This book is a classic example of a story being overwritten and poorly broken down. Tony Daniel, coming from a comic book artist’s background, knows what it takes to pace a story out and set up the action on the page. The problem this book has, though, is that Daniel is writing the book as he would draw it up, or so it seems.
Philip Tan, who fills the artist’s chair on this title, brings a most unusual style that floats somewhere between incomplete pencils and a strongly subdued wash. Unfortunately, Tan’s work is so heavy with strong pin-up posing moments that much of the storytelling of the art gets lost.
When Emma Ziegler shows up at Carter Hall’s apartment with food to ask him where he went, he clams up and turns away. She then asks him, “Where are you going?” Uhm, maybe to another spot in his apartment? Truly, it looks like he’s going into a room with a single high window. Maybe he’s going to look out pensively?
When Emma Ziegler shows up at Carter Hall’s apartment with food and asks him where he went, my him, “Where are you going?” Um, maybe to another spot in his apartment? Truly, it looks like he’s going into a room with a single high window. Maybe he’s going to look out pensively?
This story gives Hawkman an opponent who craves the Nth metal and seems apt to use the power stored within, but the biggest problem is that nothing has actually been delivered to us regarding the capabilities of the Nth metal itself. Daniel teases that we'll find out more about the metal “after I [Hawkman] take down Morphicius.” Beyond that, there really isn’t much for a Hawkfan to hook into. All of the familiar trappings of Hawkman -- from the mace to his mate -- are missing in action.
The art and story each try hard to deliver a tale, but neither one works well on its own; the two pieces most definitely don’t gel at all in this issue. Daniel overwrites this story with burdensome expository dialog. There are interstitials worked in teasing another threat that may or may not be linked to Morphicius, but that storyline is all but shoehorned into this issue.
Sadly, it seems as though this title is so quick to distance itself from everything that defines Hawkman that it hasn’t figured out how to re-define the character. Between this book and “Hawk & Dove,” I’ve found a couple (so far) major disappointments in this relaunch. Maybe if I wait this out a few months, Hawkman will be knocked off and reincarnated in a title that’s more in line with what the character deserves.