Once more into the breach for the winged lawman from Thanagar! Your Major Spoilers review of Hawkman Found #1 awaits!
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Penciler: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Kevin Nowlan
Colorist: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Hawkman Found: “One of DC’S greatest heroes is missing! No one has seen or heard from Carter Hall-a.k.a. Hawkman-in years. Reincarnated repeatedly since the dawn of humanity, Hawkman has spent his many lives uncovering history’s most fantastic mysteries, and now he has become one himself! Take a journey into one of the darkest corners of the DC Universe as a mysterious man tries to piece together what happened to Hawkman, and how it all connects to the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL!”
AN ENGAGING NARRATIVE
The history of Hawkman is a history of revision and retcon dating back decades, and as such, it can be really hard to reconcile it all. This issue thankfully starts with a blank slate, with Carter Hall huddling in a cave, awakening from the recurring nightmare of flying, only to fall to his death. When Manhawks attack, he responds with force, fighting them off while other (who seem to be his previous incarnations) wait in the shadows. Fending off the creatures, he climbs a nearby stone spire to find a spaceship, slowly gaining bits of his memories as his goes. Finding his wings and a cache of weapons, he is suddenly waylaid by a fully armored Hawkman (who seems to be the New 52 version of the character, snarling that he knows everything Carter knows.) Hawkman beats his counterpart down with a mace, then takes his wings to escape, flying across the strange landscape, remembering how he ended up in this mess in the first place.
And then, his wings break apart…
UNDOING THE DAMAGE OF NEW 52 HAWKMAN
As the issue ends, we get a glimpse of something that seems like it might be the Thanagarian Hawk-God (or someone like him), with a promise of more Hawkman in the pages of “Dark Nights: Metal.” It’s kind of a bummer for me, as I haven’t been keeping up with that series, and I had hoped we would get a real revision of Hawkman in these particular pages. Lemire does a good job in giving the character an engaging voice and drives the plot with an unexpected intensity, but it is disappointing how brief and unresolved this vignette is. Bryan Hitch’s art is quite good throughout the pages, and a large panel showing Hawkman wearing new/makeshift mechanical wings is gorgeous to look at. For the first time, it feels like you can see how the wings would actually work, which is amazing, which adds a much-appreciated sense of realism to the story of an immortal reincarnated warrior who flies around and bashes people innahead with ancient weaponry…
THE BOTTOM LINE: INTENSE AND VISCERAL
In short, this issue is a good start towards returning Hawkman to prominence, and I’d love to see an ongoing Hawk-series from this creative team, as it seems like they have a lot of interesting ideas in mind for the lawman from Thanagar. Hawkman Found #1 is actually a bit surprising, and while it feels too short and too unresolved, the story being delivered is intense and engaging, and even a bit metatextual, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.