Friday, April 27, 2012

Hawkman Sketch by Stephen Sadowski

This Hawkman sketch is by Stephen Sadowski, best known to Hawkfans for his work on the very popular title JSA, where he got to deliver beautiful images of the Kendra Hawkgirl as well as being the penciller for the "Return of Hawkman" storyline.  So it is only appropriate to feature this sketch today!

Dripping with machismo and masculine energy, this sketch really embodies the "Return of Hawkman" era Winged Wonder in my mind.  The burly chest (covered with hair, natch) and beefy shoulder belie the "Conan with wings" mantra which became Hawkman's calling card in this period.  The talon decorations on the boots are very slick, and the helmet looks sharp without being over-rendered.  The wings (always important) are nicely detailed and good sized, and I like the straps on the harness as well as the traditional belt.  One thing which stands out to me is that Hawkman is not wielding a weapon, a rarity since his revival!  Simply flying through the air (with the greatest of ease, I imagine) is such a Silver Age concept for Hawkman.  Overall just a great piece!

Disclaimer: I do not own or have possession of this sketch.  It is being reposted from the cited website only.

Image: Hawkman sketch, Stephen Sadowski, 2012, image retrieved from Comic Art Fans.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting In The Wings -- 4/25/2012

It's Wednesday again, so you know what that means, it's time to see what Hawk-related comics are coming out today!

The Savage Hawkman #8 -- The final issue of Daniel, Bonny, and Tan on Hawkman bows today, as alien shapeshifter Aksana makes her return.  Considering that the upcoming issues have teased more alien and science fiction elements, the appearance of Aksana may lead into something more.  I much prefer this sort of approach rather than the "hard break" which we seem to get pretty frequently these days, where a new creative team tosses out everything the previous team did.  It's been a fun run, but everything comes to an end eventually, so check it out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hawkgirl To Be Part of Earth 2

When the New 52 began at DC, it was not overly surprising that Hawkgirl was among the missing.  After all, Shiera had just died (again) at the end of Brightest Day, setting up the conceit (if not the details) of the angry, lone Hawkman.  Then the title of the new Hawkman book was announced as The Savage Hawkman, so it was understandable that Hawkgirl would be absent from that title at least at the start.  I always assumed that DC would get around to introducing Hawkgirl down the road, and I was right.

Although, I must say, I was surprised to see where that introduction will be taking place.  One of the "Second Wave" of the New 52 is Earth 2, by noted Hawk-scribe James Robinson, and artists Nicola Scott, and Trevor Scott.  The solicitation for the third issue reads as follows:

EARTH 2 #3
• The all-new origin of ALAN SCOTT GREEN LANTERN – unlike any GL origin that's come before!
• The debut of the all-new HAWKGIRL!
• And Jay Garrick, THE FLASH, meets his first Super Hero!

(Emphasis mine)

So the All-New Hawkgirl (man, that would make a great title for a comic book, wouldn't it?) debuts over on the parallel world of Earth 2?  Will Hawkman and Hawkgirl be lovers from a past life separated by a dimensional barrier?  Perhaps Hawkgirl and Hawkman will be Earth counterparts, ala Jay Garrick/Barry Allen or Alan Scott/Hal Jordan?  As this is the New 52, as cliched as it sounds, really the sky is the limit for how Robinson wants to play this, including what her identity will be.  I mean, there have been teases over in Savage Hawkman about Carter's connection with Thanagar and "Katar Hol," so it would not be implausible for this Hawkgirl to be Shayera Thal, right?

As far as Hawkgirl being a member of (what I am assuming is being called) the Justice Society, I have zero problems with that.  Remember that Kendra was Hawkgirl on the reformed JSA for quite a while before "The Return of Hawkman" storyline went down, and she did just fine.  Justice League (especially the first two seasons, when she was a regular) was instrumental in demonstrating that Hawkgirl works very well on her own, not just as a sidekick or love interest for Hawkman. Much in the same way that Robin (either Dick or Tim, take your pick) has become a character who can work well in the setting of partner as well as solo as well as part of a team, I think Hawkgirl's starring turns have gone a long way to establishing her in the same light.  Having her as part of this new Justice Society without the presence of Hawkman further cements this, and it makes me happy to have one of the pre-eminent female tucchus-kickers get a spotlight shone on her.

