Monday, March 19, 2018

Official: Hawkgirl in new Justice League by Snyder, Jimenez, and Cheung

Well, that did not take long!

We have official word from DC Comics that the new Justice League title launching in June will feature Hawkgirl!  And judging from the promo to the second issue (due out June 20, on a bi-weekly schedule), Hawkgirl will be part of the action right from the start:

Shipping biweekly, in JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 on June 20 by Snyder and Jiménez, the League is faced with an impossible decision…and now they must face the consequences! While Martian Manhunter and Batman attempt to recruit an old ally back into the fold, The Flash and Hawkgirl are blindsided by new challenges that could rewrite their mythologies!

Looks like the speculation on the colors of Kendra's uniform were on the money as well, as she is sporting traditional green and yellow, with a red and black Hawk symbol on her belt.  The golden edging on the wingtips is a nice Egyptian-looking touch!  Aside, from Cheung's covers (which I think look really sharp), it looks like Kendra and J'onn might be having a "Best Abs in the League" competition going on...

This team -- both the creative team and the characters making up the League -- looks to be a really good group, and I am eager to see where things go from here!

What about you?  Are you excited for the new Justice League and Hawkgirl's membership?  

Image: Justice League covers, Jim Cheung, 2018.

Rumor: Hawkgirl to join the Justice League?

And the Hawk-news keeps on coming!  After the announcement last week about the new Hawkman ongoing by Rob Venditti and Bryan Hitch, now rumors are coming down that Hawkgirl -- in the form of Kendra Saunders -- will be appearing in the new Justice League, with the creative team of Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung.

Much as Dark Nights: Metal introduced Carter Hall into the post-Flashpoint, Rebirth-era DC Universe, the series also gave us our first glimpse of the Earth-1 version of Kendra Saunders for the same continuity.  Of course, we've had plenty of Kendra Saunders in the post-Flashpoint run -- over on Earth-2.  Being introduced to readers as Lady Blackhawk, this Kendra is one of the drivers of the story (which is written by Snyder), and is later confirmed to be having previously been Hawkgirl.  Her connection to Carter is played upon in Hawkman Found, as well.

Now, the speculation comes from the appearance of a sketch image by Cheung purported to be a promotional image for the new team, which surfaced online via DC's bookstore distribution website.  We also get what sure looks like the solicitation for the first trade paperback:

Visionary author Scott Snyder makes his mark on DC's most legendary team in Justice League Vol. 1!

Spinning out of the cataclysmic events of Dark Nights: Metal and the universe-defining No Justice, the core members of the Justice League--Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash and more--are finally reunited!

The cosmos suddenly opens up to new threats that the Justice League could not imagine! As Lex Luthor and Batman race to solve a mystery going back to the beginning of the DCU, the rest of the League dive deep into new corners of their own mythologies!

One of the most critically acclaimed authors of his generation finally scribes DC's flagship title in Justice League Vol. 1! Collects Justice League #1-6.

The big takeaway from the image for me is that even though we saw Kendra in a severe, almost villainous black and silver costume in DN:M, the sketch shows her in a more traditional uniform.  Obviously we cannot see any colors here, but the helmet, halter top, and gauntlets do echo her old costume.  Furthermore, the twin holsters on her hips remind me a lot of the Earth-2 Kendra, as do the bare shoulders combined with forearm sleeves.  I would imagine that this will be rendered in green and orange, but I could just as easily see this in blue and black ala Earth-2, especially considering the color palettes of some of the other characters featured.

There's other stuff to get excited about in this image, as well.  John Stewart as the team's Green Lantern is making a lot of waves online, which is just fine with me given that we have had seemingly every other GL but Stewart in the League since Flashpoint.  The appearance of both Cyborg and Martian Manhunter in the image brings a grin to my face, when one considers that Cyborg "replaced" Manhunter in the New 52 version of the Magnificent Seven.  And just the idea of Snyder, who has made some serious hay with his Batman stuff, handling the Justice League ongoing is exciting in and of itself.

