Going into this new Hawkman from DC Comics' team of writer Robert Venditti and artist Bryan Hitch with inks from Andrew Currie, I knew very little about the character outside of his time with the animated DC Universe. Carter Hall has always been an interesting piece of the DC puzzle to me and this new series has caught my eye. As a fan of both Venditti and Hitch on other projects, this seemed like the right time to pick up a Hawkman solo book. So far, it feels like I made the right call.
Hawkman #1 gave us a great intro to the character and a hook - Carter Hall's future lies stuck deep in his past. Beyond what most believe, Carter Hall's history with the hawk does not begin in Egypt. In issue #2, we find Hall confronting himself in a past life. Is it vivid hallucination? Or is his Nth metal harness dragging him in and out of the time stream? We get a wonderful mix of fantastic and factual here as Hall visits an exhibit he donated 100 years ago and discovers something that has been staring him in the face for a century.
Venditti does an excellent job making the character accessible to those unfamiliar with his complex back story. I also enjoyed his attention to detail, taking time to make sure the reader understood what was happening before moving on to the next beat of the story. He makes sure to establish how respected Carter Hall is at the British Museum and shows how his past lives have given him some connections that we might not expect on the train ride there. Venditti makes sure the we remember Hawkgirl and that she is a motivating factor in everything our hero does but this is his story and the focus remains on his search for answers.
Hitch does an excellent job with the artwork as well. Carter Hall has a warmth to his face that reinforces the trust of everyone around him while the cowl of Hawkman is strong and heroic with a bit of that ancient terror to it as well. Currie's inks absolutely add to this book, and we preach love for inkers around here pretty heavy. But in a story with so much detail, so much in the small extras, the inker can really set the tone. Currie and Hitch are clearly on the same page and it comes through beautifully in the book.
My one criticism is that some of the panels felt overloaded with words. It almost seemed like either there needed to be less dialogue written or that there needed to be more space provided in the panel for the words. They were all GOOD words, so I think it could just be the structuring of the panels. Not a major problem and I don't feel it really took away from the flow of the story but just something I would like to see done a little differently.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10 Silent Knights
Hawkman #2 build beautifully on the first issue and continues to draw you in to the mysteries of Carter Hall's past. The pitch perfect art matches the tone of the story. A little house cleaning and the book is well on it's way. A solid add to any pull list and a great read for kids who are into ancient history.