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.


Diabolu Frank said...

I have a number of these issues around the house, but I can't get into these books without Alfredo Alcala. Richard Howell with Don Heck is like bad on worse. Alcala made the Shadow War work, and his absence was visually devastating.

Mr P said...

I can see why this issue might not stand up too well on it;s own, but I think the arc as a whole is pretty solid (at least until the end when Isabella got forced out).

I love how Hawkman is actually clever in his confrontation with Shadow Thief. Something we've yet to see with the modern Hawkman.