We have not seen any art yet for Hawkgirl, but if Nicola Scott is drawing her, she should look pretty good!  The teases we have seen so far are sort of an Elseworlds-style set of costumes, so I imagine that Hawkgirl will be recognizable as a Winged Wonder while being a new style.

I have not preordered Earth 2, but will probably pick it up off the shelf when it is released.  

What do you folks think?  What sort of Hawkgirl can we expect in Earth 2?  And will you be picking up this series?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Savage Hawkman #8 Preview

We've been talking a lot about the new creative team of The Savage Hawkman, but let's not forget that there is one more issue from the previous team! And now we have a preview! So head on over to Newsarama and check out the last issue (for now, anyway) of Savage Hawkman featuring the talents of Tony Daniel, Jim Bonny, and Philip Tan!

Page From Savage Hawkman #9

Thanks to Rob Liefeld's Twitter account, we have this page of art from Savage Hawkman #9. In color, Bennett's pencils look even more detailed and fantastical; we're definitely riffing on the "winged barbarian" look here. Which, again, for a comic with the word "savage" in its title, is not entirely surprising.

This title is about to get a major facelift... whether it will will be for the better or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, it will be a lot different looking than the earlier issues if nothing else!

Image: Page from Savage Hawkman #9, 2012, Joe Bennett.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waiting In The Wings -- 4/18/2012 (A Little Late...)

Yeah, this is a day late, but I didn't realize that anything Hawk-related was coming out this week, so here you go!

Showcase Presents All-Star Squadron v.1 -- Collecting All-Star Squadron 1-18, these tales from Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler have never been reprinted before, so it's a great opportunity to pick up all of these WW2 era adventures in one black and white volume.  Hawkman scores at least a cameo in every issue of this series, and Hawkgirl makes a number of appearances as well, plus all of their fellow Golden Age heroes.  I apparently forgot to order this, so a trip to the comic book shop is in order!  I have heard about a lot of these stories thanks to Michael Bailey and Scott Gardner over on Tales of the JSA, and they generally have nothing but good things to say about this series.  Give them a listen!

Super Powers Collection on Fire And Water Podcast

Hey there, are you a fan of the Super Powers Collection?  Well, since you are reading a Hawkman blog, I am going to assume that you are.  So head on over to either Firestorm Fan or The Aquaman Shrine and listen to episode 17 of The Fire And Water Podcast, where Shag and Rob talk about the Super Powers toys we all loved as kids, including Hawkman!  (And Aquaman and Firestorm, too!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Savage Hawkman Sketches By Joe Bennett

As promised, here is a sneak peek at what Joe Bennet's Savage Hawkman will look like.  From Bleeding Cool:

Joe Bennett is drawing the new Savage Hawkman arc, cowritten by Rob Liefeld and Mark Poulton. And here are his first sketches of how he plans to be handling the character.

Bennett is definitely embracing the fantastical elements of the character, as the muscled, armored, weapon-totting and gauntlet-sporting figure would not look terribly out of place on the cover of a sword & sorcery novel.  The more natural looking weapon (as opposed to the jagged, angular alien designs we have seen previously) helps sell this feeling as well.  I am torn on the feather motif of the wing harness, but I like the talons over the boots, even if they seem somewhat overstated.

You can see more of Bennett's take on the Winged Wonder (including a two page spread) at the above link.