For now, it seems like the Hawks are coming back in a big way this summer at DC Comics!  So what do you think?  Will we see Hawkgirl in the League?  And will you be picking it up?

Image: "Justice League .1" image, Jim Cheug, 2018, retrieved from Penguin-Random House.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bonus Hawkman by Bryan Hitch

Straight from Bryan Hitch's Twitter account, check out this awesome inked shot of Hawkman battling a race of birdmen! Looks amazing!

Is it June yet?!

Image: Hawkman, Bryan Hitch, 2018.

Hawkman Getting New Ongoing Series Out of Dark Nights: Metal!

After months of speculation, it has been announced that the Winged Wonder Hawkman will be getting a new ongoing series this June from the creative team of Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch!

This is truly fantastic news! With all of the attention being paid to Carter Hall in the Dark Nights: Metal storyline, and given the other series spinning out of it, it made sense for Hawkman to get a new shot at ongoing stardom.  Jeff LeMire has been teasing this for some time, and the rumor of Robert Venditti as the writer has been out there for a while as well.  But getting these confirmed has me extremely excited.

I am a big fan of Venditti's work over at Valiant, which has been my favorite publisher since their revival in 2012.  His signature title for Valiant was X-O Manowar, where he had a run of 50 regular issues plus some specials, but he has also handled titles such as Wrath of the Eternal Warrior (possibly my favorite ongoing series from this decade) and the miniseries Armor Hunters, plus plenty of modern Flash and Green Lantern at DC.  Venditti's experience writing Aric and Gilad (X-O and the Eternal Warrior for those not versed in Valiant) has me really champing at the bit to see his take on Carter Hall.  Aric is a man out of time, a Visigoth warrior who has possession of the most powerful alien artifact in the known universe, who finds his warrior's mentality no longer fits in with the modern context, having to learn how to be a "hero" in the 21st century. Gilad has lived countless lifetimes, and remembers all of them, having felt plenty of loss over the millennia -- but still he returns to serve the Geomancer, speaker for the Earth, out of his sense of duty and honor as a warrior.  It is easy to see how these sorts of characters can relate to Carter Hall, and the possibilities have me legitimately excited.

Bryan Hitch is one of those artists whose work is very well known to most American comics fans at this point, and I think that he is a good fit for Hawkman visually.  I honestly have not read any of his ongoing work, but his big superhero style seems like a nice pair with what I can assume will be an action-heavy series. And Hitch, of course, pencilled the Hawkman Found one-shot, which looked fantastic.

From the announcement, Venditti appears to be specifically setting out to explore new facets of Hawkman:

"Hawkman is a foundational character in the DCU," Venditti continued. "Over time I think he's lost some of that central importance to the DC universe, and we really want to bring that back and make him a marquee character. And to do that we're going to take him to a lot of unexpected, unexplored places and introduce a lot of new mythology for the character."

Hitch seems to be looking to the ancient world to inform the depiction of Hawkman:

"The Winged Man is such a significant and powerful image in myth and legend. That's exactly the element Hawkman fits best. It's such a unique image to play with from the Bird of Prey to the Angel, the winged man is genuinely awesome in the truest sense," added Hitch. "Carter [Hawkman] is the DCU's greatest warrior, but he's also part of its secret history. All of that gives you such a rich visual tapestry as an artist to play with."

Of course, this does bring up the question of Hawgirl, also introduced in her non-Earth-2 form in DN:M.  Never fear, says Venditti:

"She's as foundational to the concept really in a lot of ways that Hawkman is," Venditti said. "Now how we're going to do that is hopefully going to be set up in a way that will surprise some people. Even when she's not there on the page, she's still there in terms of what we're building and how we're working towards it."

Truly a good time to be a Hawkfan! June can't get here fast enough!  Onwards and upwards!

Image: Hawkman, Bryan Hitch, 2018.