Story: Robert Venditti
Art: Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie
Colors: Jeremiah Shipper
Letterer: Starkings & Comicraft
What They Say:
The origin of Hawkman revealed! Rocketing across the cosmos in his newly re-covered spaceship, Carter Hall is en route to the next stop on his adventure through time and space. He doesn’t have Netflix to pass the time, but he does have something even better. Locked within the ship’s memory banks is the truth behind Carter Hall’s reincarnation ability, as well as his connection to the Deathbringers—giant, winged beings of immeasurable power on their way to destroy Earth!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As the series has moved along, Robert Venditti has given us a look at a number of different lives that Carter has gone through in the past. They’ve each been interesting and obviously could carry its own series as most of them did over the years. The latest one is definitely an intriguing one that goes back to his earliest period I believe which lets Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie go really big here. The layouts for this with the double-page spreads are fantastic and I love the way this all comes across to really expose the scale of the time and place and the events themselves. Even more so thanks to Shipper’s color work on it where t has the right kind of blue washed out look in the first half and then the sun-drenched washed out of the back half during the period in the past.
This period, taking us back to a distant past, gives us Ktar Deathbringer as he leads the Deathbringsers in doing just that, bringing beings back to Qgga where they’re sacrificed to the eventual revival in full in our dimension and space. Ktar has been committed to this for some time and has served with his close friend Idamm, but with Carter now living through it but unable to change things, Ktar is starting to feel different. And understandably so as we see him on this far flung past Thanagar where the landscape as far as the eye can see is nothing but bodies of the falling – and twelve thousand brought back to Qgga to be sacrificed. Ktar’s unease is something that he puts to the side to some degree as Idamm keeps riding the high of all of this. It’s brutal and as we see the montage across other worlds, seemingly unending as places such as Rann and Earth were targeted at one point.
Watching this unfold is more engaging than I expected for what’s essentially a short story as Ktar realizes just how far gone all of this is and does his best to alter course. You can see the setup for the future as he pushes Idamm to the side and works with the current tranche of those about to die to take down the temple, which sends the Deathbringer itself back into its own reality. You know that will come back someday to cause problems. But we also get to see Ktar as he’s brought back to life for the first time in an in-between place and given a choice to die right here and now with all that he’s done or try to make amends over countless lifetimes without knowing how many lives he needs to save to make up for the lives he cost. Or even that that’s what he’s really doing in these new lives. The choice is no surprise but it’s given far more weight now in the present with all that has propelled him here.
I’ve been really enjoying Hawkman since this series got underway and it’s made me look back fondly on all the other series over the decades that I read and enjoyed immensely. Venditti is tying it together pretty well with the larger story concept here and doing the minor travelogue as we have definitely gives us a bigger picture view of Carter’s life and what’s going on. This issue was the key one in many ways to delve into what set him into motion with the resurrection aspect and while there’s still more to reveal with it, what we get is pretty strong. Hitch and Currie have been putting in some great pages throughout the run but this issue is really strong for its bleakness, which is definitely needed, and I love the scale that we get from it all. Definitely a really good installment.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DC Comics via DC Universe
Release Date: December 12th, 2018