Issue: Hawkman v.3:no.3 Title: "Into The Abyss" Published Date: Nov 1993 Generation: Modern Katar Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: In Chicago, Hawkman meets up with the Netherworlder shapeshifter Knowbuddy and his protection, Feralyce. Knowbuddy tells Hawkman the information he discovered while pretending to be Commissioner Emmet regarding Meta/Tech, and their chief researcher Dr. Moon. Hawkman wings off to find Moon, and demands information about Meta/Tech and the Marauder attack last issue. Moon is brash at first, saying that Hawkman wouldn't kill him, but some low altitude flying convinces him otherwise. Moon says that Meta/Tech has a research station at the Grand Canyon, and that something big is going on there.
At the Grand Canyon, Hawkman begins to investigate the facility when the woman who really looks like Shayera Thal orders her genetically altered weapon Airstryke to attack. Airstryke not only can fly, but can transform himself into a half-human, half-pterandon creature. The Winged Wonder and Airstryke battle all over the skies, while "Shayera" keeps a close eye on things. When Airstryke begins to look for a fatal blow, Shayera orders him not to kill; Airstryke takes a shot at her in retaliation. As the fight rages on, "Shayera" disables Airstryke's powers, given Hawkman the opening to take him out of action.
Hawkman spots "Shayera" and confronts her. The woman touches him and suddenly, he finds himself in the body of Shayera Thal! And now taking refuge in Katar's body is none other than Count Viper!
Review: Airstryke? That's such an awesome name. Very much a product of the times. Beyond that, though, this is a straightforward little comic book. Hawkman gets information from an informant, fights a bad guy, then gets swerved by the Big Bad for a cliffhanger to the next issue. Badda bing badda boom. Ostrander's script is pretty pedestrian, but his dialogue works well. Airstryke would appear a handful more times in the DCU before Brother Blood put a bullet in his brain over in Outsiders. Mostly the star here is Jan Duursema's pencils, which, especially for a 1993 DC book, are very appealing to me. They look very dynamic and fluid, without most of the outlandish sort of eccentricities we normally associate with this time frame. Good little issue.