"Fine Day for a Hangin'"
Writer: James Robinson
Artists: Rags Morales(p), Tim Truman(i), John Kalisz(c)
Issue seven of Hawkman is far from magnificent. "Fine Day for a Hangin'" is the equivalent of year-old beef jerky. Bland and tough to chew, the story stars Nighthawk who is best remembered for dying painfully in The Crisis of Infinite Earths. Cinnamon who is best remembered for being a red-head and wearing an all white cowboy outfit to look sexy and 'ornery in an ad for the DC Explosion co-stars. John Ostrander I believe is responsible for tying Nighthawk into the Hawkman legacy. How Cinnamon got horn-swaggled into this dubious exercise is anybody's guess. Considering her presence translates as Nighthawk's dirty pillows, I think the character would protest.
Having been under the influence of love at first sight, I'm certainly not against the phenomena in fact or fiction, yet regarding fiction, certain demands have to be met in order for me to believe that it actually occurs. These demands are not met in this poor issue of Hawkman. The characters have no chemistry. They're barely characters to begin with, and intimacy between them certainly would have provided more depth. The timing of the consummation couldn't be more lacking. There's no build up. It just happens, and I can't help but think it would happen even if these two were not incarnations of the Hawks. The writing here does women no favors.
Because it's a DC western, Robinson name drops like a dickens. On the second page, he mentions Greg Saunders the Vigilante who apparently rested a spell in the old west. Fine. DC hasn't any history anyway, but how is mention of Greg Saunders pertinent to a formulaic western that's supposed to be reintroducing another character to the post-Crisis messyverse? The Shining Knight and Green Lantern are brought up through dragging, metaphoric narration by an ambiguous, pretentious twit, and again, these signposts have no purpose. To make matters worse, Nighthawk meets Gentlemen Jim Craddock. Nothing is allowed to move. It all just appears. Personally, I'd like to consider this issue a mirage.
The western motif itself borrows heavily from other westerns. The madwoman comes from For a Few Dollars More, the black man being scheduled for a hanging may have arisen from Silverado. Perhaps this is what bugs me the most about the story. If this is the DC universe, why aren't bizarre things happening? Why reintroduce a cowboy who can be replaced by every other generic cowboy when you could have helped made this character special by adding an element of the weird to the west? Introduce problems only he can solve: a demonic bear or a ghostly assault by angry natives. The story seems far too simple. A below average episode of the Cisco Kid is a better representative of the genre.
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