Hawkman #12 is published by DC Comics, written by Robert Venditti, with art by Bryan Hitch, inks by Andrew Currie, Norm Rapmund, and Scott Hanna, colors by Jeremiah Skipper, and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft. The issue concludes the fight against Idamm and the ancient order of the Deathbringers we saw beginning in the previous issue.
Since this series began, Robert Venditti and the rest of the creative team have sought to codify the long sordid mess that is Hawkman’s backstory. So far, Venditti has gone for an ‘all in’ approach. Every past life has been accounted for with Venditti adding new ones to the tapestry. Now in the final battle, with London up for grabs, Carter Hall has brought all of his past selves into the present as his one-man army versus take on the immortal cult of the Deathbringers.
It’s a thrilling finale, Hawkman takes to the skies as a guilt-ridden hero. The way our hero fights this enemy and how he comes out on the other side of things was a great ride. Like any good comic arc, it ends with enough questions to set up future storylines. For those who felt the Deathbringer background made things worse or muddied the character’s reputation, the end of ‘Cataclysm’ sets Hawkman apart from every other DC hero. That’s a high bar to get over in a genre riddled with myriads of characters who invest in street-savvy martial arts or have a long list of powers but very little personality. Hawkman, in 12 issues, has undergone a deep cleanse or rebirth in both areas.
Venditti continues to offer a moving and tight story. Hawkman #12 is straightforward, action-packed, and manages to make better use of the multiple Carters than the last two issues. He has set up Carter for a broad road and the search into his past from this point on only gets deeper. The beginning of the issue even plants a brief yet poignant flashback to the days of Ktar when the guilt first set in. Madame Xanadu’s brief appearance in the issue is insightful. Additionally, Venditti’s homage to the pulp genre remains strong.
This is Hitch’s final issue of Hawkman. Hitch has made this book his own from the start with his crisp drawings, magnificent figures, and details. The epic battle scenes are chock full of many characters. George Perez and John Byrne are relatable artistic talents in terms of the lines and flow and how Hitch manages large numbers of distinct figures in a single panel with ease and grace is hard to comprehend. The three-person inking team darkens just enough to leave this ‘high noon’ battle bright. As usual, Skipper delivers brilliant colors that hearken back to the boldness of the Silver Age. Comicraft places the final accent on the issue with perfect lettering, sound effects, and placement.
Hawkman has a long history in comics, but his conflicting story confuses some. This new series is a triumph of character rebuilding and streamlining. And a new arc with a new artist begins in Hawkman #13, which is a perfect jumping-on point for new readers.
Hawkman is a triumph of character rebuilding and streamlining.
William J. Jackson is a small town laddie who self publishes books of punk genres, Victorian Age superheroes, rocket ships, and human turmoil. He loves him some comic books, Nature, Star Trek, and the fine art of the introvert.