Hawkman #29 (January 2021)

Final Justice: Conclusion

Writer: Robert Venditti, Penciller: Fernando Pasarin, Inker: Oclair Albert, Colours: Jeromy Cox

He’s lived and died and lived again. But now, with just one life left to live and the reincarnation cycle at its end, will Hawkman sacrifice everything to protect the woman he loves from the cursed blade of Hath-Set? Learn the fate of Hawkman and Hawkwoman in a tale that will take you to the edge of time and space!

DCCOMICS.COM official solicitation

And so concludes another volume of Hawkman.  29 issues is a pretty good run for a B-List character these days but, a for a series that set out to simplify the character of Hawkman, we end up left with more questions.

Hawkman has ended up with one of the most convoluted backstories in comic books.  He started out as an archaeologist who was a reincarnation of an Egyptian Prince, then he was an alien policeman, then both, and then back to an archaeologist.

Geoff Johns’ run back in the 2000s started to introduce us to reincarnations of Prince Khafu through time, tying in some minor DC characters into Hawkman mythology.  In this series Robert Venditti changes this and Hawkman is not only reincarnating through time but also space.  Also, Khafu wasn’t his earliest form.  He was an intergalactic General for a Hawk god and was responsible for the slaughter of millions.  When he turned against his commander he was cursed to reincarnate until he had saved as many souls as he killed.

When Hawkman, along with Hawkwoman, defeated his master and both heroes died they were offered one last life and the chance to return to the moment they were happiest.  Hawkman and Woman woke up back in the 1940s and were members of the Justice Society.

On their first misson with the JSA Hawkman is confronted by Hath-Set, the villain he originally thought was responsible for the constant reincarnating, and he is promtly stabbed.  Now mortal and bleeding out he realises that fear had been holding him back and he explodes with power defeating Hath-Set.

So far, so good.  The problem had been solve.  Every Hawkman character was the same person, all his villains have been defeated and now the reincarnations have stopped.  Carter Hall/Hawkman has one life to live and it is in the character’s original form.

But now the current state of DC Comics comes into play.  Most of the high level staff are sacked during a corporate takeover and the amount of books publish are slashed.  One of the books cancelled is Hawkman so the story has to rap up.

Venditti gives us a ‘Six Feet Under’ ending to the series where see the Hawks live out their lives through snapshots of their many adventures. We see them old and grey, Hawkwoman is still active and Hawkman is chronicling their life. But on the last page Venditti tosses the reader a curve ball. It’s revealed that the Hawks are living in the fortieth century. So the reincarnating, multiple versions of the same character has been sorted out but now its seems that he is immortal.

The series had been solid all the way through and this was a great ending. Hopefully now the character will stay fixed and the next time a creator tackles him they can focus on telling good Hawkman stories rather than focusing on the mystery of who he is.


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