Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Read: Hawkman v.3:no.6

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.

Image: Hawkman v.3:no.6, 1994, Steve Lieber.

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