Monday, October 1, 2012

The Savage Hawkman #0

This weekend I spent no time reading comic books. No, wait, I did read the first six issues of Runaways. But most of the time spent in Seattle with friends was spent on not reading comic books. On Sunday, we ate at the Unicorn and then went downstairs to the Narwhal to hang out and play Tron and Ms. Pacman. I decided to play Ms. Pacman. Here's a pic from the Narwhal's opening night of the machine I played:

You can't even see where the ghosts are when you play like that!

Needless to say, I destroyed these ladies' high score.

I also ended up eating a meat corndog because I often turn retarded when I have to engage in social customs like "ordering food" and "speaking to humans." Ordering at the Unicorn takes place at the bar. As I stepped up to the bar, the bartender was taking the order from a couple near me. As soon as she completed that order, she turned to me to ask for my order. I hesitated and panicked because I couldn't believe she was going to remember their order and my order simultaneously! "Are you kidding?" my mind screamed. "Is she a fucking robot? How can this be happening?!" And then I ordered and forgot to ask for the veggie corndog. Which actually isn't a big deal.

Technically, I'm a vegetarian. But I don't really care if I eat meat. I'm not trying to set some impressive record so I can declare, "I haven't eaten meat in 13 years!" And my experience of being a vegetarian makes me suspect most of those claims are bullshit anyways! Maybe it's that I'm such an apathetic bastard but I've accidentally eaten meat many times (why does this entire commentary so far sound so gay so often?). Even when I'm really trying not to, it happens! Like jerks that insist on putting chicken stock in every soup they make including the obviously vegetarian options!

Then there are the times when someone invites me to dinner and they serve something with meat in it. Who am I to act like an uppity snob and refuse to eat what they've generously offered in their company? Although usually I take care of the veggie option myself, like bringing veggie patties to a barbeque and annoying crap like that. But if I'm visiting friends while traveling, I just eat what I'm served. And next time I travel abroad, I'll definitely eat everything I can (meat and no meat) simply for the experience. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, "I'm really not a vegetarian!"

I'm also really just avoiding the elephant turd in the room: Rob Liefeld's final comic book for DC. I'm a little bit sad. Rob claims he'll never write for DC again. And he even seems to have burned his bridges with Marvel in his DC breakup. And I know I'll never buy a creator owned book by Liefeld. So I think this is the last time I'll get to hang out with my delusional buddy who's done so much for the world of comics that he can never be thanked enough. The guy who decided to retire from comics at the height of his popularity only to be dragged back in because people on the internet started noticing how much Liefeld's career paralleled this obscure story about an emperor and his wardrobe. And Liefeld couldn't have these assholes rewriting history! The true history where Liefeld handed down Creator Owned Characters from down on high and blessed the world with his malformed X-men.

Which has all led to this moment where I'm holding Savage Hawkman in my hand. Strange. The cover isn't done by Rob. He must have really been finished with DC not to do the cover a comic written by himself. Anyway, I guess I've blathered and bullshitted long enough. Time to crack this thing open and see what kind of elementary school report Liefeld and Poulton grace me with to start the ending off right.

They changed it up a little. Just a little.

I know I shouldn't care. I know I should just keep reading and try to enjoy the experience as a whole. But...can't...stop...myself...AAARRRRGGHHHH! How can a world you are living on be "once fabled"? Is he being literal here? Was Thanagar created out of somebody's dream space? Because that's the only way this works. And if that statement is literal, then I apologize for my utter and complete hatred of it. I could also buy into the planet being fabled if the narrator were an off-worlder who had only heard vague rumors of it. But, as we can all see by the following Narration Boxes, that isn't the case. These are members of the "high-flying aristocracy" that refer to their world as "once fabled."

The story is being told by Katar Hol's lover and the princess of Thanagar, Shayera. Shayera also has a brother named Corsar who is the exact opposite of Katar's humble and kind and heroic manner.

Hey look! A scar and a fucked up eye. Do you think Rob Liefeld designed this guy? "Let me give you a little super expert advice, Joe," stated Liefeld as he rubbed his ornamented sceptre and fingered his golden crown. He leaned down from his throne so that Joe Bennett could hear his conspiratorial whisper: "Create characters with just one eye. They're much easier to draw."

The "exact opposite" was my assumption but the next page declares they were "complete opposites" but "were like brothers."

