Current Reviews


Hawkgirl #50

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2006
By: Michael Aronson

Writer: Walter Simonson
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Publisher: DC Comics

Simonson on writing and Chaykin on art, assigned to a title chronicling the adventures of a popular formerly supporting character? Itís a brilliant move that will only end in a sales slump and cancellation in a year or two, but I admire DCís brass for committing to this idea. Even though itís essentially a new #1 issue, I think the title will benefit from remaining connected to the previous iteration, drawing out the readersí curiosity over Hawkmanís absence.

A mysterious dream begins a series of strange events that haunt Kendra and endanger those near her. The mystery of these events dates back to the beginning of the previous year when the first of many disappearances started occurring to the citizens of St. Roch. How Kendra is involved is still uncertain, yet the images etched into a decrepit wall suggest her fate is tied to the answer.

Itís nice that Kendraís status quo, supporting cast, location and powers are all spelled out quite smoothly for new readers and that a new storyline initiates right away, but DC seems to be forgetting why new readers might be picking up the title. Longtime fans of the two Hawks are likely curious to see the changes that occurred over the year-long gap, but new readers like myself have grown interested in Kendra due to her appearances in JSA and Rann/Thanagar War, and while itís great to see her hogging the spotlight for once, I want to see where she fits in with the rest of the DCU. This is partially the result of very few moments of her in costume, which isnít to say the issueís light on action or plot development, but . . . it doesnít quite pique my curiosity as much as it should.

Props to the writers and editors for two bold moves. First, the return of footnotes! Itís only one, and itís not necessarily a reference that required a footnote, but Iím glad the editors are starting to realize that footnotes arenít so much a hook to drag continuity baggage as they are references for interested readers to hunt down further adventures of these characters. And second, the inclusion of ďthe hurricane.Ē I honestly did wonder last year if the Hawkman writers had referenced Katrina in the comics, since St. Roch canít be more than a stoneís throw from New Orleans. Whether they did or not, here itís tastefully referenced and used as a backdrop for some of the changes in the past year. In fact, though I donít usually like politics mixed heavily into my fiction, Iíd like to see it play a larger role and motivation for Kendraís actions.

This is a solid starting point for a series thatís probably doomed anyway, but Iíll give it another issue to build momentum. I need more reasons Ė DCU interaction, Hawkmanís disappearance, Kendraís motivations Ė to read a Hawkgirl title than to see Hawkman with breasts.

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