Hawkman is no more and in his place is the villainous Sky Tyrant of Earth-3. After using the Black Journal, written by Katarthul of Rann, Sky Tyrant sought a doomsday weapon that would ensure his continued regeneration forever. Thankfully, with the combined efforts of Hawkwoman, The Atom and Adam Strange, the trio managed to stop Sky Tyrant before he could use the weapon and now intend to save their friend Carter.
This issue of Hawkman definitely continues to plant the seeds in the relationship between Hawkman and Hawkwoman, especially concerning their dual origins.
Not much happens in this issue other than the starling revelation that Hawkwoman, Shayera Hall, has potentially had as many reincarnations as Carter has over the years. After Adam informs her that the artifact that they took from Sky Tyrant was some sort of key to a dimensional doorway, the stone speaks to her, calling her name as “Shrra,” potentially being her first name, like his was Ktar the Deathbringer.
Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Wade von Grawbadger, Jeromy Cox and Rob Leigh then give readers an amazing few pages of Hawkwoman experiencing the save overload of past lives that Hawkman went through recently. Pasarin does a great job with presenting Hawkwoman with varied expressions of shock and wonder at what she’s experiencing. Cox’s blue colors pop off of the page as the artifact shocks her and fills the room with lightning before Albert and Grawbadger help give the ensuing splash pages clean and smooth lines with shading.
As much as previous artist, Bryan Hitch, gave Hawkman’s various past lives distinct looks, I would argue that Pasarin and the rest of the team go beyond that with even more varied designs and characterizations. We see her as The Rocketeer, some sort of biker ninja, a Golden Birdwoman, a gunslinger, a Native American and as some sort of Nightwing while the eerie woman from Ktar’s past looms in the background of the double page splash.
After the experience, Sky Tyrant tries to get into her head, telling her that she also had an Earth-3 counterpart that he killed because she was the only person he feared. Understandably, she is shocked by all of this because Carter’s been keeping the fact that they have history even farther back than she remembers from her.
Pasarin and the rest of the art team capture her love for Carter when Sky Tyrant begins throwing himself against a wall, saying that Carter’s regaining control of the body from him. She has expressions of concern, but also maintains her warrior stance because Sky Tyrant is just that dangerous. One thing that I really loved about this was the intensity that Pasarin gave Carter’s pratfalls and how Leigh, Albert and Grawbadger accentuated the panels with impact marks and various “WHOOM” and WBOOM” sound effects as he throws himself around.
Her concern, however, does leave an opening for him to exploit as he causes an explosion on the ship and systematically takes out everyone on board. Venditti portrays Sky Tyrant as a predator of sorts, and coats his dialogue with malice while Carter, even as a ghost, still finds enough heroism to overpower Sky Tyrant long enough to prevent him from killing Shayera and taking the Artifact. Unfortunately, both Hawkwoman and Sky Tyrant touch the rock at the same time, causing them to disappear.
As always, Robert Venditti’s Hawkman epic continues to be an underrated masterpiece of storytelling and world building. Fernando Pasarin and the rest of the art team make this book look so effortlessly cool and good while milking each panel for drama and intensity. Truly, this whole saga of Hawkman is worth reading because of issues like this one.
Hawkman #22: Hawkwoman’s HERstory
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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