Story: Robert Venditti
Art: Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie
Colors: Jeremiah Shipper
Letterer: Starkings & Comicraft
What They Say:
With the battlefield split, Carter and his past lives put together a last-ditch plan to stop the Deathbringers once and for all, but if it should fail, Earth will be doomed and the universe will fall into the hands of the Deathbringers forever!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Robert Venditti hs definitely delighted me with this twelve-issue run that I wish had gotten a lot more attention when it came out. It manages to wrap up a lot of outstanding material and some basic concepts that have dogged the character for decades and it did it beautifully. The story comes together well for a finale here while setting up what’s to come as well. Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie saw through this run really well and I loved the look of it as we got to see an array of different Hawkmen over the millennia and how their handled their time and design on each world and life. It felt like it was all cohesive and strong in a way that really delivered on the potential and promise of the character going back much, much further.
The finale is one that has the near-impossible stakes set up with the Deathbringers running interference as the massive machines that Idamm has brought to bear are charging up to destroy the world, the first of many as they spread out across the universe from here. This sets in motion even more battles like we had seen before and it takes them further while having several of them engaging in the mission of stopping the machines, which has some really great team-up moments you’d thought you’d see if you were a very longtime reader of the character. It delivers som big sweeping moments and even the beauty of the Kryptonian version being able to charge up in the sun briefly to realize his true potential here as well, which is really nicely done. With so many versions of Carter here, they all manage to feel unique and participate as a team.
But the reality is that it all comes down to Carter and Idamm. The rest of the book features the sprawling fights and beautiful spreads that are wonderful. But Carter knows that he has to bring things to a conclusion with Idamm to really end it because he can then take over as leader of the Deathbringers (again) and find a new purpose for them while jailing Idamm. It’s a solid fight and one that while not gory knows it has to push Carter beyond the hero side a bit as he really bashes him down. There’s an out to it to be sure but it’s acceptable enough to allow for Carter to go the distance. But the real payoff is when the original shows up, Ktar Deathbringer, and sees the scale of what he set in motion has produced – while also saying that they haven’t atoned yet for what was done. While that’s a bit depressing, it’s such a great moment to see the originator and the result (for now) engage with each other and really seem to understand each other as well.
I really enjoyed this series and what it did to get us to this point. It feels like the perfect culmination of the larger storyline of the character(s) across the decades of continuities and creative behind it. Venditti delivered a pitch-perfect finale to it while setting up exactly where it can go from here. That said, I’m actually of mind to jump off the book here because this feels like it’s exactly where I need to end my time with it. It has a strong sense of finale to it and some skimming ahead has the book looking less like what I’m interested in reading, so it’s best to depart on a high. The creative team here did a fantastic job with this throughout and I loved all the variations on the visual theme we had for costuming, location, and who they all are across the various lives. It’s definitely one of the best Hawkman run’s I’ve read in a long, long, time.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: DC Comics via DC Universe
Release Date: May 8th, 2019