Review: HAWKMAN #15
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Pat Olliffe
Colors: Jeremiah Skipper
Letters: Starkings & Comicraft
Reviewed by: Cameron Tevis
Since his encounter with the Shadow Thief, Hawkman has not been feeling well and has a fever. He seeks out the help of the master of Darkness, The Shade before passing out.
In a fever-dream, Hawkman kills more enemies knowing each new death will give him a new life in the future.
When he awakes from his dream, he sees the Shade has taken him to his home. Hawkman tells him that the Shadow Thief is stronger than ever before. The Shade realizes that Hawkman has no longer has a shadow. He rushes Hawkman to a safe room, but it is too late and the Shadow Thief appears.
Even though it occurred in a dream, the reveal that Hawkman’s lives will continues if he continues to kill was important. It was previously implied that once Hawkman saves as many lives as he has taken then he can die a permanent death. That meant his lives had to have a limit at some point. This new addition makes it clear that Hawkman never has to end. If he is forced to kill an enemy, that prolongs his reincarnation cycle. Therefore, his immortality is ultimately his choice.
It was also nice to see Shadow Thief has been elevated from a common thief. Venditti seems to be treating the character in Rebirth fashion and creating more depth to the character. I look forward to seeing how the story unfolds and where he takes the character.
It’s too early to determine any negatives for the overall arc, but as a single issue I don’t have anything negative to say. The build-up and pacing are great. As is his characterization and character development. Venditti keeps you engaged the entire issue.
As for the art, Hitch is a hard act to follow. I was under the assumption that Will Conrad was taking over art duties for more than a single issue. Apparently, that isn’t the case. Pat Olliffe has a style similar to Hitch but there are a couple frames that the action feels stiff particularly when Hawkman is trashing Shade’s Safe Room.
Hawkman has been a title that stands high above anything else currently on the stands. Each issue is a pleasant surprise. This issue is no different. Venditti has managed to make me interested in characters I have previously had little interest in. I actually want to learn more about Shadow-Thief and The Shade as well as see how their stories play out. Venditti has already succeeded in making Hawkman one of my favorite superheroes.