Tuesday, May 31, 2011

DC Comics To Relaunch After Flashpoint

As reported on Newsarama:

"A fully revamped DC Universe for a "more modern and diverse 21st century", over 50 new #1 issues, a Geoff Johns-Jim Lee Justice League, and the first of the major comic book publishers to fully embrace "same-day" digital distribution..."

Maybe I am predictable, but my first response is one big giant UGH!

Why the heck did I just invest time and money in Brightest Day to see the return of Hawkman (and, for a while, Hawkgirl) if you were going to flush it all away and start over?!!

And Jim Lee redesigning the costumes of 50+ characters?  Coming soon -- every superheroine in a choker chain and leather jacket!

DC, why do you torture me?!  ARGH!

Crossposted: Being Carter Hall, El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker.  

Hawkman Film Supposedly In Development

From the "I'll Believe It When I See It" Files...

I have heard this rumor before, and Hashut knows that just because something is "In Production" doesn't mean it will ever see the light of day, but evidently Warners has begun production on a Hawkman movie.

I imagine that such a film, if released under the current administration at DC, would feature the Modern Carter Hall incarnation of the character, as that is clearly the one favored by Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.

So what do you readers think?  Will this ever get off the ground?  Or will it be another one to rot in developmental hell like the Wonder Woman and Flash features?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hawkman Vs Batman By The Kuberts

Now here is a fight I can get behind!  

This encounter between two of the baddest and toughest of the DC heroes is illustrated by Andy and Joe Kubert, and if I had my choice for who would draw a fight between Hawkman and Batman, one of the Kuberts would definitely be on my short list.  Hawkman's wings and Batman's capes both look fantastic, as does the muscularity on both combatants.  And check out the determination on Hawkman's face.  Awesome.

And I absolutely LOVE the old school chain mace!

Disclaimer: I do not own or have possession of this sketch.

Image: Hawkman versus Batman, ????, Andy and Joe Kubert.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

JSA vs Solomon Grundy by Wally Wood

Image: The Justice Society vs Solomon Grundy, ????, Wally Wood.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Read: Hawkman v.1:no.2.1

Issue: Hawkman v.1:no.2
Title: "Secret of the Sizzling Sparklers!
Published Date: May 1964
Generation: Silver Age Katar & Shiera
Retcon Status: Changed Generations

Summary:  At the Midway City museum, strange ring-shaped devices start replacing Terran communication devices right as a strange spaceship appears in the sky.  The Hawks take wing and attack, but find the Trall invaders to be worthy foes.  Hawkman is able to take one down with his bow and arrow, even though he seemingly misses his shot.  But they have to retreat after Hawkgirl is taken down by two of their energy blasts (even though the first shot did no damage).  Back at the museum, the Hawks are contacted through one of the ring communication devices by a Llorth slave, who tells them that the Tralls are their masters and that they come into Earth's dimension to absorb Earth's galactic rays to give them super senses which allow them to dominate their world.  

With some deductive reasoning, the Hawks figure out that the Tralls are vulnerable to Thanagarian anti-gravity technology, as well as "cold light" such as that generated by fireflies.  Coating shields in anti-gravity material and creating "sparkler" weapons from a firefly-style lumen compound, the Hawks counterattack. The Tralls are beaten back and sent back to their dimension.  The Llorth girl leaves the devices with the Halls to study them further.

Review: Pretty solid Silver Age story right here.  I really like the idea that Hawkman and Hawkgirl are considered super dangerous because of their ability to root out an enemies weaknesses.  One could argue that the Silver Age is wrought with such concepts, it really fits the Hawks when one considers the Absorbascon and their penchant for historical weaponry.  So even though they are dealing with interdimensional invaders, they are able to outflank and defeat them.  The fact that their foes are from another dimension rather than aliens is a nice touch as well.  

Murphy Anderson's artwork is pretty timeless, and so is Gardner Fox's story.  You can't beat this sort of adventure as far as I am concerned.  One strange note is that this story is actually told in two chapters, despite the second chapter being only a few pages.

Image: Hawkman v.1:no.2, 1964, Murphy Anderson.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Critical Commentary: Brightest Day

So, what was the verdict of Brightest Day?  

It was alright.

I wish that Frank had not beat me to it when it came to this post, because a lot of the sentiments he expresses are the same as mine.  I think I have a better overall opinion of Brightest Day than he does, but I think our respective blogs have shown that I tend to be easier to entertain and more or less go with the flow if I am digging a story.  

The nature of the book made it like reading an anthology.  And luckily enough for me I enjoyed most of the "features" of that anthology.  The Hawks' story was what I would have imagined would have gone down in Hawkman if Shiera had been resurrected in that book.  I liked the mix of the modernist with the Silver Age throwback-y stuff and thought it was a good demonstration of what Frank called the Hawks "run[ning] around killing stuff to death with extreme prejudice." The dynamic I referred to early on -- that Hawkman's rage could be calmed and leveled by Hawkgirl -- might be cliche but it's also beautiful.  The other leads were pretty solid in my book too.  I don't have the history with Manhunter nor Firestorm to be overly concerned with the sweeping changes, and Aquaman, well, Aquaman brought it pretty hard.

