Monday, May 14, 2012

The Savage Hawkman #5-8 (2011)

The Savage Hawkman #5 (2011) 
  Written by Tony S. Daniel and James Bonny
  Illustrated by Philip Tan


"I see Dead People....Soon, maybe a Dead Book"


When last we left our hero, he had defeated (kinda) the evil Doctor Kane and had taken care of Morphicus.  In this issue, Hawkman sees the undead everywhere.  Carter Hall/Katar Hol (we still don't know who this Hawkman is) thinks maybe his Nth Metal suit is causing hallucinations.  However, a newly rebooted Old enemy surfaces, Gentleman Jim Craddock, the Gentleman Ghost!  Why does Craddock want the orb, and why is Hawkman seeing dead people?  Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

The Good:
Finally!  One of Hawkman's best nemeses comes out of the woodwork.  Craddock looks more sinister, darker, but still with the macabre sense of humor.  We get to see more of Carter/Katar's detective and linguistic skills come to the fore as he is able to instantly translate some old tome that may have to do with the Necronomicron.....

The Bad:
We still don't know who this Hawkman is?  Is he the earthly Carter hall, or is he the Thanagarian Katar Hol? There have been hints he is the alien, but nothing definite.  And if he has been Hawkman awhile, as suggested by his statements when burning his costume in the first issue, how come it seems no one has heard of him?  Could we possibly get some continuity here?  I thought the New 52 was going to create clear new lines of stories.  Already they are fouling things up?  Why is Hawkman angry?  We still don't know.  Why has the nth metal chosen to react and become a symbiote like substance now?  With the news Rob "I kill legends" Liefeld coming on board to write, I am scared for the future of this book.  But, if Daniel had gotten his stuff together quicker and told us who the hell this Hawkman is, more people might be interested.  More people have told me this book was the first they gave up on because they couldn't figure out who Hawkman was.  Sad.

Bottom Line:
Unless we figure out who this Hawkman is, we won't care.  Despite some good art at times, as well as some interesting dialogue, Hawkman's solo adventure curse looks to be living and well, and this book will die.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  1.5 out of 5 Shields

The Savage Hawkman #6 (2011) 
  Written by Tony S. Daniel and James Bonny
  Illustrated by Philip Tan


"Finally, A Classic DC Slobberknocker"


Last issue, Hawkman came into contact with the Gentleman Ghost, Jim Craddock for the first time in the new 52 universe.  Craddock was causing trouble, trying to find the Mortis Orb, an object of power that could restore him to humanity.  Downside is, it would also kill hundreds of thousands of people.  Craddock has the ability to send spirits that are able to dematerialize and recorporate that give Hawkman fits.  Hawkman finds the orb first.  He inadvertently causes the power in the orb to be unleashed, which is exactly what the Ghost wanted.  The Ghost gets the orb, and Hawkman try to find Craddock in New York to stop him from using the orb and killing many. 

The Good:
Excellent writing and storytelling by Daniel.  This story is classic Hawk vs. Ghost.  Zombie fans will enjoy the macabre scenes of the walkind dead on the way to New York under the power of the Ghost and orb.  The art continues to improve, as the action scenes are not as poorly cut and dicey.  The costume is actually starting to grow on me, despite the silly axey things he creates from the Nth metal.  The mask is not quite classic, but not horrible.

The Bad:
Once again, who the heck is this Hawkman?  More hint dropping.  Craddock at one point says "you are used to people dying around you, aren't you?"  This jibes with the Brightest Day aftermath Hawkman went through.  But, again, this is the new 52 and other times we are told Hawk is thanagarian.  Which is it?  It helps to know the basics of your protagonist.  We know a little, but not enough for some to have any tie or investment to the character.  Also, at times, the action is muted by all the talking...Just fight and do that voodoo that you do so well.....As Daniel's run comes to an end, I am still not sure this book can survive....

