Hawkman #15 Review – Top Book
Hawkman #15 Review
Written by: Robert Venditti
Art by: Pat Olliffe
Inks by: Tom Palmer
Colors by: Jeremiah Skipper
Published by: DC Comics
After a surprisingly difficult encounter with the Shadow Thief, Hawkman goes to Opal City seeking the help of the one… the only.. THE SHADE! After a discussion about the nature of shadow powers, Shadow Thief attacks once again. Can Hawkman and The Shade face off against the Shadow Thief’s new powers?
So, DC has been pretty much a toilet bowl lately, with bad decision after bad decision, all of them seemingly built on wanting to make me quit comics. I’m not quitting, but good try DC, keep at it. To remind myself why I’m still hanging around, I’ve decided to review my favorite DC ongoing right now, Hawkman.
To be sure, I was not a Hawkman fan before this ongoing, and I can’t say for sure if I am one now, but I can’t deny this book as the insanely fun, old school pulp adventure that it is. The first story deals with Carter figuring out his origins (given the insanity of continuity that is Hawkman, I presume this is a recurring plot point) and it perfectly cleans up and streamlines the entire thing, explaining how Hawkman can be both an Egyptian Prince, a Thanagarian Police Officer, a Kryptonian Historian and a gosh darn Cowboy.
Suffice it to say it was pretty tough act to follow, given its epic nature, but Venditti once again proves that this book is made specifically for me by anchoring this new arc around The Shade. If you haven’t heard, Shade is an old school DC villain that gained new life under James Robinson’s pen in Starman, turning into a more heroic figure and solving most of his problems by just exuding class out of every pore.
The presence of The Shade isn’t the only thing that’s keeping me going for this story, of course. He also briefly mentioned Hope O’Dare, making this the best book of 2019.
Ok, but for real now, Carter fits into the narrative very well, even if he’s not the world’s most developed character. He’s charming, confident and has a thirst for knowledge which are all the traits of a classic pulp hero, even if they don’t make for amazing development. Honestly, most of my concerns have to do with Shadow Thief who seems like a really uninteresting villain but, fortunately, this issue ends with a promised visit to the Shadowlands, so I’ll give him a pass just to see where this goes.
Venditti has finally learned to hit that perfect note of a “Pulp, Old School Adventure” but making it interesting, and it is a joy to read among all of those portentous “look at me I’m so deep” books or all those world changing “wacky comics” events.
Pat Olliffe’s art is sketchy and kind of loose, but it gets the job done. I know Olliffe’s work from the 90’s Untold Tales of Spider-Man comic, and while it looked better there it’s not exactly my cup of tea either way. It works well enough, the action’s fine and it’s generally kinetic. Faces look a bit weird, but I’ve definitely seen worse art from newer artists, so it gets a pass.
I keep saying this about Venditti’s books, but this was straight up fun. Cool, epic story without getting bogged down in superhero insanity, an adventurous and pulpy tone, the return of one of my favorite DC characters and serviceable artwork. This book is highly recommended, start keeping up with Hawkman people, it’s well worth it.