Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Savage Hawkman #9 Cover

Yesterday I gave you the advance solicits for the upcoming issues of The Savage Hawkman, and today we have the cover to the first issue of the "Liefeld Era" (anytime someone says "the <blank> era," I think of Chick Hicks from Cars, but I digress).  Appropriately, the cover is drawn by Rob Liefeld, even though he will not be handling interiors.

I'm not going to mince words here -- I do not like this cover.  The wings look scratchy and vague, the "v" shape on the pants give me more of an Aquaman vibe than a Hawkman one, and combined the with the tapered waste, gives the figure an almost fey appearance.  The weapons are just random "alien blades" and don't do much for me like the old fashioned ancient weapons typically do.  The helmet looks alright but does illustrate the point I have seen online that, so far, only Philip Tan could really draw that helmet well.  I am not sure what is going on with the right boot -- is his leg rotated 90 degrees at the knee, or something?  

In the interest of fairness, I like the look of the wing harness and the shoulder armor.  Also, the colors are spot-on, especially the hues and shades to the golden Nth metal.

There's something about the "slim muscular" body type which Liefeld uses on Hawkman which doesn't sit well to my eye.  If he had drawn Hawkman to look more like Hawk, who has a bulky frame, I think the image might have been more appealing.  I suppose that the idea is to portray Hawkman like a sleek, lithe raptor, a "bird of prey" waiting to swoop down and pounce on its target?  But as it stands I don't like it.  

But, again, Liefeld is not doing interiors, Joe Bennett is.  Bennett sounds very excited about the gig, saying on his Facebook:

…it´ll be agreat return to me after 8 years.Hawkman was my first DC book and back to it is a joy..Art Thibert on inks and Jason Right on colors is a great joy,also…let´s ROCK!!!!

Later, we'll have some first looks at Bennett's take on the "Savage" Hawkman.

Image: The Savage Hawkman #9, 2012, Rob Liefeld.


Mr P said...

I'm pretty sure I've seen every Hawkman cover since 1940 and Savage Hawkman #9 is hands-down the worst of the lot. It is terrible!

It is very exciting to get Joe Bennet doing the art again, but why oh why are they giving us these awful Liefield covers?!

Andrew Z said...

Good to see you back at it with a couple new posts. Keep it up!

Luke said...

@Andrew, thanks! The trip to RI really knocked my posting stride for a loop, but I think there should be enough content to keep things rolling.

@Mr P, I don't know why Liefeld is doing covers. I mean, the images we have seen are not really ones which "jump out" and grab potential reader eyeballs, nor are they especially good as pin ups, either. So I don't see what the benefit is of the covers. If anything, it will turn more people off to have an unappealing cover than anything else.

Savage Hawkman is most likely on the bubble, so you would think that DC would do anything to try to help it. At least, I think they should. Perhaps Liefeld's crew of fans will help boost sales? Too early to say either way. I have to fall back to my standard line of "let's wait and see," and just hope for some solid 4 Color action with the Winged Wonder.

Juss said...

I think you ought to reconsider your thoughts about Hawkman's build. 'Course, it's entirely okay if you prefer your heroes to look blocky and uber-muscular. But if you think of characters like Bruce Lee and Joe Kubert's Tarzan and his early Silver Age Hawkman, in all these cases it's possible to appear lean and lithe, but still have the functionality of great power and fighting ability. It may be a moot issue when speaking of the purely iconic and representational nature of a comic book image, but I wanted to make the point, anyway.

This is in no way meant that I like Rob Leifeld's drawing. I hate this cover, too, as much for its disingenous simplicity as for being a rotten Hawkman drawing.

Do you notice Hawkman has no navel? Not that it ought to be showing, anyway; Joe Bennett's old look for him, with the heavy, square belt-buckle and a belt of ammo pouches over heavy twill pants suited the character much better than this fey, tights-and-garters circus acrobat look. Fact is, I don't like anything about this drawing except the wings-which still ought to be bigger-and the helmet wings-which I don't think Rob has gotten right since. The harness looks too stiff and metallic, the Hawk symbol isn't big enough (or well-enough drawn); and the gauntlets and shoulder piece all look, IMO, just 'way too stiff and bulky-and SMOOTH-if Philip Tan couldn't do anything else, at least he remembered, and could draw the Hawk paraphenalia as having an organic look.

Luke said...

@Juss, I see what you are saying about the "lean muscle" type of build; Kubert and Anderson both drew Hawkman like a pulp hero and it suited Katar Hol very much. The visual vocabulary for Hawkman since he return in the pages of JSA has changed to the more barbarian-esque build, though, and it's not going to change I don't think.

The difference is that Rob Liefeld is no Joe Kubert; Kubert drew a lean and muscled "noble savage" (ha!), whereas you hit the nail on the head by calling Leifeld's take "fey."

That having been said I think this is a topic worth talking about, so I am going to spin this into a post: What kind of body type should Hawkman be portrayed as?

Juss said...

I find I'm a little conflicted about how I'd ideally like to see Carter look. On the one hand, my two favorite representations of him are the black-clad, melded, "Avatar" Hawkman, where he seemed to be huge-maybe 6'6" or more, and about 240 or more pounds, and the recent, 4th series guy, as drawn by Rags Morales and Joe Bennett. I think he looks really impressive, imposing, and intimidating in those incarnations.

On the other hand, I think of him, as a hawk-persona, as being fast and lithe in combat, rather than the human tank or thundering barbarian that he's currently set up to be.

If somebody could do both-and I'm sure there are other examples, but the one that springs first to mind is Joe Kubert's Tarzan, for me-where Hawkman could be imposing, yet serpent (or hawk)-quick, then that is what I'd like to see most.