By Damien Becton
Hawkman #1 is everything you would expect from a new relaunch - a recap of the protagonists’ origin, action scenes, and a bunch of set up. Often, when a new #1 comes along, these procedures are followed to a T, and that can make highly predictable, if not boring issues. With this in mind and all of the new number ones being published around this time, I still came into Hawkman #1 with high expectations. After reading it, I asked myself, “Does Hawkman #1 separate itself from the rest of the pack?” For the most part, yeah, it does.
This relaunch of Hawkman is written by Robert Venditti, a veteran in the comic book industry, so I was eager to see how he would handle this relaunch. Again, this book does do what you would expect, but after a less than stellar start, the book takes off. Venditti establishes Carter Hall’s origin (or origins) and personality effectively for readers unfamiliar with the character, but it seems like more could be done. Fortunately, he couples this retelling with a pretty awesome action scene with a winged creature that is reminiscent of something you would see out of the original Wizard of Oz movie - only multiplied by a thousand. He puts Hawkman into situations where you get to see his abilities, skills, and flight flourish from panel to panel to panel.
Robert Venditti does a great job giving Hawkman a purpose in this book as well. If you’re to push past the initial few pages of exposition, you’ll soon learn that Hawkman isn’t just exploring for the sake of exploring, or just to come across a new foe for him to defeat. There’s a void in his life, and he feels as if he is missing something - or that he needs to learn something about himself. Although it is a brief issue, Venditti does a great job re-establishing the character and making him someone to root for.
Legendary artist Bryan Hitch pencils this issue of Hawkman and deserves credit for making the book as enjoyable as it was. Although in a few panels some of the characters proportions seem off or exaggerated, Hitch brings Venditti’s script to life extremely well. The action scene with the winged creature is executed well, and the size of the beast is put into perspective. If you are a fan of Hitch’s art and you have been following him since his days back with Marvel, you would definitely enjoy looking at this book.
Overall, this is a pretty good book. If you are able to muscle through the first couple of pages, then you are definitely in for a treat. Bryan Hitch does an amazing job with the art on the book, especially when provided with the opportunity to create large action pieces and images of booming destruction. The book provides everything that you would expect from a new relaunch but executes it well, making it worth your time. I definitely say that if you are on the fence with this one, definitely give it a shot.