I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge Hawkman fan. I actually prefer Hawkgirl/woman for a wide variety of reasons. Mostly this is because DC in recent years has used the Carter Hall Hawkman, and he keeps going on about reincarnation and true love. I’ve always preferred the Thanagarian version.
But DC brought the Winged Wonder back in a big way post Dark Nights: Metal, and I gotta say, the creative team caught my eye. Will the new series by any good? The only way to find out would be to try out the new book with the first trade, subtitled Awakening.
Why should the creative team be an attraction? Well, the writer is Robert Venditti. He’s has plenty of experience with both ancient warriors in the modern world (X-O Manowar) and the cosmic (Green Lantern). So, the writing is in good hands. As for the art, that would be the always reliable Bryan Hitch. So, there’s a strong potential for a good story and a very talented artist at work. Do they have what it takes to make Hawkman interesting?
So far, the answer there is yes. The story does involve Hawkman’s endless reincarnation, but this time with a twist. Carter realizes that not only has he reincarnated many times on Earth, but also on other planets, going back far further than he ever thought he might go. As such, Carter learns he was also Katar Hol of Thanagar. But he also had lives on other worlds like Rann and Krypton. The only common thread is he always loved the idea of flying and had some kind of hawk motif on his person.
But there’s something else, something worse going on. Carter has some ancient enemies. He doesn’t quite remember them aside from their name: the Deathbringers. And they can destroy worlds.. Carter suspects he left plans to defeat them, whoever they are, but first, he’ll need to find them.
Venditti knows his Hawkman history from the looks of things and his DC worlds. Carter meets some Feathereans, has a team-up with his long time friend Ray Palmer, and even visits Dinosaur Island. Best of all is a small thing: Carter has a network of allies, all people whose ancestors he saved in years gone past.
Bottom line: this looks like some good fun with a character I usually don’t care much for. I think I’ll stick with this when the next trade comes out. 8.5 out of 10 unpleasant encounters with past lives.