Bottom Line:
If you haven't jumped off this one, stick around.  Maybe Liefeld will get back to his roots and not seek to kill a character and get books cancelled.  However, we need to know who this guy is.  What is his background?  Hawkman has been rebooted so many times with displaced continuity that it is hard for even fans to get invested in this book.  My patience is wearing thin.....

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  1.5 out of 5 Shields


The Savage Hawkman #7 (2011)
  Written by Tony S. Daniel and James Bonny
  Illustrated by Philip Tan

"Rise of the Dead is the title...but more like This Book is Dead man walking..."


Hawkman is trying to get to Gentleman Ghost to save hundreds of thousand from being killed.  The Ghost is going to use the Mortis Orb to try and restore his humanity.  The price?  those hundreds of thousands dead.  Hawkman and Ghost square off, and Hawkman gets some assistance from the undead as well as the popular but recently cancelled Static Shock.  Will they be able to defeat Craddock and save this city?  And who the hell is this Hawkman, anyway?

The Good:
Again, the battle scenes and dialogue between Hawkman and Ghost were fantastic.  Hawkman adjusting his tactics and figuring out the Ghost's achille's heel was excellent.  A nice shout out to Static Shock as well, maybe because Hawkman may soon be joining him on the cancelled rack.  The art is improving, which is sad, considering Tan is leaving the book soon too. Nice to see a book go with a few smaller issue arcs rather than go out the shoot with a massive event (like the promising Batman book has done with Night of the Owls).

The Bad:
Still....WHO THE HELL IS THIS HAWKMAN?  Which one is he?  Is he someone new?  If so, why did one person call him Thanagarian?  Why did Ghost say Hawk is used to seeing people around him die?  If he is experienced, as alluded to by him having the old costume and burning it in issue 1, then why does not one know him?  For all the internal narration from Hawkman, we don't get much in the way of answers....just bitterness.  Not good.

The Bottom Line:
While this last arc was a fun romp with the introduction of one of Hawkman's best rogues, it still is not enough to get the casual fan on board.  If I wasn't already invested so much, I would ditch this book.  Too many questions.  If we don't start to get answers soon, it is bye bye birdie.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  2 out of 5 Shields


The Savage Hawkman #8 (2011) 
  Written by Tony S. Daniel and James Bonny
  Illustrated by Philip Tan


"Strange Bedfellows Not Enough to Save this book"


Hawkman had defeated Morphicus.  He had defeated the Gentleman Ghost.  Just when he was getting some rest, Askana the shapeshifting alien in the employ of Dr. Kane strikes at Hawkman.  But, there is more to this than meets the initial tussling.  Askana wants Hawkman's help against agents from her homeworld.  What follows is a tale of trust and betrayal, with more than a few people getting hurt....

The Good:
As far as getting more emotional background on Hawkman, we are provided it.  Askana is able to tell through her senses that there is a lot of hatred within Hawkman, that "he carries a black hole within that he himself is not even aware of."  OK, now what the hell does that mean?  Who is this guy?  Seriously.  the play by Askana is as transparent as a bottle of water.  We find out Hawkman is wanted for releasing Morphicus. OK, but wanted by what High Council?  How did Kane communicate with these people?  Ugh.     

The Bad:
We still don't know who the hell this guy is or what his purpose is....It is 8 issues in.  We should feel some tie beyond, hey, it's that guy with a Hawkhead and wings.  We don't know if this guy is from Thanagar, from ancient Egypt, or from west Philly.  We know he burned his costume and the nth metal became a part of him.  Other than that, who is this guy?  Where is Hawkgirl?  Not much to hope for.  This book seems willing to keep its main character hidden while exposing rogues. 

Bottom Line:
If you are not a lifelong fan of Hawkman, it may be time to jump off this ride.  The character is still mired in questions.  We don't even have an origin or anything.  We don't even have a history.  I thought this was supposed to help new readers jump on.  If they jump on, you are supposed to give them something to hold onto.  This book doesn't do that.

New Hope Patriot Missile Rating:


  1 out of 5 Shields
 
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