It’s the 1940s. Hawkman, Hawkgirl and the rest of the Justice Society of America are battling their arch foes. They’ve tracked down the Injustice Society to their latest hideout in Austria and it’s all-out war.
It’s Carter and Shayera, Green Lantern, Wildcat, the Flash and Sandman vs Per Degaton, Vandal Savage, the Gambler, Brain Wave, the Huntress and the Wizard. And it is glorious.
It’s a classic battle between good and evil, but the Hawks are seeing it with fresh eyes – they’ve lived through this period previously, and now they’re back, courtesy of the omnipotent deity which has finally lifted Carter Hall’s curse. Having reincarnated countless times through history and space, he’s saved as many lives as he ended as servant of a dark god, and has been granted one final life. Offered the chance to return to Paradise as an angel, Shayera asked to stay by Carter’s side. They’ve been sent to ‘the lifetime you both hold closest in your hearts’ – as Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the Golden Age of Heroes.
At first, Carter embraces the notion of reincarnation no more, but a brush with death at the hands of an Injustice Society member shakes him.
And if an unseen enemy who’s sensed that Hawkman and Hawkgirl have run out of lives has their way, he won’t be afraid for long.
This is terrific stuff. Writer Robert Venditti presents a straightforward, fun JSA tale through the eyes of leader Hawkman, meaning we get pitch-perfect introductions to the other heroes – complete with delightfully cheesy puns – while the villains are defined by their actions.
The notion that this was the Halls’ favourite life is neat, given it’s ‘the time and place where we used to believe our history began’. I certainly like seeing them here – heck, if this book were suddenly renamed ‘the Justice Society’ or ‘All-Star Comics’ and continue to star wartime metahumans, I’d be very happy.
As it is, this seems to be a limited deal – the title, ‘Final Justice”, is the clue – but that’s fine, I like the Hawks, and the JSA never stay away for long. It is, though, great to see them in their prime, especially as drawn by the superb team of penciller Fernando Pasarin, inkers Oclair Albert and Wade Von Grawbadger, and colourist Jeromy Cox. The art is crisp and dynamic and just generally eye-catching. The facial expressions are particularly good, and extra points for the architecture – the Injustice Society’s stronghold looks great, while the Art Deco mansion of the mystery villain (or villains, there seems to be a new, earlier version of a Silver Age foe too) is far more convincing than it need be. Cox’s lighting of our villain’s ancient Egyptian den is especially good. And as ever, Rob Leigh’s lettering and title design are pretty darn marvellous.
Mikel Janín’s cover is as top notch as we’ve come to expect from him, topped off by the splendid Nineties JSA logo.
All in all, Hawkman #27 is a well-put-together reminder of what great characters DC have in the JSA; I hope they get a regular berth soon.