Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Savage Hawkman #9

Unleashed at last? Does that mean we're going to have even less character development than the previous eight issues and even more brawling than before? Ye gods.

Everybody put your hands together and give Rob Liefeld a warm welcome to this book. It's an odd day in the comic book industry when Rob Liefeld is taking over the writing duties on a comic book and I'm looking forward to the change! Liefeld has shown that he can put a decently crafted story together, as seen in Hawk & Dove #6. Tony Daniel makes a mess of just about every book he writes.

Once again, Liefeld has left the drawing duties to somebody else but he still manages to do the cover for every book he works on. This cover is one of his standard quickies: main character facing forward with weird fists and no feet.

Liefeld's opening line to Savage Hawkman #9 nearly makes me jizz in my pants.
History tells us a great many things.
To be fair, Liefeld is plotting and co-scripting. Mark Poulton is also co-scripting. But come on! Rob loves his name first and foremost on everything and I like to think he loves being the focus of internet know-it-all critiques! And I'll tell you a secret: I think I'd like to have a beer with Rob Liefeld. If he were here in Portland, I'd invite him to the next Drink and Draw session I attend. Sorry, let's get back to see all of the great many things that history tells us.
From history we learn how civilizations were built, the people who ruled them, and the reasons for their collapse.
Interesting! I never knew I could learn so much! But I wonder if history has any specific things that I can learn? This must be coming to a point, right? About history teaching Hawkman something? Right? Teach me, history!
As an archaeologist, professor of history, and the world's foremost expert on linguistics, there are few in my field who carry a resume equal to mine.
Wait, what? Not only did that not teach me anything about history, I think the awkward construction burnt out a few synapses. I suspect that if Carter Hall is the foremost expert on linguistics, there would be none that carry a resume equal to his. You know? Because he's foremost. And shouldn't field at least be plural to bring the sentence a little closer to sounding okay even though it's still vaguely cyclical in what it's saying. Also, I have yet to learn anything from history yet. Maybe next panel.
My name is Carter Hall, and piecing together the riddles of these ancient civilizations is not only my job--it's my passion.
I'm still not quite seeing how the opening statement ties all this stuff together. Unless the only reason Rob mentioned history was to mention ancient civilizations so that he could mention that Carter Hall is an archaeologist so that he could mention that Carter Hall was researching Nth Metal. Except Hall keeps hitting dead ends while researching the Nth Metal, so I guess history doesn't teach anybody anything about that shit.

Oh wait, maybe this was how he was planning on tying it all together (after a lot more bullshitting Narration Boxes):
The origin and intention of the armor remain a mystery to me. I plan on learning its history. For those who can not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
There it is! He started talking about history and then ties it all up with a nice cliche that has "history" in it! Even if it doesn't make any sense. What is he doomed to repeat if he doesn't learn about the Nth Metal? Is he doomed to try to burn it again and have it attach to his body again? Whatever. Let's just put up the title of the comic and get on with it.

What the fuck?! That syntax doesn't work at all! "15th ways to die!" "75th ways to die!" "2th ways to die!"

Since Hawkman became bored with his homework, he decided to take to the skies and fly around a bit. Although he hasn't learned the Nth Metal's history yet, so he's fucking dooming himself to repeat being attacked by three flying bug-like people. Perhaps if he'd known that, historically, the Nth Metal caused other creatures to try to kill people possessed by it, he'd have learned his lesson.

These creatures attacked Hawkman. They're probably called Deathbugs.

Tsk tsk! As a Professor of History, you should know that your ignorance of the reason why one group attacks another groups doesn't mean there is no reason!

Wait a second. Is Tony Daniel still writing this? Is this a prank?

Hawkman then throws this Deathbug into another Deathbug (I think! The art is not very clear) which is the punchline to his joke about needing a cushion! I think! See? He dooms them both to a 60 story drop but it's funny because one of them will be cushioned by the other one!

Here's Hawkman's reaction across the next five panels as he pummels the last Deathbug:
Whoever these hunters are, they made a mistake coming after me. A hawk is a bird of prey. A hawk hunts and kills in order to survive. Hawks are not hunted. They're the hunters!
Here's a suggestion, Rob: just shut the fuck up. Make Hawkman's savageness come through in the beating he gives the other character. Or have him say less lines that are meant to be funny and just yell horrible, degrading, mean, dirty, vile things. And don't turn the whole scene into something silly with a second grade book report on Hawks!

The action scene is almost as bad as the previous issues. But at least you can tell what's happening from panel to panel in this issue. It's just that most of the action is pretty tame and boring.

Why are you explaining yourself to your attacker? Just fucking hit him.

Once Hawkman gets the better of his assailant and he learns that Xerxes sent the attacker, the attacker disintegrates in his grip. I don't think this was any new super power on Hawkman's part. Just suicide so Hawkman can't learn anything about the attackers. Although the Deathbug probably should have vaporized before he even mentioned Xerxes. That seems like a small flaw in the plan.

As Hawkman heads home, he gets a transmission from Hawkgirl. Well, it's probably Hawkgirl since she seems to be trying to call him Katar Hol and seems to say Thanagar as well. But the message is woefully incomplete leaving Hawkman with more mysteries than ever! And when he gets home, his apartment blows up. I wonder if his weird little neighbor is okay.

How does he know this? He's no Batman.

Later, Hawkman does some more Narration Boxing.
In my line of work, paranoia creeps in.
Really? Is this in your archaeology? Or your teaching history? I hear a lot of history professors go mental from all the things they learn that history teaches them.
I always knew there would come a day where I would have to stand and fight for [the Nth Metal] was only a matter of time.
Even when you were planning on throwing the Nth Metal away? Didn't seem to want to fight for it too badly in Issue #1. By the way, Hawkman, why were you trying to get rid of it eight issues ago? What was that about? Looks like you've accepted it now, though. I guess you've learned from history and know better than to try to burn it again. So you might as well fight for it.

Later, Carter Hall has dinner with Emma to get her take on his alien mumbo jumbo texts. They discuss the possibility of a higher plane of existence. It's boring and stupid but they look at each other excitedly like they're on to something. But there isn't any proof to any of it because that kind of explanation would be too hard to make convincing. So instead, Carter Hall just "suddenly knows" how to read the ancient texts. Ta da!

But then the restaurant explodes and some jerk named Ironsides arrives with his Deathbugs. And guess what? Hawkman is immobilized immediately! He's really fucking off the leash now, isn't he?

Hawkman awakens in a cage with Xerxes just standing around waiting to speak with him. Xerxes explains that he's just a seller of fine antiquities and Hawkman's Nth Metal is going up for auction. But to get the highest price out of it, he's forcing Hakwman to fight some jerks to the death. I don't know what kind of jerks sign up for this gig. Maybe the price was too good to refuse.

His enemies are The Living Condom, Senor Butterknives, and Nipslip.

Hawkman #9 Rating: -1 Ranking. DC might as well have just left Tony Daniel in charge of writing this comic. The writing is spectacularly poor, the layouts are boring, and the art is just barely decent. I really feel sorry for Hawkman fans because they've been sorely let down.

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