The below review is written by Tim Board! Tim is the founder of the popular Hawkworld group on Facebook and the growing Hawkworld twitter. Feel free to share any feedback in the comments section.
DC Comics Rebirth Spoilers and Review follow for Death of Hawkman #4 follow.
At the end of Issue No. 3, Hawkman was still alive. That alone was good news. The story was finally moving. Hawkman and Adam Strange were finally reunited and they had figured out that Despero was behind the troubles on Thanagar and Rann. They took off for Kalador to track Despero down. For teaming up and taking off, Strange’s wife Alanna put a bounty on their heads and they now on the run. With the series half over, it looks like this series is going to go high speed from here. It’d better, since we only have three more issues! So let’s get to it!
Rating system: Ratings are out of Five Maces; that’s the most you can get!
The Team: Marc Andreyko (writer), Aaron Lopresti and Rodney Buchemi (penciller), John Livesay, Norm Rapmund and Sean Parsons (inker), Blond (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), and Aaron Lopresti (cover art)
The Main Cover
Aaron Lopresti has done a a great job with the covers so far and Issue No. 4 was no exception. We have a planet or something blowing up. Is it Rann? Is it Thanagar? Also, Hawkman’s helmet seems to be getting clunkier as we go on. It’s beginning to remind me of the JSA helmet Hawkman had back in the late 70s to early 80s. Not sure that’s a good thing. I am missing the Silver age winged helmet of Hawkman more and more.
3 out of 5 Maces
In the first two issues, Lopresti, Livesay and Blond handles the art work but Rodney Buchemi suddenly showed up for three pages in the middle of Issue No. 3 and then things really got wild with Issue No. 4. Lopresti did the first 17 pages and Buchemi did the pencils for the rest. For the ink, Livesay started off, Norm Rapmund took over and then finally Sean Parsons finished it up. Not sure what is going on with the relay with the art but it isn’t too noticeable. I’m not sure why DC Comics can’t commit two or three artists to a book for any longer than two issues. Very odd. Another disappointment is the scenes of Earth, Thanagar and Rann look almost exactly the same. There could have been more differences in the cultures and styles of clothes and such, but it’s very hard to tell the places apart and with all the jumping around, it’s easy to forget where the heroes are in each scene.
3 out of 5 Maces
Issue No. 4 picks up at Rann Now. We find Hawkman and Adam Strange climbing up a cliff because Hawkman’s Nth metal has suddenly become “unreliable”. We assume we will find out why. They discover Desparo building a giant Zeta Beam portal on Rann. After almost being seen by Desparo, we see Hawkman’s patrol partner, Rayn Kral and oh wow! Isamot Kol, the Green Lantern of Thanagar and Sector 2682 suddenly shows up to help out our heroes! This is definitely an interesting turn of events.
One thing that is bothersome is Adam Strange’s portrayal as a complete rookie. He can’t stand violence, is constantly unsure of himself and is always amazed by Hawkman’s stomach for battle and all things unpleasant. I can see what Marc Andreyko is going for here but I feel like I’m watching Training Day Polaris style. Strange is no stranger to war and all the unpleasant details of it so it’s weird seeing him portrayed so weakly.
Thanagar Then. Over at the Thanagar Police Department, Hawkman’s patrol partner discovers everyone is getting ready to go to war with Rann. The captain is convinced that “former” police officer Katar Hol (Hawkman) is trying to lead the two planets back into war.
Rann Then: We see Alanna Strange going on national TV to explain the situation and the need to go to war against Thanagar. Alanna is red-hot mad and every scene she is in makes that obvious. Its obvious Despero’s plan is working perfectly and he has everyone going at each other while they fail to notice him building a giant Zeta Beam portal on Rann. Another surprise is that Sardath, Alanna’s father, is alive and under the mind control of Despero, who has him working on the portal.
Thanagar then: Now we are at the Nth Metal Mining Post on Thanagar’s moon, Ryngor. We see two of Despero’s men Zeta Beam onto the moon and sneak into the Nth metal mine.
Kalador Then. Hawkman’s ship is approaching Despero’s home, Kalador. Here again, Strange is having trouble with spaceship sickness and Hawkman is annoyed by it. They arrive at Despero’s home planet with everyone gone and the priests in the temple slaughtered. They find one priest near death and just before he dies, he shows them a vision of what happened. They figure out that Despero Zeta Beamed all the Kaladorans with him to wherever and think he is after something. Strange thinks maybe Despero is going after the Nth metal. They decide to contact Alanna. She refuses to talk to them until they turn themselves in so Strange tries to Zeta Beam over to Rann but they discover something is blocking them.
Rann Then: The giant Zeta Beam portal is finally finished . Despero hooks himself up to the machine and his two men on Ryngor set off of a device which blows up the entire moon. The debris rains down on Thanagar and millions are killed. Despero’s device beams the Nth metal through the portal and encases Despero . He emerges with a full body suit of Nth metal and kills everyone who has been helping him build the machine. Hawkman swears vengeance as the two heroes head for Rann.
For whatever reason, Hawkman is wearing an outfit that reminds you of the recent green and red full body outfit we see on Justice League Action. But he only wears it on Kalador. Weird.
Green Lantern Isamot Kol shows up!
Strange: “All this and philosophical, too? How are you single?”
Hawkman: “How are you married?”
Strange: “Are we th-there yet?”
Adam Strange, the man of space adventure, has motion sickness on Hawkman’s ship.
Summary and Verdict of Issue Four:
Issue No. 4 had some puzzling moments. We finally found out that Despero is after the Nth metal and he was successful in bonding with the metal at the end of the issue. This seems to be similar to what Onimar Synn was doing in JSA No. 23-25 during the Return of Hawkman story line way back in 2001. Why was Hawkman wearing a special suit on Kalador? The Thanagarian police had reports of Rann building up an army on Rann, but the Rannians had no idea that Despero was building a huge Zeta Beam portal right in their back yard? And why does Adam Strange continue to be portrayed as a rookie? We get that he has been out of action for a bit but his queasiness and lack of experience in battle just seems odd. I suppose Andreyko is doing that to build up Hawkman’s level of badass, but it’s a bit of an insult to the Adam Strange character.
The story moved along pretty well and it will be interesting to see how Hawkman and company handle this new situation with Despero. It was fun seeing Isamot Kol again. I’ve always wanted to see more interaction between Hawkman and Thanagar’s Green Lantern so hopefully there will be some in the next issue. Everyone is firmly set in their stereotype but all seem a bit extreme; Hawkman the badass, blood and guts hero, Adam Strange the reluctant hero and husband, and Alanna the angry leader who can see nothing but revenge. Despite its short comings, the story moved along well and it definitely left me wanting to see what happens in the next issue.
Issue No. 5 is out February 1st! Hawkwoman arrives!
Tags: Adam Strange, DC Comics, Death of Hawkman, Hawkman, Rebirth