Carter Hall finds himself on Thanagar, on the run from Katar Hol, as we start the next chapter in the saga of Hawkman. Thanagar is just the latest stop on Carter’s journey to unravel the mystery of the Deathbringers, a cataclysmic group of winged giants that Carter has been warned of. Eventually convincing Katar to stop fighting and start talking, Carter finds the next clue in his journey, which, when activated by blood, transports Carter to the Microverse, where Ray Palmer is there to greet him!
What makes Hawkman a runaway success? There are a number of factors to consider here, but at the end of the day, it is Robert Venditti’s masterful knowledge of the Hawkman lore that drives this series. Each issue brings something to the table that is both familiar but also new. As we traipse through the 1990s with Carter and Katar, there is a gripping feeling of nostalgia for a time that feels long gone, distanced by sweeping summer events, reboots, and relaunches. Every issue feels exciting, but also like something I may have read before in my childhood, fresh off the spinner rack at my local newsstand. All the while, however, we are barreling towards an uncertain future in which Carter may stop the coming cataclysm, but he may just as likely spark it. The sense of dread looms large, though lessened by the sight of familiar faces from a bygone era.
As if that wasn’t enough, then there’s Bryan Hitch. Getting tired of hearing me say, month in and month out, how marvelous Hitch’s work has been on this book? Too bad. From striking landscapes to personal interactions, on pages always slightly askew (imagine trying to find a rectangular featured image for each of these on a series where nothing is a rectangle?), Hitch is producing some of his finest work to date, assisted by a team of inkers and the gorgeous colors of Skipper, who all just seem to “get it” on this book.
The return of Hawkman and Atom, a mainstay of yet another bygone era of comics, should certainly get fans excited for what is to come, as “Awakenings” comes to a close. What could the next arc bring?
Hawkman #4: Return to Thanagar
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 8/10
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