Writer: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Bryan Hitch
Inks: Andrew Currie & Bryan Hitch
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
No character in all of comics is more convoluted and confusing then Hawkman. It seems that every time DC has an earth shattering Crisis it’s Hawkman that takes the brunt of the retcon, which is a sad since Hawkman is iconic, one of the legendary Golden Age heroes that was revived in the Silver Age to soar again to new heights. From his long standing position as the chairman of the JSA to his extended tenure as a member of the JLA Hawkman has been a staple of the DCU, until Crisis on Infinite Earths, the greatest event in comics history with the worst consequence in comics history. With the end of the multiverse DC was stuck with what to do with Hawkman. They released the Tim Truman Hawkworld, which is an outstanding mini series but became a confusing ongoing and only set the character back further as it erased the Silver Age and Golden Age versions of Hawkman and created more confusion. Zero Hour really mucked it up when all the incarnations of Hawkman were merged into the Hawkgod. Then there was a long absence before Geoff Johns weaved his magic and reestablished some sense of normalcy but the New 52 destroyed all the gains and then he was dead and not dead and maybe dead before a triumphant return in the wake of Dark Knights: Metal and now in the very enjoyable Hawkman #1.
Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch did the impossible with Hawkman #1. They created an un-confusing comic for a very confusing character and they did so by embracing that confusion. Rather than narrow down who Hawkman is they’ve decided that every Hawkman that there ever was and some we don’t know about (and a few I hope we see more of) are Hawkman. Rather than just the reincarnations we know of there have been countless others and that seems to be the basis of where this tale will go as we find out who Hawkman truly is. And the true beauty of the story, other than Hitch’s art, was that they did this simply and put it in with an incredible action based story of an archeological search for a magical object protected by a three eyed gorilla with wings. If that doesn’t get you excited I don’t know what will.
I have not read a lot of Robert Venditti’s work but I really enjoyed what he did with Hawkman #1. He really seems to have a grasp on Hawkman as well as his alter ego Carter Hall. He adds a lot of high adventure to the tale, which is beautifully rendered by the legendary Bryan Hitch. I’ve been a huge fan of Hitch’s since I first found his work in Stormwatch, and then his art on the Authority and the Ultimates solidified him as a revolutionary comic book artist. His work here is fun and dynamic, especially the opening sequence and the gorgeous splash page of all the Hawkmen of history. I’m happy Hitch took on this title, it may not resonate as a Bryan Hitch ‘widescreen’ epic but his work is perfectly suited for the adventures of Hawkman and I hope that these two have a long run ahead of them.
Verdict: Any fan of Hawkman or anyone looking for a fun superhero comic with high adventure and beautiful artwork should pick up Hawkman #1, it’s well worth the read.