That the entire book was ultimately a springboard to bring in Swamp Thing and John Constatine to the DCU proper kind of falls on deaf ears for me.  Never been overly interested in Swamp Thing despite my love of monster and monster heroes.  Just have not really read much of it and the Moore stuff, I feel, went a little too far into the hardcore fantasy stuff -- certainly moreso than I want to see in a monster book.  I will say, to give credit where it is due, if Swamp Thing becomes a violent ecological avenger, at least he'd be back to acting like a monster.  

So, solo Hawkman.  Hrrn.  Outlook not good.  I bought in hard and fast to the new Hawkcouple at the end of Blackest Night to be super excited about a solo Hawkman as an ongoing character.  I liked him sans Hawkgirl during the Jim Starlin stuff, but he was part of a larger ensemble with the rest of Abberant Six.  And we all know how that ended up anyway.  But on his own on Earth?  When he is this angry?  I don't think so.  That's going to get awfully one note real fast.

In the end: I dug Brightest Day.  Looking forward to rereading the series.  But how the end impacted the Hawks: Bleah.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Read: Hawkman v.2:no.3

Issue: Hawkman v.2:no.3
Title: "Secrets, Shadows, and Sinners"
Published Date: Oct 1986
Generation: Silver Age Katar & Shayera
Retcon Status: Changed Generations?  Out of Continuity?

Summary:  As the story opens, the Hawks are flying back to the Hyathis Corporation's campus, where they were set up last issue.  Hawkwoman recollects how they were arrested, but the facts didn't add up.  Namely, the police were called to the scene before the Hawks arrived!  Held over as long as possible, the Hawks and Captain Frazier find relief in the form of retired Midway City Police Commissioner George Emmett, fresh back in town from DC.  He has a package from the White House which he thinks will convince the Hyathis group to drop the charges.  The mysterious package does that, and Hyathis asks for the Hawks help in taking down Shadow-Thief, whom they had "unwittingly" employed.

Back in the present, the Hawks's arrival is spotted by one of the Thanagarians enslaved employees.  He remembers back to a meeting earlier in the week where Emmett presented the CEO with a case full of government contracts if they would drop their complaint against the Hawks.  Amazingly, the CEO accepted and the charges were soon dropped...

Back once more in the present, Hawkman and Hawkwoman attack Shadow-Thief, who is more than a little surprised to see the Hyathis rent-a-cops leaving him out to dry.  Hawkwoman plants several traps for the Thief -- gassing him, then temporarily blinding him.  When Shadow-Thief tries to use his death touch, Hawkman uses an electric shock from his gauntlets to shut down Thief's Dimensiometer and end the fight.

While the Shadow-Thief is taken into custody, Emmett reveals to the Hawks that he has been asked by his superiors in DC to quietly investigate Hyathis.  This leads the Hyathis CEO to threaten the Hawks's friend if they don't leave them alone.  Meanwhile, it is discovered by our chain smoking unwilling Hyathis employee that the Thanagarians cannot read the mind of George Emmett...

Review: The opening story arc ends on a weird note, with too many flashbacks derailing what could have been a solid issue and otherwise just confusing the proceedings.  The fight between Hawkman and Shadow-Thief is the definite highlight, including Hawkwoman's clever traps which all but negate the Thief's advantages.  There's a great line in there about how of all the foes the Hawks are facing, at least the Thief is honest about being a sinner.  Even the surrounding story of George Emmett is not bad.  But the way in which Isabella chooses to present the story is the big undoing here, and makes this issue a let down for me.  Don Heck's inks over Howell's pencils is not nearly as eye pleasing as it could be, but the art still looks sharp some 25 years after it was published, at least.

Image: Hawkman v.2:no3., 1986, Richard Howell.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting In The Wings -- 05/11/2011

Will there be anything with Hawkman or Hawkgirl on the racks today?  Let's find out.

Flashpoint #1 -- As we saw in the preview yesterday, it looks like Hawkman and Hawkgirl will at least pop up in this series.  Again, I am not sure how exactly that jives with the end of Brightest Day.  I would chalk it up to editorial confusion except Geoff Johns wrote both issues.  So go figure.  I believe I ordered the first issue of Flashpoint, but I am withholding judgment until I read it.  I am certainly not going whole hog with all the minis and one-shots.  Alternate reality stories leave me feeling cold lately, especially when they are the basis for big summer blockbuster events.  I mean, what's the point?  That having been said if the first issue impresses me I might continue.  And hey, it seems a Hawkgirl will be hanging out with Wonder Woman so there's that!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flashpoint Featuring Hawkman... and Hawkgirl?!

One of the freebies from this past weekend's Free Comic Book Day was a Green Lantern movie preview book which features a preview of Flashpoint #1.  And who is there front and center but Hawkman and Hawkgirl!


