By Jeff Lemire, Bryan Hitch, Kevin Nowlan, Alex Sinclair, Jeremiah Skipper, and Clayton Cowles
Hawkman: Found #1 is this week’s Dark Nights Metal tie-in, and it’s one of the best. This issue stands to finally provide more insight as to Hawkman’s role in the event. Penned by Jeff Lemire, the personal look at Carter Hall is not only expected, but welcome. Hall’s relationship with the mantle of Hawkman is forefront in the issue while the significance of that in the DC Universe is hinted at, surely to be revealed in later issues of the event. The art team’s best moments capture Carter Hall’s experience emotionally, highlighting the hopefulness and the darkness within the issue. Flipping a page communicates tone before the words even get a chance to speak.
Lemire’s story in this issue is not only true to the character, but to the event as well. The tones and themes of positivity versus impending, all encompassing doom are loud, and especially reminiscent of Batman: Lost in its combination of character exploration and DC mythology. Even readers new to the Hawkman character get a grasp of who Carter is and what his motivations are, with whispers of allusions for those more close to him. There’s a strong sense that Carter has to work towards his goal, and Lemire straps readers to his back through the entire odyssey, so when it comes to a close the outcome is emotional and earned, in many ways.
Hitch, Nowlan, Sinclair, Skipper, and Cowles work together to capture these moments so well that Lemire is able to step back and allow the art to shine. Hitch’s realistic lines are expressive so that Carter’s thoughts are clear throughout, and the fight scenes project a true struggle with stakes. He also shows a great versatility in natural scenes along with the more industrial. The most remarkable art, though, lies in the colors. Nowlan’s shadows convey the lowest points with drama and weight, while Sinclair and Skipper’s sparse usage of bright colors elicits a clear imagery of a battle between the light and the dark. There are moments of Hawkman’s immense fortitude, as well as of the tax that his recent experiences have had on him, and neither go unnoticed.
Hawkman: Found #1 introduces even more of the mystery in Dark Nights Metal. Even though it poses questions previously unthought of, the possibility of their answers in grander scale is captivating. As a result of this, Hawkman feels more important than ever before. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it will further tie-into the larger event without isolating those who choose not to read this one-shot.
The team behind Hawkman: Found #1 is a powerhouse, and they deliver. The issue is exciting and carries weight, even for those not reading the main event, but who are eager to see the character’s return. Each aspect of the book is meaningful in its own way, providing larger meaning to the story, and especially to the long missed Hawkman himself, Carter Hall.