[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Bryan Hitch & Andrew Currie
Colors: Jeremiah Skipper
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
It begins here! K’Tar is the first life of Hawkman, he and his partner Idamm are Deathbringers for a higher power. Their mission is to kill thousands of lives on each world they visit as a sacrifice. But after culling the planet of Thanagar, K’Tar begins to have doubts and wonders when the death will end. It is in that moment he sees a mysterious woman, but he quickly dismisses her.
Idamm manages to put K’Tar’s doubts at ease for a time and they continue their mission. But now K’Tar sees the same woman on each planet they lay waste to. At the same time, K’Tar’s guilt begins to mount and Idamm notices.
On the planet Qgga, K’Tar has had enough and tries something new. This leads to a battle between K’Tar and Idamm. Idamm manages to give K’Tar a fatal wound but before he dies, he sees the woman again.
In death, K’Tar is given a choice that sets up Hawkman’s entire history.
Hawkman has had a confusing history to say the least. Each time DC Comics rebooted the character they changed his origin, sometimes changing things so drastically he was from different planets or even had different identities. This made a cohesive singular story connecting them all seemingly impossible.
However, in the very first issue of this series, Venditti fixed all of that in a simple and elegant, yet brilliant way. Now Venditti has taken it a step further: he has given Hawkman an official origin. This origin manages to explain why all the previous origins can all still occur without contradicting one another and everything remains a cohesive and linear story that spans all of history. It also gives us insight into the current storyline of the Deathbringers and Hawkman’s visions of them.
What Venditti has done is no small feat and every new issue of this series gets better and better. I am a Hal Jordan, Green Lantern fan through and through, but Hawkman is quickly becoming a favorite character of mine. The size and scope of this character under Venditti is on par and potentially larger than that of the Green Lantern Corps as well as the rest of the Emotional Spectrum… now that is impressive.
The only negatives I have is that I don’t have the answers to my questions right now. So, it’s my own impatience and not the writing or art. Every time Venditti answers a question, he leaves us asking more. But that isn’t even a negative, that is just good writing. He has me wanting to find out answers to questions like, “Who do the Deathbringers work for and why?”,“Why do they have the Deathbringers kill?”,”How long was K’Tar doing this?”,”Was K’Tar created?”,”Will we see Idamm again?”,“How powerful are the Deathbringers now? And how powerful are their masters?”.
I have so many questions I could go on for a while. Fortunately, I have faith that Venditti has a plan that will answer most of them, if not all.
This issue takes a detour from modern day Hawkman’s quest, but it gives an origin story that helps unify all previous versions of Hawkman into one cohesive historical timeline. We are introduced to K’Tar, the first Hawkman and we get to see how it all began. We get to learn why he is reincarnated and now we also know at some point, he won’t be reborn. This is a significant amount of information given to us in a single issue and Venditti seems to handle it with ease.
I can’t recommend this title enough to readers new or old. Venditti has given new readers a great hopping on point but at the same time given something old readers will love. This Hawkman series has been the kind of book that made me fall in love with reading comic books for in the first place.