Monday, June 7, 2010

Hawkman by Geoff Johns (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

Geoff Johns created another masterpiece with his run as writer of the Hawkman series. He penned the first three volumes of Hawkman, which after he left faltered, was re-titled Hawkgirl, then cancelled after sales dwindled even lower.....but I loved this series and what Johns did with it. Saturated with Egyptian myth & history, delving into past lives and an undying love between a man and a woman, this series delivered great stories, enough action to keep you interested, and a different twist on some of DC Comic's most historic characters.

The basic story behind the Characters Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Black Adam, Nabu, & Hath-Set are as follows:

Prince Khufu & Chay-Ara lived during the reign of Ramesses II in the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt. A prophesy by the wizard Nabu comes true, as a spacecraft lands in Egypt. Prince Khufu, Nabu, and the champion Teth-Adam search the desert, finally coming across the remains of a Thanagarian ship styled with a hawk-like motif. Nabu casts a spell translating the strange language of the female space traveler. Just before dying, she whispers the words, "Nth Metal", the name of the substance that powered the downed ship.

Teth-Adam lifts the ship back to Khufu's palace, where it is studied inside the Temple of Horus. The remaining Nth metal is examined, and its most obvious property proves to be its ability to negate gravity. The remaining sample from the ship is melted and used to create several remarkable devices, including a scarab which allows Khufu to fly, a deadly knife, and a battle glove referred to as the Claw of Horus.

The metal also strengthens the souls of Khufu and Chay-Ara, binding them together in their love and imprinting them with the collective knowledge of the planet Thanagar. Although the villainous priest Hath-Set murders the two with the knife of Nth metal, their souls live on in the mortal plane. They are reincarnated over many lifetimes, always finding true love in each other, but cursed to be repeatedly killed at the hands of a reincarnated Hath-Set.

In JSA (Justice Society of America) Volume 3, Hawkgirl (reincarnated as Kendra Saunders) journeys to Thanagar to aid in the reincarnation of Carter Hall, the current Hawkman. The Hawkman series takes off from there, as Hawkman; forever in love with Chay-Ara, tries to make advances on Hawkgirl, who has no memories of her past lives and no interest in Carter.

Based in St. Roch, LA Carter Hall works as an Archaeologist in a museum. Hawkman faces many enemies in this series (including the Gentleman Ghost, Highwayman, & Shadow Thief), finds ancient artifacts, and explores past incarnations of himself and Hawkgirl. Kendra and Carter become friends and even a little romantic as the eternal bond between their souls cannot be suppressed.

The Geoff Johns' collection of Hawkman were included in three Volumes: Endless Flight, Allies and Enemies, & Wings of Fury. Rags Morales and Michael Bair did the artwork for all three volumes, and James Robinson co-wrote the first two volumes.

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