Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes - Posts Tagged "hawkman"

Book Review: Showcase Presents Hawkman, Volume 1

Showcase Presents: Hawkman, Vol. 1 Showcase Presents: Hawkman, Vol. 1 by Gardner F. Fox

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book presents more than 30 Hawkman tales. Really this should be Hawkman and Hawkgirl tales since she's the series co-star. The concept by Gardener Fox is great. Husband and wife police team from the Planet Thannagar goes to Earth in pursuit of a criminal and sets up shop on Earth.

This book collects several runs of Hawkman in 34-36 and 42-44, the couple get two separate tryout runs for a full book in 1961 and 1962. A guest appearance in the Atom #7, and a run in Mystery in Space 87-90 as one of two features sharing the book with Adam Strange, a guest appearance in team up version of Brave and the Bold in Issue #51 with Aquaman and then there are the first 11 issues of Hawkman.

There are two very good things about the book. The first is Joe Kubert's art in the first two Brave and the Bold runs which is very distinctive for the era and really fun to look at for the first fifth of the book. The next thing that works well is the team up. Without a doubt they're the most compelling stories in the book, Team ups with the Atom in The Atom #7 and Hawkman #9, the Aquaman Team-up in Brave and the Bold #51, a team up with Adam Strange to save both Earth and Rann in Mystery in Space #90, and Zatara appears in Hawkman #4.

Most of the rest of the book isn't all that special. Hawkman #10 features a nice spy tale with CAW and Hawkman #11 features a very involved tale with the birdman known as the Shrike. That comic's the only non-team up story to really use a 25-page format to its full value.

Mostly, the stories and the villains are forgettable. Not as strong as the Atom's rogues, mostly the Hawks faced one-note alien menaces with a key weakness or they faced local crooks. The stories are okay with some fun science lessons thrown in, but I think the awesome idea of Hawkman doesn't really have its potential fulfilled in this book.

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Published on June 27, 2015 22:02 Tags: hawkman

Book Review: Showcase Presents: Hawkman, Vol. 2

Showcase Presents: Hawkman, Vol. 2 Showcase Presents: Hawkman, Vol. 2 by Gardner F. Fox

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book collects the rest of Hawkman's solo Silver Age series, a cross-over with the Atom in his comic, an appearance in Batman Team-up book Brave and the Bold, and the Hawkman stories in The Atom and Hawkman.

The Hawkman stories are fine for the most part, if a bit formulaic. Hawkman and Hawkgirl fought a lot of Monsters of the Month although they also took on some ordinary Earth gangsters. The stories are okay okay, but almost totally forgettable. What does stand out in the Hawkman solo series is Shayera. She does emerge as one of the strongest female characters in the Silver Age. Even though her portrayal isn't perfect, it certainly beat the way that Sue Richards was being handled over at Marvel. She's smart, resourceful, and capable of saving the day and really the book would have benefitted had the series been called Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

My one favorite stand out story is Hawkman #13, "Quest of the Immortal Queen" where Hawkman's kidnapped by the interdimensional Queen of Asgard to become her latest husband until she gets bored with him. It was wild and it was too bad the rest of the book couldn't measure up.

The Atom and Hawkman books were of two types. First there were issues in which you got a short story with each and then you had team-up issues. We only get the Hawkman side of the solo stories. I thought the Solo Stories were fine. The Phantom Ghost two-parter was engaging. The team-ups didn't do anything for me. They never quite meshed or seemed to make sense as a team. The logic for the book seemed to be that you had two titles that weren't selling, so why not mix them together and see what happens.

The last story was interesting as it was campy, kooky, and no doubt the basis for a lot of "Jean Loring is crazy" stories to come over the decades.

Overall, these comics aren't bad, but for the most part, they're typical DC Silver Age comics. Shayera really does save the book from being dull, but there is better silver age material out there.

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Published on October 05, 2020 16:37 Tags: hawkman, silver-age

Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

On this blog, we'll take a look at:

1) Superhero stories
2) Issues of faith in relation to Superhero stories
3) Writing Superhe
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