Current Reviews


Hawkman #46

Posted: Friday, November 11, 2005
By: Paul T. Semones

Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artists: Ron Randall, Art Thibert & Walden Wong

Publisher: DC Comics

Plot: ďThe Hawk team welcomes a new cover artist ó comics superstar Adam Kubert!Ē DC tries to snag a few Marvel zombies.

Commentary: Oh, man.

This was just more disappointing than I can express. Well, thatís not true. Luckily, I have a few things to say.

After a year-long arc of excellent drama and rip-roaring action that was blissfully easy to follow, and free of pace-breaking tie-ins to the ongoing mega-story in the DCU, Hawkman #46 finally comes back around to connect the title to present continuity. This issue was supposed to be the setup for the Hawksí action in Rann-Thanagar War, which started about eight months ago in rack time. I was really looking forward to seeing an issue that gave an epic overview of the portentious events that have transpired since the title was last in synch with the rest of DCís line.

Instead, we get the most pitifully primitive sort of issue.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl tussle with an OMAC unit for most of the story. Itís terribly dreary stuff. Weíve already seen OMACs show up out of the blue to beat on the titular hero in every other book bearing the DC Swirl this year. By now, the formula is clear: some poor wretch gets transformed into a blue thing, the heroes trade a few punches, and for whatever reason, Brother Eye goes chicken and quits the fight. Canít very well have these Omega Senti--- uh, I mean OMACs actually do anything of real consequence outside the big event itself, I suppose. The OMACs just arenít too impressive unless theyíre swarming in the thousands like something out of the Matrix.

Here, the OMAC unit doesnít even seem to correspond to established capabilities seen everywhere else. What? This one canít fly unless it grows Hawkman wings? Please. Iím not some credulous kid reading a comic from the 1970s who just thinks its cool to see my favorite hero fight an enemy that can mimic his hero gear.

Just like this issue itself, Iím wasting time droning on about inconsequential filler material. Letís move on.

The real business of this issue is to get Hawkman and Hawkgirl in place for the space action thatís already been published. But we get no such thing. Oh sure, thereís a segue to Rann, where Adam Strange and Sardath talk about the war thatís about to start, but again, this is pure stone age writing.

Sardath: ďWar is coming and I fear we will have few allies to preserve our people. As always we turn to you, ADAM STRANGE, for help.Ē

Adam Strange: ďDonít worry, Sardath. With help from your ZETA BEAM, Iíll return with some assistance from Earth. I only pray I make it back in time!Ē

Modern comics have generally left behind such insulting dialogue. Characters donít tell each other what their names and signature comic book gizmos are. Thatís what narration is for. Ponderous lines of dialogue such as this serve no purpose but to fill in clueless readers who havenít been following the title or related books, and for a faithful reader, itís just terribly grating.

I suppose they thought the Adam Kubert cover Ė the first art weíve seen out of the Kubert Bros. exclusive with DC Ė was going to grab a few newbies to the title. Doubtful, but if there was an editorial mandate to keep that in mind, they should have retained an A-list artist for the interiors. Thibert and Randall appear to have scribbled this issue out on very short notice, and after the glory of Joe Bennettís pencils this past year, itís just one more glaring disappointment.

After the dramatically void Rann interlude, we have an appearance by Jean Grey to make any Marvelites who may be peering inside feel at home. Iím only partially kidding. The Hawks return home after their uninspiring OMAC business to discover a package that manifests a Phoenix flame bird upon opening. Whuh? This is just more time-wasting misdirection so the Fadeaway Man can sneak into Carterís study and snatch back his teleportation cloak, cackle maniacally and then vow to we primitive man-children who are reading the book that heíll be back for his vengeance.

Unbelievably, an issue that should have been a vital transitional story reveals itself to be utterly backwards filler.

Grey and Palmiotti are orders of magnitude better comicsmiths than this issue suggests. Pity the sola Marvela drones who might have thought this to be a jumping on point. They wonít be back.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!