that cover? Questions, questions.
Oddly, the first story arc of Volume 4 was also four issues long. Coincidence?! I think... so, mostly likely.
This past weekend in Atlanta was DragonCon, and as every year, DragonCon was filled with cosplayers. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are not easy costumes to put together, but there's always a few who take the challenge, as we see here. I got this particular image of Hawkman and Hawkgirl from io9.
I think these two have put together a nice pair of costumes. I like the Rags-esque lenses on Hawkman's helmet, along with the pouched belt which clearly identifies this as the Volume 4 era Hawkman. Hawkgirl looks more like the Silver Age Shayera than Kendra, with her solid yellow top and no midriff. But the belt and weapon suggest Kendra or the reborn Shiera, so I guess this is sort of a hybrid. Also, I really like that she put the earrings in there!
My associate Shag has promised me that there will he has more Hawk cosplay pics from the show, so those will be coming soon!
Image: DragonCon 2011 Hawkman and Hakwgirl cosplayers, 2011, image retrieved from io9.
...but we have to wait until the end of the month for Savage Hawkman #1. So instead I'm going to offer some commentary on the other DC books out this week. I know, I know, once more here at Being Carter Hall we're breaking NEW GROUND that NO ONE on the Internet has ever done before. Heh. For the ones I am definitely buying, please head over to today's post over at The Bunker.
Action Comics #1 -- The concept sounds good (Superman just starting out as a hero), but Grant Morrison is extremely hit or miss for me, and the conceit of "social justice" in the modern sense has be pre-emptively rolling my eyes dramatically. I am on something of a Superman kick lately because I am reading the Roger Stern novel The Death And Life of Superman, but somehow I don't think this will satisfy that trend. Pass.
Batgirl #1 -- Not interested in the character nor the creative team. Major Pass.
Batwing #1 -- Clearly this was a better choice for DC's relaunch than a new Outsiders book. Pass.
Detective Comics #1 -- Of the multitude of the Batman books populating this relaunch (and there are plenty of them), this one has the most interest from me. Not enough to buy it outright but I might check it out. Awaiting Judgement.
Green Arrow #1 -- This one was on my short list of which books to preorder. Definitely want to check it out, but my Green Arrow loving buddy Adama is buying them, so we might have a comic reading party down the road. Because that's how us playboy types kick it. Want To Read.
Justice League International #1 -- I have never read any of the Bwa-ha-ha League other than their tussle with Doomsday (does that even count?), so there is no nostalgia factor here for me with this title. Others seem really excited by it, though, so more power to you. Pass.
Static Shock #1 -- I have a soft spot for the Milestone characters, Static included. If this had been Icon or Hardware getting a shot instead of Virgil, this would be a must buy for me. But as it stands this sounds like a good stage for Static to play on, especially getting him into NYC and out of Dakota. Want To Read.
Stormwatch #1 -- This one just baffles me. On the one hand, I want to read about the Martian Manhunter (hi, Frank!). On the other hand, I know nothing about Stormwatch or The Authority other than things I have read about in magazines and such, and all of that sounds incredibly awful. Coming off of Brightest Day, to see the Manhunter shuffled off into a 2nd (or 3rd!) tier book is a major disappointment for me, because I thought the point was to groom him for another solo series. Instead he plays straight man to a team of insane characters whom I am not convinced even belong in the DCU. Undecided.
Swamp Thing #1 -- I like monster comics as a general rule, so I will see how this one plays out. Awaiting Judgement.
Those are my thoughts... what are yours? To quote Cody Rhodes, "You have a voice... use it."
... was not spent at DragonCon. It was spent at my in-laws in Florida. And on Thursday, I will be heading to New York to visit my family. So things are going to be a little light for a spell. Sorry for any inconvenience!
Once upon a time, my good friend Adama (and yes, that's almost completely his real name) ran a Green Arrow blog entitled Dispatches From The Arrowcave. That site was one of the handful of blogs which inspired me to start this blog. Well, Real Life tends to be the bane of these superhero blogs, and Dispatches eventually fell victim to said Real Life.
Well, lucky for us blog fans, another Green Arrow fan has stepped up and started a new Green Arrow blog: Aaron has launched similarly-named-but-different The ArrowCave. As a Hawkman blogger, I feel it is my responsibility to help point any time someone has a Green Arrow blog if only because without frenemies, where would we be?
Tony Daniel showed off a new Savage Hawkman, someone able and very willing to use his brutal weaponry to deal with equally dangerous threats. He also said that he wanted to address niggling continuity concerns that have cropped up over the years, from reincarnation and Egyptian motifs (those are gone), to where he keeps his wings when he's not on crime-fighting duty.
This is a little confusing to me: which is gone? Reincarnation or Egyptian motifs? We'll have to wait and see at this point!
Issue: Hawkman v.2:no.4 Title: "For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (No, seriously.) Published Date: Nov 1986 Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shayera Retcon Status: Changed Generations?
Summary: In Midway City, something bizarre flies through the skies -- a pterodactyl! It's actually a powered glider created by Saul Ready for the Fifth Annual Festival of Flight, which Hawkman and Hawkwoman are the MCs for. Also on display will be the Golden Eagle, an ancient treasure found by Ed Dawson. While Hawkman contemplates why he has to make a speech, Zatanna pops in to visit her friends. She helps motivate Katar to make his part of the speech, and then entertains the crowd with her magic. But while this is going on, the dastardly Kite-Man makes his move to steal the Golden Eagle!
Having his accomplice create a distraction, Kite-Man takes off with the Eagle. The Hawks swoop in to stop him, but Kite-Man has attached a remote control device to Saul's pterodactyl, and it is menacing the crowd! As the giant monster bird flies lower and lower to the ground, the Hawks have to let Kite-Man go in order to stop the giant glider. Kite-Man thinks he is off scott-free until Zatanna floats up to block his path. Kite-Man pulls a gun, but Zee turns the bullets into flowers, and then freezes his glider, sending him crashing to the ground. Hawkwoman is able to remove the remote control while Hawkman uses his anti-gravity belt to stop the glider safely.
Meanwhile, Joe Tracy bemoans to Coral that the Hawks do not deserve their accolades, when suddenly the pair is joined by the father of Mavis Trent, who vows to avenge his daughter!
Review: Well this is definitely a change of pace. From The Beatles reference title to the Superman tease opening to the fact that the villain is Kite-Man, this issue is like a bowl of sorbet after the main course that was the Shadow War and the opening story of this series. The inclusion of Zatanna (itself a reference to her appearance in Hawkman v.1:no.4, which is given a footnote) and the general Silver Age-y-ness of the story just adds to the weirdness. The cover is even a Silver Age turn, with Murphy Anderson lending a hand. It's not all goofy fun, though, as we do get the introduction of Mr. Trent, who shall no doubt be a thorn in the side of the Hawks. Overall though I liked this issue. It was a light throwback to an earlier age and acted as a nice break from the normally heavier subject matter in this series.
Image: Hawkman v.2:no.4, 1986, Richard Howell & Murphy Anderson.
As revealed on Newsarama last night, we now have a logo for The Savage Hawkman. Certainly a major departure from any previous Hawkman logo! The font in general is impactful, and incorporates the Hawk sigil which was used on Volume 4. It has a sort of art deco vibe in some of the curvatures as well. Overall, I like it.
I wonder if the red color will change or stay constant?
Image: Savage Hawkman Logo, 2011, Image retrieved from Newsarama.