Thursday, December 29, 2016

Justice for Hawkman

I demand justice for Hawkman.

DC, to its credit,  has done a solid job righting its floundering New52/DCYou ship with its "Rebirth" changes.  In Rebirth it seems that DC has finally shaken off its insecurity issues and stopped trying to ape its 'cooler' schoolyard rival, Marvel.  DC has embraced the idea that its heroes should (a) good people and (b) BETTER people than we are and that (c) that should inspire us not depress us. The current Bat-titles are a good bellwether: despite facing some gruesome situations and personally challenging events, Batman himself remains hopeful, focused on doing good, and eager to work with others to make that happen.  Rather than Gotham debasing Batman, Batman ennobles Gotham.

"I don't mean to be critical, Carter, but... straighten up and fly right already.  You're embarrassing the rest of us."

Hats off to DC also for finally focusing on putting all its top icons on solid footing first before fussing about the fates of Space Cabby, Detective Chimp, and G'nort, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash -- I (and others) are buying ALL their books again, because they are doing interesting, engaging stories that are not dependent on severe distortions of what the character is or what they are personally like.  If I'm not reading Green Lantern and Green Arrow it's not because they aren't on solid footing. It's because they are still Green Lantern and Green Arrow, after all.

Jeez, just get a room, boys.

So I am afforded the luxury of worrying about some of DC's Second Tier icons, like Hawkman, The Atom, Martian Manhunter. DC's clearly got something in the works for the Atom, which, along the lines of what they are doing with Blue Beetle, will stabilize the IP by incorporating both the Silver/Bronze Age version (Ray Palmer) and the Iron Age version (Ryan Choi).  Martian Manhunter...well, he's going to need a post all his own.  Which brings us to Hawkman.

Is it REALLY that hard to figure out what to do with Hawkman, people?

DC is doing...something with Hawkman.  I've not been reading it, I'll admit, but killing Hawkman and pairing him with Adam Strange (again) doesn't strike me as doing him justice.  Focusing on the space-base version of his legend has limited lasting appeal, I think. Hawkman works best, ironically, when he's more grounded.

"Look, Ollie, Barry may have the patience for this sort of treatment, but I do not."

Geoff Johns did it (and thanks to James Robinson, created a new fictionopolis for Hawkman).  Gray and Palmiotti did it in Hawkman's 2002-2006 series.  They managed to fold in a farrago of Hawkman's forgotten foes (Hummingbird, Lasso, the glorious Fadeaway Man, Lion-Mane, the Thought Terror, Trygg the Sorceror, Satana, the Purple Pilgrim) in a story that had high stakes, evil villains, and character growth.  It can be done again, and without expecting us to care about Thanagar and stupid stupid Rann.

I can't respect a planet that can produce neither heroes nor zoning regulations.

What do YOU think Hawkman deserves?