By Robert Venditi, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Daniel Henriques, Hitch, Jeremiah Skipper, Starkings, Comicraft
Hawkman is back in his rebirth debut, and he’s just as confused as the series readers in issue #2, but the fans are having way more fun. This issue is dialogue and explanation heavy, as it’s still setting up Hawkman’s wild history. That being said, it’ll likely be a bit of a divisive series if it continues in this style. Continuity nerds and Hawkman fans, rejoice! This issue is packed with all sorts of goodies for you. If continuity and feeling like you aren’t quite getting it scares you, and you’re not a big fan of the character, you might want to avoid the series. With all that out of the way, this is a fun issue that excels in just about every aspect.
Bryan Hitch on pencils paints every setting that’s thrown at him wonderfully. From ancient times to modern, each one feels alive. Hitch takes time to add details that turn a generic place into a specific one. Walls are adorned with decorations, and the people in the background are fleshed out with hints of facial features. Zoom in further, and we see Hitch’s solid work expressing emotion. As all good comics do, the dialogue is consistently enhanced by what a character is doing as they’re speaking. Just glancing through a page without reading gives a clear idea of the tone of conversation. All this being said, Hawkman looks perfect as well. His first entry with his costume in this issue has grandeur to it thanks to Hitch’s composition—and it’s awesome to see Carter back in the helmet. Colorits Jeremiah Skipper is key to this moment as well. Throughout the issue we see his ability to color light, and the combination of the sun’s light as well as the reflections from Hawkman’s suit are killer.
It’s also worth noting from an art standpoint that although there are three different inkers on this issue, none of their styles overcome the other. They flow well, meaning readers probably won’t have any idea unless they read the byline (which they should).
Narratively, this issue is sometimes overwhelming, but always interesting. That being said, this perspective comes from someone who has never read a Hawkman series, so longtime fans of the character may disagree. Hawkman #2 is entirely a time travelling mystery, though, and it’s difficult to resist that pitch. Some dialogue heavy scenes weigh it down a bit, but, as mentioned, they never stop the issue’s momentum. They’re punctuated with quieter scenes fairly regularly, giving time to recharge.
Hawkman #2 is a solid issue, and totally exciting for anyone who’s missed seeing Carter Hall around, whether that be in the old comics, recent ones, or animated cartoons. It’s a fun story along with top notch art. If continuity scares you, but you like the character, give this a shot. Likely, you’ll have too much fun to be concerned about the historical nuance and find yourself happily lost along with an old friend.