REVIEW: ‘Hawkman’, Issue #25

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Hawkman #25

Hawkman #25 is written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Marco Castiello. Danny Miki is the inker, Jeromy Cox the colorist and Rob Leigh provides letters for this issue. The series is published monthly by DC Comics. The ‘Hawks Eternal’ storyline reaches its second chapter. Hawkman and Hawkwoman have met their oldest foe, the Lord Beyond the Void. Hawkman’s life cycle comes full circle as he and Shayera face off against a god. Hawkwoman finds the same is true for her own life as well.

This series began with Carter Hall uncovering the original life he once led as Ktar Deathbringer, who sacrificed billions of lives across space to the Lord Beyond the Void. Somewhere along the line, Ktar had a change of heart, aided by a mysterious redheaded woman with wings. She gave Ktar a gift, the ability to reincarnate after death. He would continue to return to life until he had saved as many lives as he sent into the Void. That gift became her curse.

This issue reveals the price Hawkwoman paid for helping Ktar. Defying her unseen master, she was stripped of her wings and forced into the same cycle of reincarnation she gave to Ktar, bound to him until he accomplishes his life-saving mission. Shrra, as she was known then, is cast out of heaven. The depth given to Shayera/Shrra in this series has been a joy. It is apparent how these two are equals and their love shines through sparse yet effective dialogue. That equality is crucial, for though the title reads Hawkman, it is a shallow story without the one and only Hawkwoman. Hawkman and Hawkwoman are two souls spinning across space, time, and dimension. Together forever yet continually separated. Through it all, they thought the Lord Beyond was behind them.

The Lord Beyond the Void knows this. He has waited for these two to spiral in his direction. Like any supervillain worth their salt, the Lord Beyond claims the chase by Carter to uncover his old selves to be part of his ploy to lure Hawkman and his beloved into his dimension of captured souls. Hawkman and Hawkwoman are naturally opposed to this. So, they’ll have to fight their way out.

Cue combat. Readers pop open a comic book for the fights, and Hawkman routinely delivers. Issue #25 is no exception. The Hawks give their all to take on the Lord Beyond. It’s a well written, artistic battle that not only ends the cycle of the Hawks’ soulsearching but is letting them come to terms with their place in the universe. The dialogue is sparse but effective and gets to the point Venditti is trying to make.

Venditti brings in the Lord Beyond the Void as bleak and as wicked as he was foretold throughout this series. The only surprise in his arrival was that it came so soon. I expected a different outcome from the previous storyline with Carter taken over by Sky Tyrant. Having that tale deposit the characters into the Void made for a welcome disconnect from the convoluted ‘The Infected’/’Year of the Villains’ crossovers, and let the series refocus on moving Hawkman and company forward. It’s a great job. This issue along with the last one could very well have simply been standard fights lacking any story or pathos. Venditti brings to each conflict the Hawks’ determination, communication, love, and tidbits of what’s to come. His expertly written battle is accompanied by some gorgeous art.

Castiello is the illustrator this time around, and his work is detailed and a great follow up to that of Fernando Pasarin. He equals Pasarin in the varied facial expressions on close-ups. Shayera has to have the most interesting expressions of any woman in superhero comics right now. New inker Danny Miki, colorist Jeromy Cox, and letterer Rob Leigh make the Lord Beyond stand out with dazzling power displays and powerful, vivid panels. 

The creative team is doing a remarkable job in this series, and in particular with Hawkman #25. His general backstory and that of Hawkwoman is more or less complete. Looking forward to more details in specific lives in the past, but for now, this will do. The Lord Beyond’s effects on them are yet to be seen. But the setup is there to move Hawkman into new terrain and push the character further than before.

Hawkman #25 is available wherever comic books are sold and from our Comixology online affiliate link.

Hawkman #25
5

TL;DR

The creative team is doing a remarkable job in this series. Hawkman has reached its twenty-fifth issue. His general backstory and that of Hawkwoman is more or less complete. Looking forward to more details in specific lives in the past, but for now, this will do. The Lord Beyond’s effects on them are yet to be seen. But the setup is there to move Hawkman into new terrain and push the character further than before.