What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Hawkman #25! Back again with a story that has been issues in the making since Carter had that first flashback of his past lives. A story that had to work its way all the way to the beginning, to work towards an end. It’s issues like this which genuinely rewards you for sticking with a book for so long. There was always going to be that day where Hawkman and Hawkwoman confronted the Lord Beyond the Void. You may not have thought it would happen like this, but there was no way this story could end without facing the one who started everything they have suffered through over the years.
What I appreciated more than anything else right now is that this creative team further rewarded our patience with the story of Shrra that was always a mystery. For everything that we knew about Carter’s past, she was the one thing that we did not know nearly enough about. At most, we were aware that she followed Ktar’s campaign from start to finish, and in her own way helped opened his eyes to what was going on around him. Though from what was revealed in this issue, there was much more to this than what we were seeing on the surface. There always had to be, and I was satisfied with the answer. This part of the story was exactly what we needed in order to understand why it is so important that it is both Hawkman and Hawkwoman standing here with the being who this all started with. Overall, we got our proof that everything unfolding is with a purpose. Everyone has a role to play in this, and there is nothing that you could call random.
In the now, we pick back up with Hawkman and Hawkwoman‘s current situation confronting the Lord Beyond the Void. This was a chilling moment because the Lord Beyond the Void is unlike any other force that either of these two have taken on from their past. Not only great in stature, but easily outmatches them in power. They wasted little time establishing that difference in power too. Since that one scene where he made his presence, every opportunity was taken to show that it would take extraordinary circumstance for these two to have any chance at getting through this in one piece. It helped having a villain who was written with commanding dialogue. Some people might call it cliche or simple for an entity that calls itself a god, though I would say it worked knowing that this is an entity that was always ready for this moment.
With that said, what took me by surprise was how much of a fast-read this turned out to be. not a problem either, because I would say that this story grabs your attention enough that you don’t pay attention to how fast things play out till the end. There was character depth, a standout character moment, and of course action. What more could you have asked to get in one issue?
The switch to Marco Castiello as penciler was an interesting choice for the second part of a story, but I couldn’t argue with the choice either for the result of his work. I’ve said a lot of things about the artists before, because all of them have done quality work for this book. However, I would say that Castiello so far stands tall at the top. Words cannot describe how impressed I was when I flipped open to that first page. This guy has such a strong attention to detail in his pencils that can’t be matched. Phenomenal work with character anatomy, and the small things which make them stand out. Let’s take the Lord Beyond the Void for example. I was taken back by the work that went into his appearance. The aged look of his skin, the brutish physique, not to mention the bird features which everyone else’s stems from. There was one page in particular which stuck with me from the minute I gazed upon it. Not only for the work he poured into this action shot of Hawkwoman, but for the combination of what everyone had to offer it. Jeremy Cox’s colors were beautiful. I enjoyed the range, the boldness, even the textures. He knew how to make the art pop. Especially when it came to the scenes where the action was at its most intense. In general, you wouldn’t have expected anything less from Cox.
I can’t say it enough that this isn’t a book you should sleep on. Hawkman #25 again made the statement that the best solo books are the ones which represent a creative team’s ability to tell a story they put thought into. It was at this point in the story that everything finally came full circle, and even then it might be too soon to say when the fight is not over, which means Carter has not taken full advantage of everything his past lives have offered.