Image: Savage Hawkman sketch, 2012, Joe Bennett.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Savage Hawkman #9 Cover

Yesterday I gave you the advance solicits for the upcoming issues of The Savage Hawkman, and today we have the cover to the first issue of the "Liefeld Era" (anytime someone says "the <blank> era," I think of Chick Hicks from Cars, but I digress).  Appropriately, the cover is drawn by Rob Liefeld, even though he will not be handling interiors.

I'm not going to mince words here -- I do not like this cover.  The wings look scratchy and vague, the "v" shape on the pants give me more of an Aquaman vibe than a Hawkman one, and combined the with the tapered waste, gives the figure an almost fey appearance.  The weapons are just random "alien blades" and don't do much for me like the old fashioned ancient weapons typically do.  The helmet looks alright but does illustrate the point I have seen online that, so far, only Philip Tan could really draw that helmet well.  I am not sure what is going on with the right boot -- is his leg rotated 90 degrees at the knee, or something?  

In the interest of fairness, I like the look of the wing harness and the shoulder armor.  Also, the colors are spot-on, especially the hues and shades to the golden Nth metal.

There's something about the "slim muscular" body type which Liefeld uses on Hawkman which doesn't sit well to my eye.  If he had drawn Hawkman to look more like Hawk, who has a bulky frame, I think the image might have been more appealing.  I suppose that the idea is to portray Hawkman like a sleek, lithe raptor, a "bird of prey" waiting to swoop down and pounce on its target?  But as it stands I don't like it.  

But, again, Liefeld is not doing interiors, Joe Bennett is.  Bennett sounds very excited about the gig, saying on his Facebook:

…it´ll be agreat return to me after 8 years.Hawkman was my first DC book and back to it is a joy..Art Thibert on inks and Jason Right on colors is a great joy,also…let´s ROCK!!!!

Later, we'll have some first looks at Bennett's take on the "Savage" Hawkman.

Image: The Savage Hawkman #9, 2012, Rob Liefeld.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Savage Hawkman Advanced Solicits

In an effort to play "catch up" here at Being Carter Hall, I'm going to give you all of the advance solicits which I have missed over the last few months, as The Savage Hawkman transitions from the Daniel/Bonny/Tan team to the Liefeld/Poulton/Bennett team.  So, without further adieu, solicits away!


On sale MAY 23 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• Welcome the new creative team of ROB LIEFELD, MARK POULTON, JOE BENNETT and ART THIBERT!
• Introducing the evil XERXES!
• It's HAWKMAN the savage warrior – as you've never seen him before!

Others have made the joke but let me add to it -- Hawkman is fighting the Persian Empire?  One gets the feeling that Rob Liefeld thought that "Xerxes" was a cool name when he watched 300 and has been waiting for a chance to use it again.


Plotted by ROB LIEFELD
On sale JUNE 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• It's fight night as HAWKMAN enters a GLADIATORIAL DEATHMATCH against three ultra-villains for the life of his friend Emma!
• Get your popcorn because the first scene in this issue just might be the best battle you see all year!

I hope the three Ultra-Villains are Bemular, Red King, and Zetton.  That would be one heck of a fight!  All kidding aside, action suits Hawkman and Rob Liefeld's writing which I have been exposed to, so this sounds like a good match.


Plotted by ROB LIEFELD
On sale JULY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

• HAWKMAN inches closer to answers about who he is and why he is being hunted!
• Introducing ST. BASTION! He'll stop at nothing to discover the secrets of the scrolls Carter Hal revealed in issue #9!

Is it me or does St. Bastion sound like a Catholic Prep School?  Probably just me.

The book definitely seems to be taking on more of a science fiction feel, if these teases are anything to go by.  They also are amping up the action quotient, which seems appropriate both for the fact that the title is The Savage Hawkman but also for the fact that Rob Liefeld is not known as an introspective "navel gazing" sort of comics writer.  

