Hawkman #29 review

‘Hawkman is ended at last’, cries villain Anton Hastor on the opening page of this issue.

He’s not wrong. This is the final issue of the latest series starring Carter and Shayera Hall. And a very fine issue it is, capping a series that’s benefited for a consistent creator vision. Robert Venditti gives us the perfect ending, as Hawkman and Hawkgirl face their oldest enemy – figuratively and literally.

Hastor is the reincarnated Egyptian priest Hath-Set, who lives to kill the equally reborn Prince Khu-fu and Chay-Ara. And if he slays them in this life they’re living, during the 1940s, that’s all she wrote, the Hawks having recently had their reincarnation gift/curse removed.

So, that first scene… it’s Hawks on a train, and the passengers are revolting. I mean, look at them.

Hawkgirl is bleeding mad, while hubby is bleeding… actually, he’s mainly bleeding, having been stabbed with a mystic knife held by Hastor.

Oh, I just love a bit of romance, it’s an extra layer of drama as two of DC’s greatest heroes fight for their lives. And that’s just the start of the grand finale – there’s loads more to enjoy in a regular-sized issue that feels like a double-length spectacular. Venditti structured this run as a series of arcs, but goodness me, it’s going to make for a wonderful omnibus (that’s a hint, DC!).

And this issue will leave the reader with a massive smile; Venditti showcases the blend of warrior skills and wisdom that makes Hawkman and Hawkgirl so much fun. We see Hawkgirl embracing mortality, and Hawkman coming to terms with his fears. And an extended epilogue shows that one life can be quite enough, when it’s filled with swashbuckling adventure, endless education and everlasting love.

Yeah, I’m being cagey about the exact story beats. You may think you want all the details but this, as they say, is the big one. Venditti, Pasarin and pals have earned our attention. I think you’ll thank me for leaving the best surprises on the table – I can’t imagine anyone who likes the Hawks at all, even if they’ve not read a single issue of this run, not loving what Venditti does here.

Of course, he doesn’t do it alone. Fernando Pasarin has been pencilling this book for the last year and I’m glad he’s here for the wrap-up, along with regular inker Oclair Albert and colourist Jeremy Cox. Together they give us handsome heroes, a hissable villain and hordes of characterful extras – there are none of the alien blobs found in the backgrounds of other comics, Pasarin and Albert give us dozens of individuals.

They also provide an eye-popping crash worthy of a summer disaster movie, Great Moments in Hawkperson History and a spread of Carter and Shayera to make the heart sing. The storytelling, the colours, the dramatic lettering of Rob Leigh, the visceral romance of Mikel Janín’s cover… this is a book that should, pun probably intended, fly off the shelves.

So, do Carter and Shayera get their happy ending? You can probably guess from the tone of this review. All I’ll say for certain is that the readers certainly do.

5 thoughts on “Hawkman #29 review

  1. This is a perfect ending to a Hawkman series that left me cold at times but ultimately fixed Carter and Shiera for all time. With the expansion Venditti gave the reincarnation rules, no new Hawkman series can ever undo this. They will just be lives we never saw before The End. Heck, they can even have multiple Hawkmen at one time if they want now and it will all make sense.

    Now that it’s over I’d love to see the lovebirds in Bendis’s Legion sometime down the road, both as they ended here and as a couple of reincarnates we’ve never seen before. I know Dawny could be Shiera but who would Carter be?

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    1. The Hawks in a Legion book would be fun, I seem to recall Thanagarians back in the Levitz/Giffen days.

      My sticking point with early issues of this run was the idea that Carter started out as a cultist killer… OK, redemption is great, but that’s starting from the lowest of bars.

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      1. The first incarnation was raised to be bad but the essential Hawkman goodness won out then and every other to follow was a good man as well. At least Venditti isn’t the sort of writer to make Carter fighting returning to eeevil to be all grim and gritty!

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  2. This was such a great end to a great series…and it seems that while the Hawks CAN now actually be killed and not come back, old age is not a problem at all. I hope I look as good as Shayera when I am like 2000 years old. 🙂

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