“The Savage Hawkman” has been one of the biggest disappointments in the relaunched DC Universe lineup, and “The Savage Hawkman” #6 proves the book is certainly consistent. The issue opens with a confrontation between “Gentleman” Jim Craddock and Hawkman not distinctive enough to distance itself from the countless conflicts the two shared before the relaunch. The Gentleman Ghost’s problem in the New 52 is much the same as Hawkman’s: there isn’t a clearly defined difference in character worthy of a complete restart. As a matter of fact, the Ghost — like Hawkman — seems to be a fairly generic character filling panel space with a more flamboyant appearance but shallower substance.
The clunky and awkward dialogue doesn’t help this issue — the problem is best illustrated by Hawkman’s terse command for the shop owner, Digby, to “Forget you ever heard about [Nth metal]” and Digby’s “Okay, chill out” rebuttal. The dialog is a strong indicator of what you’re getting with this book: a forgettable story with uninteresting characters.
The best part of the story is Philip Tan’s art, which is decent and serviceable, so long as we’re talking about the main characters. When Carter Hall’s galpal, Emma Ziegler, shows up to Carter’s apartment and finds Carter’s neighbor Singh, I’m almost certain the scene takes place inside a big cardboard box. Tan’s got the ability but he’s just not making great storytelling choices throughout this issue. There are some fantastic looking panels, like the close-up on Hawkman’s face at the bottom of the opening page of the issue. For every great panel, there’s a murky background or a panel with poor storytelling choices; such as using a wide panel to frame Emma knocking on Carter’s door, but showing the scene directly behind Emma where she appears to be walking into a wall.
The talent in this book has the ability to craft more interesting, more engaging stories. To this point — over the course of half a year — it just has not performed up to expectations. With several of the first wave of relaunched books succumbing to cancellation, one wonders how long before this title vanishes from the stands.