Thursday, February 24, 2011

Read: Hawkman v.2:no.2

Issue: Hawkman v.2:no.2
Title: "Shadows..."
Published Date: Sep 1986
Generation: Silver Age Katar and Shayera
Retcon Status: Changed Generations?

Summary: Katar and Shayera are shocked by Joe Tracy's expose story, revealing their secret identities to the public.  Before they can process this, Tracy confronts them in their office at the museum, promising them more stories to come.  Tracy also reveals that he sold them out because they "let" his beloved Mavis Trent die -- and he doesn't want anyone else to die because of the Hawks being in Midway City.  The Hawks have other things to worry about, though, as a large crowd is gathering outside, and two Federal agents arrive to question them.  Luckily, Captain Frazier is able to deflect them, telling the feds that without a warrant they have no cause to enter the museum.  Needing to get out of city in order to investigate the Hyathis Corporation, the Hawks use their *wheet wheet* powers to summon a giant flock of birds, distracting the crowd long enough for the them to wing off in the other direction.  Unbeknownst to our heroes, they are spotted by one police officer assigned to watch the roof...

The Hawks come upon the very large headquarters of the shadowy Hyathis Corporation.  As they investigate, they are spotted by a human programmer, who cannot stop his thoughts and thus has alerted his Thanagarian overlords.  While searching the many trucks (one of which lost the hood ornament they found previously) for some sort clue, Hawkgirl is attacked by Shadow-Thief!  She throws him to the ground, but he slides back into the shadows, then brings back a dozen thugs out of the distortion field.  The Hawks make short work of the goons, but Shadow-Thief is able to grab hold of Hawkman's ankle -- and slowly begins draining the life from him!  Hawkgirl is able to lay one on him enough to let her husband go.  Shadow-Thief then launches a smokescreen and disappears.  While the Hawks get ready to fight more, out of the smoke comes not more hired thugs but the Midway City Police Department, lead by Captain Frazier himself.  Their friend has no choice but to place the Hawks under arrest!

Review: Right off the bat I have to applaud this issue for using one of my all-time favorite comic cliches: the last page "You are under arrest!" scene.  Always love that one!  

The story is shaping up nicely.  We still don't know much more of the Thanagarians' plans besides rigging the Presidential election, but the concept that they have moles and spies everywhere is very well played.  How do you fight an enemy who has had years to figure out all of the angles to take against you?  Isabella's plot is straightforward but effective.  I especially liked the use of the *wheet wheet* powers.  Much like Aquaman's finny friends, when done right this is a great power.  Shadow-Thief is very nicely portrayed as a lackey, a role which suits him.  Howell's art is pretty good but not great.  He draws a shillelagh wielded by Carter to look like a giant candy cane, which is a little strange.  But the fights are handled nicely and his Shayera is usually very easy to look at.  Overall this was a strong second issue and made me eager to read the third.

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

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