Hawkman continues his quest for answers about the coming cataclysm and his role in it, as Carter travels to Dinosaur Island!
HAWKMAN (2018) #3 “Awakening Part 3: Right of Passage”
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Inkers: Andrew Currie, Daniel Henriques & Bryan Hitch
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
Cover Artist: Bryan Hitch & Alex Sinclair; variant by Stjepan Sejic
Colorist: Alex Sinclair & Jeremiah Skipper
Publisher: DC COMICS
Carter follows the nautical map embedded on the hawk-headed staff to the uncharted Dinosaur Island in hopes of finding the next discovery on his quest to unravel the mystery of the impending cataclysm and how it is linked to his reincarnations. After battling a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Carter sets out to climb the mountain to discover the next clue when he is ambushed by an army of Feitherans, an ancient race of feathered humanoids, guarding the mountaintop. Upon finally reaching the top, Carter encounters an elder Feitheran who tells of Carter’s long prophesized arrival and the generations of guardians. Carter enters and uses the staff to reveal an alien star chart before he is pulled through time and space again to encounter Katar Hol of the Thanagarian Police Force!
What makes Venditti and Hitch’s Hawkman series such a runaway hit is not the simple fact that in any given issue, you never know what kind of amazing callbacks that Hawkman may encounter (Wingors, Feitherans, and dinosaurs… oh my!) or the gorgeous, wide-screen action renderings. Those things help, of course, but the strength of the book is taking a labyrinthian continuity and providing it with connective tissue, creating sense out of seeming chaos. Venditti and Hitch are engaged in the time-honored tradition of mythos building. In the same way that people throughout history have gathered and collated oral histories, performance arts, and written records and presented the world with some of the great works of literature, so too does the team use these pages to reconstruct the myriad versions of Hawkman through the years into a single, sensical narrative mythology.
As Carter becomes more self-aware of his agency in the coming cataclysm, he begins to question whether he is meant to start or stop the end of the world as it is known. This conflict does nothing to slate his academic need to know, leaving the readers conflictedly merely passengers along for the journey. The mystery continues to unfold, but I can’t stop myself from yelling into the book, “No! Carter, turn back!” while furiously turning the page. Like the Sesame Street classic, There’s a Monster at the End of this Book, Hawkman is a study in compulsion, driven equally by the written word and the visual narrative.
And in case that isn’t enough, here’s a radiant two-page spread of Carter Hall fighting a T-Rex. Because why hire Bryan Hitch if you aren’t going to have him do the impossible?
Final Thought: I’m sure some of you out there are reading these reviews, 10/10 over and over again, and calling me a Fanboy. I’ll take it. I’ll even embrace it. The entire Hawkman team is in sync in a way that seems rare in modern comics, and Hawkman continues to be one of the quietly best books in the mainstream market today.
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