Writer: Marc Andreyko
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti
Letters: Josh Reed
I was excited when I first saw the title Death of Hawkman. Not so much for the title itself but I was ready for a return of one of my favorite heroes from the silver age who has been mired in countless reboots and who is a continuity nightmare. I was hoping with the new DC Rebirth that Hawkman might get some of the same love that the Flash and Green Arrow have received as of late. Sadly that’s not the case. Death of Hawkman is very noticeably a New 52 book that DC delayed in releasing. It began life as an Adam Strange/Hawkman: Out of Time. I’m not sure what caused the title change but sorry to say even a title change couldn’t save this book.
For a title bearing his name Hawkman only appears in three pages. The majority of the book is a recap of Adam Strange and his desire to return to the planet Rann and his wife Alanna. This book could have been titled ‘a Mundane Day in the Life of Adam Strange.’ Luckily DC has been kind to Adam Strange as his origin here is very close to his silver age roots. He is a scientist on Earth who becomes a superhero when transported by Zeta Beam to the planet Rann. Unfortunately Adam can’t stay on Rann permanently so he is constantly waiting for the next Zeta Beam to transport him back to the life he prefers. The bulk of this book, other then the opening few pages, deals with Adam and his trying to figure out why the Zeta Beam isn’t working. There’s some humor in the situation as Adam’s Earth life is very boring and even superheroes get stuck in line at the DMV. Adam Strange travels around the DC universe via the Justice League transporter system investigating this mystery and constantly having to reassure people that yes, he was a member of the Justice League, the Justice League United to be specific. Where he transports to appears random and if you aren’t a true DC insider it will make little sense to you. There’s an apparent mystery here that should draw the reader in but it doesn’t. This book does very little to draw the reader in.
I was hoping for good things with Death of Hawkman. I love Carter Hall and was excited when Geoff Johns worked his continuity fixing magic on him in the JSA. The ‘90s had not been kind to the character and it was nice to have the classic character back. I couldn’t read the New 52 book. It looked too much like a bad ‘90s Image Extreme Studio title. Death of Hawkman does very little to rehabilitate the character. The only thing I took away from Death of Hawkman was that apparently there is yet another war between Rann and Thangar, home of Hawkman, Adam Strange was stuck on Earth when it started and somehow Hawkman has been shot full of arrows, which is no big deal to him with his Nth Metal healing factor. For the first issue of a mini-series there is nothing that grabs the reader to make them want to stick around for another issue.
I was a bit surprised by the lack of quality with this book. Marc Andreyko is a solid writer. I really enjoyed his Manhunter series as well as his various stints in the Bat-universe yet I could not get into Death of Hawkman. The plot was boring and the cliffhangers did very little to get me interested in the rest of the mini-series. Aaron Lopresti is a solid artist but here he is stuck drawing in a DC house style. It’s nice but nowhere near stunning. I was hoping for some silver age fun with this book but it was unfortunately boring and easily forgotten
Verdict: Pass. Save your money. Hopefully there will be a future Hawkman rebirth title that actually portrays the character properly. But until then dig out your back issues.