REVIEW: ‘Hawkman’, Issue #27

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hawkman #27 alternate cover

Hawkman #27 is written by Robert Venditti. Fernando Pasarin is the series illustrator, Oclair Albert, and Wade VonGrawbadger are the series inkers and Jeromy Cox provides colors. Rob Leigh is the series letterer. Hawkman is published monthly by DC Comics. Twenty-six issues of Hawkman brought Hawkman and Hawkwman full circle. After millennia of past lives and continual struggle, they faced off against the Lord Beyond the Void, Hawkman’s ancient master last issue. However, in that battle they defeated the Lord, only to die by expending all of their lives contained within them.

The end of their story.

Not so fast. Despite the fact that Hawkman the series will expire with issue #29, the story of the Hawks is not finished just yet. Despite dying, the Hawks find themselves in the 1940s, fighting alongside their old pals in the Justice Society of America. It’s a classic battle royale as Hawkman leads the Golden Age Flash, Sandman, Green Lantern, and Wildcat against the Injustice Society. Yes, there is much more that happens in this issue than a fight, but let’s unpack two matters that pop out.

First, Hawkman and Hawkwoman have their modern look. While it is true members of the JSA are in a fight, this stands out. For anyone not familiar with the character, Golden Age Hawkman and then Hawkgirl looked very different from their modern-day incarnations. The difference makes it clear to any Hawkfan that the Justice Society taking them as is would be a bit strange. It’s an interesting turn of events, but the second point, the JSA themselves, marks an even bigger moment in current New 52 DC lore.

Go back to 2011, when the New 52 hit comic stands. DC more or less went for a clean slate. Younger versions of their famous characters, minus much of the history. The Justice Society was obliterated from the timeline. DC, quite frankly, killed one of its greatest set pieces, its history. Aside from an attempt to reinvigorate them in modern revisions with the short-lived Earth 2 series. DC claimed during Rebirth the JSA would return. They did, in recent issues of Justice League, but it feels so right to have them here in Hawkman. Considering he was chairman of the team and they were some of his and Hawkwoman’s closest friends, having them in this issue feels more like a full circle, like closure, for the Hawks.

Venditti has raked the Hawks across the proverbial coals in order to bring them, raw and red hot, to this point. This time travel issue reads like a new lease on life for Carter and Shayera, a new territory where they can be forged into something new yet in a world they find comforting. these two are very human warriors and issue #27 truly puts that on display. And as icing on the writing cake, Venditti spotlights each JSA member perfectly to show he gets these characters and knows how to make them work. I can only pray Venditti is allowed to transition the end of Hawkman into a Justice Society series. DC, please be kind.

As for the art team, I find it hard to express any further just how great, how detailed, and how robust the pencils, inks, and colors are. The splash page of JSA versus Injustice Society says it all. Incredible depth without being exaggerated or too showy. Dozens of black ink lines across stone and walls to add the right amount of texture and flourish. A rainbow spectrum of vivid colors. It says Golden Age and modern at once, from Green Lantern’s classic multicolored outfit to the strength of Shayera’s abs, this is an issue that has the past and resent shaking hands in a tight set of visuals, panel after panel, and never loses its artistic discipline. 

Hawkman #27 was such a refreshing issue, new yet nostalgic. It’s worth your time and money to get this one, to go back and get back issues or the trades. This is an exercise in character growth and forward momentum other comics need to be and companies need to allow more instead of slew after slew of retcons and history erasures. Hawkman has been a must-read title since the first issue and too many slept on it. It’s not too late to wake up and appreciate this series that blazes new trails while respecting what came before.

Hawkman #27 is available wherever comic books are sold.


Hawkman #27
5

TL;DR

Hawkman #27 was such a refreshing issue, new yet nostalgic. It’s worth your time and money to get this one, to go back and get back issues or the trades. This is an exercise in character growth and forward momentum other comics need to be and companies need to allow more instead of slew after slew of retcons and history erasures. Hawkman has been a must-read title since the first issue and too many slept on it. It’s not too late to wake up and appreciate this series that blazes new trails while respecting what came before.