It's obviously too early to predict much for this new direction of the series other than I don't like the Liefeld covers.  Hawkman looks too lean for my tastes.  I'm not a Liefeld art fan by any stretch but I thought his work on the recently ended Hawk & Dove was a good match, especially on Hawk.  But Hawkman just looks gangly and awkward.  Luckily enough, Rob is not drawing the book at this point so its not much of a problem for this Hawkfan at the end of the day.  More distressing are the suggestions from several fronts (including Liefeld's Twitter) that the trio of books he is taking over are all on the proverbial chopping block.  Obviously I would prefer Hawkman not get cancelled, so hopefully enough folks check out this new direction to give DC some confidence in the Winged Wonder.

The past year has been a crazy one for Hawkfans, and the next one seems like it will be all the more crazy.  Bring it on, I say.  Better to have tried and failed then to never have even tried at all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Read: The Savage Hawkman #5

Issue: The Savage Hawkman #5
Title: Waking Nightmares
Published Date: Jan 2012
Generation: New 52 Carter
Retcon Status: In Continuity

Summary: Carter is on the streets of New York with Emma when he suddenly starts seeing all of the people around him as rotting zombies.  The Nth metal begins to come out, when, just as suddenly, everyone goes back to normal.  Freaked out that the Nth metal might be effecting his mind, Carter morphs into costume and gets some air.

Across town in the Village, a rare book dealer named Digby is visited by a strange customer, who is interested in a mysterious book containing unreadable symbols.  Scared, Digby tells the customer to just take the book, but the customer demands Digby decipher it, as his life depends on it.

Back at his apartment, Carter runs into his hook-up obsessed neighbor Singh, and then gets a call from Professor Ziegler, who has a job for him.  The job turns out to be the book which Digby was ordered to translate.  Once he touches the book, Carter's mind is filled with images of a group of warlocks and interdimensional apparitions being attacked by animated corpses, and the last warlock using an artifact called the Mortis Orb to banish them, albeit at a great price.  Carter takes the book back to his apartment for further study, but while there he has another vision of the living dead (much to Singh's dismay).  Carter (as Hawkman) pays Digby a visit, and the book dealer tells him that he got the book at an estate sale five years ago.  Digby is clearly scared of "The Gentleman," and tells Hawkman that he can't get ahold of the Mortis Orb.  

Just then, spectral apparitions (the same as Carter had in his vision) appear.  Hawkman tries to defend himself but while the apparitions weapons can wound him, his own weapons pass right through them.  Hawkman thinks that at least he is not crazy, and that these creatures are real, but it may not be much consolation, as the mastermind then reveals himself: the Gentleman Ghost!

Review:  The second story arc of the Savage Hawkman era kicks things in a very different direction than the previous one, as we deal with magical relics and dimensional ghosts and moldering old tomes.  Very grim and foreboding, a good balance of the superhero and horror elements.  zombies are almost always a popular choice, so the decision from Daniel and Bonny to keep them in reserve in favor of the apparitions was a good call.  Speaking of the writing team, the addition of Jim Bonny on script is a beneficial one.  The dialogue in previous issues had been somewhat heavy, whereas here it seems to be more natural.  It's not banter by any means, but there is an improvement.  Singh is a welcome addition to the supporting cast, and to me the Gentleman Ghost is always welcome.  (As an aside, the apparitions also vaguely remind me of the poltergeists from the 1986 Hawkman Special, which also starred Gentleman Ghost.)

Tan's art is moody and dark, an excellent fit for the tone of the story.  His redesigned Gentleman Ghost combines the classical elements (top hat, monocle, topcoat, gloves) with the arcane (we can see that his skin is rotting, and he is wearing some sort of armor or ornamental bracers on his shoulders).  It definitely evokes the Gentleman Ghost, easily the most recognizable and popular of Hawkman's admittedly small rogues gallery, but suitably for the "edgy" aesthetic of the New 52.  

Overall, I liked this issue.  I think if the series had kicked off with this storyline (including the popular baddie), the book might have won some more readers early on.  As it is, this is not the Gentleman Ghost you remember, but still one worth reading about.  A very strong beginning to the arc.

