Movies & TV / Columns

Comics 411: Can DC Make Hawkman Cool?

July 11, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Hawkman 1

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Batman #50, The Sentry #1, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we asked, Did DC Comics Ruin Batman #50? Here’s what some of you had to say:

nerdtastic4dawin: “I actually just got spoilered tonight, when I was researching what shops were open at midnight tonight…darn. I won’t be buying the issue, now, so yes, the spoiler actually ruined it for me. Shrug.”

armchair theologian: “Yeah, why would anyone who had a vested interest in the theoretical outcome (Bats+Cats) buy the issue when not only is it spoiled, but the outcome isn’t there, either?

DC: “Hey, that thing you wanted? You aren’t getting it. Now give me $4.””

Defective: “Yes. Moving on.

Anyway, DC fucked things up with how they marketed this comic. Tom King in no way deserves any of the hate that’s resulting from the backlash of this fuck up by DC. As I’ve told people over the past few days – be mad! Be angry! Be upset! Just be upset at DC for this extreme screw up – not Tom King. Speaking of Tom King, he has a 100 issue run in for Batman and now he has another 50 issues to work with to bring his run to a close. I’m sticking with it because I love his run so far and am genuinely curious as to how he follows this up.”

SilentBattleLord: “There is a new generation of kids becoming comic fans, they just aren’t reading DC or Marvel.”

Richard H1S: “Spoiling the issue is sadly inevitable and has been going on for years. Comics like at times wrestling go for that big main stream push to sell a few thousand extra issues at the expense of the core readership.

What really sucks is DC built up and promised one thing with a billion tie ins and then didn’t go through with it.

Imagine if this was a regular story like “Superman vs darkseid” they then spent months building it up, released a half a dozen tie in books and then right before the fight Superman hugged Darkseid and walked away.

The outcome of the issue hurt a lot more than the spoiler I think honestly.”

To read last week’s column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we ask…

Can Hawkman Be Cool?

Few comic book characters have the confusing history that Hawkman does. Several incarnations of Hawkman have appeared over the years, each with their tweaked differences and most of them have a partner/romantic interest in Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman.

Katar Hol, Carter Hall, Fel Andar, Zauriel, Charley Parker…all have had the mantle of Hawkman. The original Hawkman first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. Thanks to the complex nature of the characters history, Hawkman has never enjoyed lasting success or popularity.

Now Hawkman gets a new #1 with writer Robert Venditti trying to make sense of his past and reintroduce him to new audiences in the post-“Rebirth”/post-Metal DCU.

Hawkman’s previous continuity is still in place, like his ancient Egyptian prince past and his time spent in the Old West. What Venditti does is build off “Dark Nights: Metal” and try to streamline the character.

How does he do it? Venditti and artist Bryan Hitch introduces the concept that Hawkman’s history of reincarnations not only happened on Earth, but have seen him living on other planets like Krypton, where he was called Catar-Ol; and Rann, where he was Katarhul.

But does the reveal make it easier to relate to the character? Venditti did an interview with Newsarama and here are some highlights:

On the mysteries about his origin: “What he discovered in the first issue is a huge threat that’s coming to destroy him and to destroy Earth.

And yes, it links back to his origin. But the problem with that is, he’s been around so long and he’s lived so many lives, he doesn’t even remember what his origin is.

So now, he’s on this adventure in the present to uncover the mystery and the clues that he’s left for himself across time so that he can unlock what this threat is.

And he’s racing against the clock because that threat is already on its way and he doesn’t know how to stop it.

And he doesn’t know how he’s connected to it.”

On how Hawkman’s history is also linked to Hawkgirl and if she’ll appear in the series: “She will, yes. I mean, obviously, she’s in other places in the DCU right now. She’s obviously in the new Justice League series and there are a lot of plans for her there, which are going to be very exciting. And I encourage people to read them.

But she is a part of Hawkman’s history in the same way that Hawkman is a part of hers.

But I also think that it’s nice to be able to have the two characters separate for a while and establish who they are as individual characters in absence of each other before we bring them together. Let’s build to that moment. Let’s make it really impactful, and let’s have them see who they are as individuals before we see who they are together.”

Where does this leave us? Another take on a complicated character that adds to his past. Saying that, I read Hawkman #1 and was surprised at how well it was put together. Taking on Hawkman is no easy task but Venditti seems to have an interesting plan to over come the years of confusing continuity.

Will fans give it a chance? What’s your thoughts on Hawkman?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!