Review by C.J. Bunce

(with spoilers)

Writer Tony S. Daniel may have created a nearly perfect origin story, although it actually starts at the end for Hawkman, and we don’t really know the origin of his powers.  But if this is the first issue of Hawkman you ever read, you will be instantly hooked, just as this reader was.

Hawkman was that stoic hero that stood in the background of full-scale Justice League adventures.  He and Hawkgirl always looked cool, quick to sweep into the scene with full wings spread, ready for any brawl.  One of my favorite exchanges in recent Green Arrow stories is a presumed argument between resurrected Green Arrow and Hawkman in Green Arrow 12 that turns into a full-on laugh fest/yuk it up at the expense of Dinah Lance/Black Canary.  Here is Matt Wagner’s original artwork for that issue:

And let’s face it, Hawkman has always had one of the best costumes around.  How many people have doodled this guy in the margin of papers in school?

But a series all his own?  And why is he “savage” Hawkman?

Even a comic book of 24 pages sometimes takes a few sittings.  You want to give every page its due.   And for $2.99 you’ve got to get as much bang for your buck as possible.  Savage Hawkman #1 is a one-sitting read, not because it is a “quick read” but because you just can’t put it down.

The story starts at The End.  Actually the end for whatever came before, as Hawkman has evidently experienced all he can take and is ready to throw in the towel.  But something called the Nth metal will not let him leave.  It keeps pulling him back in.

Hawkman is really Carter Hall, a linguistics expert/Eqyptologist whose name instantly conjures the ghost of Howard Carter (the Eqyptologist who discovered King Tut).  In trying to burn his very awesome Hawkman super suit, the suit has different ideas.  Carter wants to kill Hawkman.  But he can’t.  It won’t let him.  Flash forward.  A team.  An archaeological dig.  Aliens?  We need to call in the expert.  No one knows where he is?  Find him.  Mummified aliens.  Wait a second, they’re not dead?  And in nice Incredible Hulk-like fashion we find out what happened to the super suit.  Don’t make him angry.  You won’t like him when he’s angry.   (We do).  And the result is even cooler than we thought.  Where can we get some of that Nth metal anyway?

Tony Daniel described Hawkman as “Indiana Jones fighting alien threats.”  That’s pretty good.  You’ve gotta love when the creators know their character and want to bring out the best in that character.  Philip Tan’s painterly art has great style.  I don’t know whether it is because Hawkman looks so much like Warlord, but Tan’s style reminds me of Mike Grell.  Hard to beat a comparison like that.  For anyone with no background on Hawkman, this would be a good first comic book to pick up and plunge right in.

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