What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Hawkman #26! It’s the end of the story arc here, and one to brace for. It’s at this point in the story that everything has finally come full circle, for better or for worse. I for one was very anxious for what this issue had in store for us as even when things look bleak, there’s something around the corner that you haven’t considered yet to turn things around.
This stood to be true and very quickly in this issue. When it came to the Lord Beyond the Void, I have to admit that I was quite hesitant about this enemy. Hawkman and Hawkwoman have faced a lot of foes in the past, but this one tops them as an entity that was practically a God. Hawkman and Hawkwoman are many things, but they are never really the kind of heroes you associate with matters involving taking down God-like entities. Not to mention, in this particular scenario they are bound to a rock and being drained of their energy. How do you get out of that?
Like climatic moments before, things were dire here, but we were all just waiting for Hawkman and Hawkwoman to figure out what it is that they were supposed to do in this moment. When that scene came, I was thrilled by what that thing turned out to be. We all knew that at some point they needed to realize the true value in these lives they lived throughout their lifetimes. That realization was magical in scale, and used those lives quite literally.
How the story ended was endearing, because it was everything you hoped for that these two deserved. Together in the end and making that choice which would forever change their character history moving forward. It was never about the death that they told us would come in this issue, it was about what came after.
Now when all is said and done, I’m sure there will be some readers out there who have a problem with how much of a fast-read this issue was. However, that is nothing that any of us should be surprised about at this point. Hawkman is one of those books which has always been straight to the point, and that is actually something to appreciate. Venditti could have spent a lot of time drawing out certain scenes, but that is not what we look forward to from stories like this. He gets that, we get that, and it showed through the progression of this story. When your story is simple and straightforward, there is never a reason for things to carry on longer than need be. So props to this creative team for keeping that consistent since issue one.
With that said, what brought this all together was the phenomenal work that we had always gotten from this art team. If there is one thing you can never take from this book, it is the amazing artwork that we got from all of the artists who were ever involved with Hawkman. I still remember how broken I was when so quickly we had moved into a different artist in Fernando Pasarin, but that didn’t last long once flipping open to that first page of his, because it was still the same stunning work. The same work that was both clean and detailed, not to mention expansive about the world these characters live in. What I loved most about this issue was the way that this art team somewhat recreated the same appeal from the last time Carter tapped into the power of these many lives he lived. We quite literally got to see them in a different light, along with Sheira’s. The color work for that in particular was stunning and made all the difference in executing a glowing final blow to the Lord Beyond the Void.
I have to say that I’m satisfied with how this story came to a close with the conclusion to Hawkman #26. This is what it looks like when you weave a story together that acknowledges everything you love about the characters involved. I walked away from this story with a greater appreciation for Hawkman and Hawkwoman than I ever had before. I even walked away from this story knowing much more about them than I ever did before. That is the greatest gift for any reader to experience from this. Aside from this, still happy as well that there is more to come beyond this issue. It’s a brave new world for these heroes.