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Hawkman #21

Posted: Monday, November 10, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Rags Morales (p), Michael Bair (i)

Publisher: DC

Plot:
After returning to her apartment to find Carter near dead, and under attack by a creepy villain who is looking to behead Hawkman, we see Kendra is able to drive him off. After quickly getting Carter access to the healing properties of his 9th metal, we see Kendra tears Carter a new one for once again intruding upon her life, by fighting a super-villain in her apartment. The issue than ends with Carter seeking out the villain who attacked him.

Comments:
Okay, a man who cares a great deal about you is savagely attacked and nearly killed by a deranged villain, and Kendra's biggest concern is that Carter didn't respect her personal space? I mean if Geoff Johns goal was to make Kendra into an incredibly narcissistic personality than this issue certainly achieve his goal quite nicely, but I suspect we are suppose to view Carter as the bad guy in this situation as he attempted to check out the new man that Kendra had become involved with. Now I'll concede there is something rather unsettling about Carter's inability to move on, but the fact that he's lived and remembers countless lifetimes with Kendra as his beloved companion does afford him some room to make a fool out of himself. However, Geoff Johns is in such a rush to get to the scene where Kendra takes Carter to task for his behavior that he speeds right through the part where most people would express some measure of concern about the fact that a person they supposedly care a great deal for was nearly killed. I mean Carter's blood is strewn across the floor, and Kendra is upset because Carter fought the villain inside her apartment as opposed to out on the street. I real suspect this is simply a case of Geoff Johns jumping ahead, and hoping that readers would follow him into Kendra's tirade, while I found myself a couple steps behind waiting for some sign that she actually cares about someone besides herself.

As for the art, I have to say that I'm not overly impressed by the visual that the Headhunter presents, as instead of creepy or sinister the character simply looks like a generic mixture of all the various tribal garments, from his loin cloth to his rather flat looking tribal mask and shrunken heads. Now the violence that this character inflects upon Hawkman is well presented, and Kendra's look of shock and horror also does a nice job of conveying the threat, but the character himself doesn't really work all that well for me visually. I did like the scene where Kendra takes her frustration out of the vase, as is a visually engaging panel layout, and there's some fun visual touches as well, such as the shot of her sobbing reflected in the broken shard of glass. The last page reveal panel is also pretty darn cool setup for the next issue.

Final Word:
Maybe I'm being a stereotypical male in my inability to give Kendra's impassioned arguments the proper consideration, but to me her behavior in this issue is a bit like a laying into someone for stepping on the hem of your party dress while you both were busy escaping the burning building. I mean, does she serious believe that Carter dragged a crazed super-villain into her apartment and allowed himself to receive numerous life threatening injuries on purpose? I mean her argument would work far better if she had caught him sitting behind them in the movie theater, because at least it would be far easily to accept that he fully intended to intrude upon her happy little date. However this issue has her coming across as self-absorbed, and far too invested in her own life to notice that a crazed killer has nearly killed Carter. I simply can't make the leap that Geoff Johns does in this issue, as the scene where Kendra suddenly shifts gears from concern to outrage was handled in such a slapdash manner that it didn't ring true to the character.



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