Savage Hawkman #14

"Savage Hawkman" #14 provides the fourth installment of the "Hawkman: Wanted" story. The glaring problem is that it seems no one really wanted this story. Despite crossing over with "Green Arrow" and "Deathstroke," the adventures of the Winged Wonder -- specifically his alleged crimes against the crown on his home planet -- all seem to be a matter of unnecessary inconvenience, rehashing the same confrontations in battle again and again with uninspired results. Hawkman and Green Arrow or Hawkman and Deathstroke (depending on which issue of the four parts you're reading) are faced with insurmountable odds against Thanagar's best. They handily defeat their foes, rinse and repeat, making the best appear mediocre and the stories boring.

This issue of "Savage Hawkman" goes back to the team-up between Hawkman and Green Arrow, which picks up fairly closely from the story in "Green Arrow" #14 and before Hawkman's appearance in "Deathstroke" #14. That all becomes clear by the end of the issue, but for readers who have shelled out for the additional tie-ins, the skies start out dreadfully cloudy. Frank Tieri tries to straighten up the story Rob Liefeld abandoned and manages to add some interesting wrinkles to it, while giving Hawkman a little more definition, but just barely. This version of Carter Hall/Katar Hol is woefully ill-defined and doesn't show much sign of getting better.

It doesn't help "Savage Hawkman" #14 in the least to be saddled with inconsistent art due to the tagteam nature of the artists on the book. Joe Bennett is a very good Hawkman artist, but he doesn't complete this issue, relenting to Jack Jadson's less detailed style. Jadson favors shadow over the gritty features Bennett uses, but slides into the story at a time that isn't conducive to such a switch. Guy Major makes a heroic effort to tie the art together and largely helps, but from the sheer number of creators involved in "Savage Hawkman" #14, I knew consistency was going to be a concern.

I saw "Hawkman: Wanted" as a chance to recalibrate the Winged Wonder following Liefeld's flameout, but DC hasn't found the method to execute that recalibration, leaving the character hollow and largely forgettable. I'm not sure who the regular writer will be on this title, but it could certainly use a complete creative overhaul as "Detective Comics " recently received or it will soon, deservedly, be tossed on the pile of failed New 52 titles.

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