Uh, what?

It's clearly the Modern Shiera (look at the harness straps across her chest), so what's the deal here?  Is Shiera back already, or does this take place during Brightest Day, or at some indeterminate point in the future after she is resurrected?  Or is this all part of the wacky timeshifting which seems to be the whole kit and kaboodle of Flashpoint?

Yeeeargh, too many options!  We'll have to wait and see what this all means, I guess.

Thanks to Bearer of the Honor Wings Shag for the image!

Image: Flashpoint #1 preview, 2011, Andy Kubert.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Read: Brightest Day #24

Issue: Brightest Day #24
Title: "Brightest Day"
Published Date: Apr 2011
Generation: Modern Carter, Modern Shiera
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary:  At the forest in Star city, the Dark Entity is on the offensive, attacking and attempting to destroy the forest along with the four elementals.  The White Lantern helpfully informs Dove and Boston that they are protecting The Green, the mystical center of the Earth, and that Swamp Thing is no longer connected to it.  To that end, he resurrects Alec Holland, who promptly is merged with The Green and battles his dark counterpart.

With the Dark Entity defeated, The Green/Swamp Thing spews out the Elementals, bringing them back to life once more -- except for Shiera.  Hawkgirl is gone, and as Hawkman attacks Swamp Thing demanding her return, he is simply told that she is not here.

Later, in at the Stonechat House in St. Roch, Carter holds up Shiera's helmet which she discarded during their lovemaking after defeating Queen Shrike.  The helmet evaporates to nothingness, and Carter's rage is unleashed...

Review: Man, what a downer.  After the rollercoaster of the first 24 issues, in the end it all culminates in a big Swamp Thing on Swamp Thing fight, with the main characters essentially shuffled off to the side.  From a narrative standpoint this makes sense, but emotionally it is disappointing to me to have these 5 characters play second banana to a character who has been exiled to Vertigo for the better part of 2 decades.  It's a good wrap-up (and I like that Johns and Tomasi address those who finished their missions in other titles) but ultimately it falls flat as a finale to the stories of these heroes whom we have followed.  

Now I need to dig up all the back issues and read this in one massive, butt endurance testing session.

Image: Brightest Day #24, 2011, Gary Frank.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Read: Brightest Day #23

Issue: Brightest Day #23
Title: "Rise And Fall"
Published Date: Apr2011
Generation: Modern Carter, Modern Shiera
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: As natural chaos erupts all over the Earth, at the Star City Forest, the Entity has gathered together Firestorm, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Hawkman, and Hawgirl -- and with the power of the White Lantern, they are transformed into the Elemental champions of the planet Earth.  The Hawks are now the avatars of Air, appearing as misty cloud creatures.  

Outside of the forest, only those chosen by the Entity, such as Captain Boomerang, may enter.  The Dark Avatar is rising up, and is revealed to be the muck creature Swamp Thing.  The creature's connection with the Green -- the life force of the Earth itself -- has been lost, and now it is embodying the spirit of Nekron.  As the Elementals attack the giant plant-based monster, The Entity reveals to Boston Brand, Hawk, and Dove the champion of Earth: Alec Holland.

Review: Well, I have to admit that I did not see the Elemental thing coming.  Given the Elemental angle, Swamp Thing is not too big of a logical leap, but still, had you told me that this was the Endgame a year ago I would have thought you were crazy.  There's a lot of maneuvering and fiddling to get everyone where they need to be for the big finale in the next issue, but there is some nice stuff in here as well.  The giant Dark Swamp Thing looks fantastic, for instance, as do the Elemental depictions of our heroes.  Unfortunately, the Hawks have little to do other than blow strong winds at the monster this time out.  And I am still a little confused as to what exactly the deal is with Swamp Thing, but overall this issue moves along nicely.

Image: Brightest Day #23, 2011, Gary Frank.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting In The Wings -- 05/04/2011

So, will there be any Hawk merchandise in stores this week?  Let's find out.

Brightest Day HC v.2 -- The curse of the Hawks continues to play out in this volume, as we learn more about the mysterious Hawkworld and its origins.  At some point I would like to read this entire series in one sitting, although when that will happen is anyone's guess given my schedule.

Superboy #7 -- Who is the New Titan known as Hawk Lad?  And what, if any connection, does he have to any of the previous Winged Wonders?  All these questions and more will probably not be answered in this issue.  Although I suppose one can infer that Conner survives the Reign of Doomsday, huh?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brightest Day #23 and #24

Finally got to read Brightest Day #23 and #24 last night.  So needless to say, I am going to have a lot to say about the conclusion of this epic maxi-series.  So keep your eyes peeled this week for write-ups of both issues and then a critical commentary on what this all means.  So consider this a preview of coming attractions here at Being Carter Hall.

Beyond that, home life is starting to settle down a little bit so I am going to try to get back on track with the blog.  It's an interesting time to be a Hawkfan and I want to document it!  So watch this space!