Image: The Savage Hawkman #5, 2012, Philip Tan.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Waiting In The Wings -- 4/4/12

Any new comics out this week which would appeal to the jaded Hawkfans out there?  Let's find out!

Hawk and Dove #8 -- With new Hawkman writer Rob Liefeld incoming next month (on issue #9), I think its worthwhile to read some of the other comics he has been writing lately, especially within the DC "New 52."  While starting out as the artist on Hawk and Dove, Rob has moved over to handle the writing chores on the title over the series' final three issues, with #8 being the finale.  I've read #6, and got #7 in the mail yesterday, but not had a chance to read it yet.  Hawk and Dove #6 was a "done in one" featuring our heroes in Gotham City crossing paths with Batman and Robin as they fought Blockbuster, who was under the thrall of a spellcaster.  Told from Hawk's perspective, it was not bad at all -- nothing that was going to be breaking any sales records, but a very well put together adventure putting the two duos together for a common goal despite the tensions between them.  The story did feature a lot of action -- as befit the scenario -- but managed to sneak in some character moments as well.  Hawk's immediate mental disdain for Batman, for instance, I thought was a nice touch and shows that Liefeld has a good handle on Hank's mindset.  His dialogue is neither smarmy nor particularly snappy; pop culture references make a cameo.  All in all, I liked #6 and am eager to see what #7 has to offer.

What does this mean to Savage Hawkman?  Well, it means a lot and not that much at the same time.  To me it means a lot because I read something from the incoming writer and enjoyed it, always a good sign when you have a creative team change.  But at the same time, I don't know that it means particularly a lot either.  As I said, Rob Liefeld knows the characters of Hawk and Dove very well, having worked on them before and being co-creator of Dawn Granger.  So it follows that he can write a good H&D story.  But Rob Liefeld doesn't have any real history with Hawkman.  So that's a big question mark still for me.  Of course, we the readers don't have much of a history with this Hawkman, either.  So that's a good thing, as events can really unfold in any number of directions because there is no past continuity to restrict a story.  

Right now we have to simply hold on a little bit longer to see what the new creative team brings to the table.  (Plus, let's not forget we have another tale from Daniel, Booney, and Tan coming out this month!)  Till then, all we can do is speculate, something which we as comics fans all enjoy from time to time, right?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Animated Anthem Day -- Hawkman!

It's crossover time! The forces of the DC Comics Blogosphere (patent pending) have combined to present to you animated intros spotlighting more than 14 different heroes and heroines! It's a veritable pantheon of cartoon giants!

With Being Carter Hall being a Hawkman blog (big shock), it's only natural that I'm featuring the Filmation Hawkman intro from The Superman/Aquaman Hour from 1967! I'm not sure that all of the details are exactly spot on to the comics version, but hey! Cartoon Hawkman!

"Hawkman... the Winged Avenger!" Man, that gets the old pumps pumping. I love the classic Hawkman logo at the end. This Hawkfan can't help but grin from ear to ear upon seeing this intro.

Check out my fellow bloggers and all of the Animated Anthems! We've got everyone from Aquaman to Vixen and lots of folks in between! Enjoy!

Animated Anthem Day

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Resurrection

So, yeah.

Sorry about that. Turns out that being on a field assignment does afford you a lot of time, but very little free time. Blogging became pretty much an impossibility, between working long hours and then having to go out for every meal. So, needless to say, between sleeping and blogging, sleeping tends to win!

To add insult to injury (of a sort), once I was back in the office, I got a temporary assignment which put me in a fast paced review involving a good deal of overtime, leaving me not much time to blog back home, either.

So, yeah. Sorry about that, heh!

Anyway, some good stuff is coming down the pipe here at Being Carter Hall. We have some Savage Hawkman reviews coming up, plus some classic Hawk comics as well. I have some new Hawk toys to show off, too. And to kick things off, we have something special for you coming up tomorrow. So thank you for your patience and welcome back to Being Carter Hall!