Saturday, March 4, 2017

Death of Hawkman #6 (of 6)

   I picked up this mini-series because it includes two of my all-time favorite DC characters - Hawkman and Adam Strange.

   Both, sadly, are just pale imitations of the originals here (though Adam, who's just sort of wishy-washy, fares better than Hawkman).

   Of course, with the series being called Death of Hawkman, I wasn't expecting to enjoy the conclusion - and it lived up (or down) to my expectations.

   So here's the problem: I was a huge fan of the Silver Age Hawkman. The original concept from the Golden Age was fine - Carter Hall was an archeologist who was a hero resurrected from his original life in ancient Egypt.

   When the new (Earth-1) version appeared in the '60s, the fantasy elements were discarded and it became an elegant science fiction concept - Katar Hol and his wife Shayera were police officers from the planet Thanagar, visiting Earth to learn about our own crime-fighting methods.

   They were a sweet couple, the art (first by Joe Kubert and then Murphy Anderson) was terrific, and the stories were a lot of fun.

   But the characters were jacked around by continuity shifts and the occasional bad writer, and the "new" version of the character in the "New 52" was, frankly, terrible. He was perpetually angry, a poor man's version of Wolverine (right down to the healing properties of the metal that enabled him to fly).

   So this 6-issue series has teamed up Katar and Adam as they try to stop Despero, who's become even more powerful and threatens Thanagar, Rann - and Earth.

   One would hope that if a hero sacrifices his life, it's in a good cause - and certainly a hero who has been resurrected many times before cheats death easily - but after six issues, nothing much has been accomplished - and sacrifices were made for little gain.

   So, like Marvel did recently with Cyclops, DC shows it has little regard for one of its iconic heroes.

   Hopefully the next version of these heroes will be ones that fans can enjoy.

Grade: C-




Dwayne said...

Creating a mini-series simply to kill off a character is desperate, and disrespectful to the character. If you want to kill him, why not in the pages of the Justice League or some ongoing series or one of the many crossover "events?" A mini-series titled "The Death of Hawkman?"

Chuck said...

I agree - but they've been disrespecting Hawkman for years now, so this really isn't different. Sadly.

Kevin Findley said...

I first met Hawkman as the space cop. A few years later, I read the origin story for Carter Hall in the giant reprint of Flash Comics #1. Hall is the better character by far IMHO.

Chuck said...

Kevin, I don't have anything against the original version - I just prefer the science fiction version. But either one was far superior to the "always angry" New 52 version.

Kevin Findley said...

" ... far superior to the "always angry" New 52 version."

That applies to nearly everything New 52. I did like the OMAC series, though.