Rob Liefeld: "Remember, my worthy subjects and children, creating conflict through carefully structured characterization is the simplest of things! Create two characters that believe totally different things but force them into a relationship where they love each other anyway! Ah! I see the less stupid of you are already seeing where I am going with this! Now, insert a woman between them! Or an entire planet, if you want. Sometimes that's an easier way to go because writing believable women is tough."

The scene: the night of the Annual Respecatron Ball! Unless that's the time? Or the place! Whatever it is, many different races of Thanagar visit the Emperor to pay respect to his great ability and his glorious wings. Unless these different races are from other planets in the solar system. It's hard to say since whenever I read "Thanagarian" I think "Hawk Person" and these people are definitely not Hawkpeople. They also pay their respects to the Thanagarian Emperor seated at a table that seems to symbolize other worlds surrounding the seat of power, Thanagar.

Since it's not explained, I'll just assume it doesn't matter.

The Thanagarians have recently won a war against the Daemonites and the Czarnians. Apparently a peace treaty has brought the Daemonites and Czarnians to sit at the Respect Table along with the Thanagarians and the other races of Thanagar. I'm making a lot of assumptions here because these Narration Boxes aren't very clear. Here's one of them that's going to force me to make up what it's fucking talking about:

My guess is that Katar suggested the peace treaty as opposed to wiping out every last Czarnian and Daemonite.

After the dinner, a plague ravaged Thanagar. It was brought by the Daemonites invited to the Annual Respectatron Ball. The Plague destroyed the wings of the Thanagarians and killed many. But the Emperor still believed that Katar's peace was the way to go. Really? That seems pretty delusional at this point. Perhaps you should just destroy every single Daemonite ship in the region and leave it at that? Why make a peace treaty with a bunch of assholes spreading disease on your planet? They don't actually live there. So signing a peace treaty doesn't actually matter. If they invade, you kill them. You did try the peace thing to let them visit your once fabled planet and that didn't work out very well with the whole disease thing. So forget peace and just kill them if they enter your fucking system. Don't continue believing peace is for the best of everyone. Maybe if they were a race living on your planet, I could see continuing to try so the world isn't ravaged by war. But it isn't really your choice when they're fucking invading your world, is it?

A few days after the King's death and Thanagar isn't somehow invaded by the Daemonites now that the Thanagarians can't fly and their ability to fly is the only reason they won the war, Corsar has discovered a new way to protect his people.

Katar Hol is annoying.

I find this bears repeating immediately after saying it: Katar Hol is annoying.

Corsar: "We must fly again! The non-H.P. Lovecraft Great Old Ones have told me that Nth Metal will restore our ability to fly!"
Katar: "The Great Old Ones? They're violent and dangerous. Perhaps you should not be consulting them."
Corsar: "Yeah, yeah. Concerns noted. Now let's find this Nth Metal in the Ruins of Kolamoran!"
Katar: "Hmm, that's a really dangerous place to mine. Are you sure you should bother?"
Corsar: "I hear you, brother! But his is necessary for my people!"
Katar: "Hey, now that we've begun mining and the whole dangerous operation has been set-up and it's all been chugging along for weeks now, I thought I might bring up another concern of mine: The Nth Metal is simply a fairy tale!"
Corsar: "Oh, Katar! Don't you know all Fairy Tales derived from true stories! It's true!"
Katar: "Hmm. I don't know about that. Are you sure? Where did you read that? That doesn't seem logical. I'm pretty sure that's not true at all."
Corsar: "Aha! Look what I have found, Katar! It is Nth Metal! I told you so!"
Katar: "Yes, I see that. But I also told you it would be dangerous and look at what just happened as you were handed that Nth Metal sample! The mines collapses and killed everyone but us!"
Corsar: "Oh, Katar! What are a few lives when we now have the power to fly once more a our fingertips!"
Katar: "Yeah but you really can't experiment with that Nth Metal until you get all of the impurities out of it. It could be really dangerous and I don't think you should mess with it."
Corsar: "You know what, Katar? Fuck you. Why can't you just support me? Just once? Why weren't you named Contrar? I'm beginning to suspect you don't actually have any beliefs of your own. You're just stating the exact opposite of everything you hear. You're the most annoying fucking person I've ever met in my life. I disown you!"
Katar: "Actually, you can't disown me. That's not how it...."
Corsar: "Guards! Execute this asshole!"

Later that night, Katar decides to go tattle to Corsar's sister.

She's so content while listening to her man denounce her brother's plans in that last panel. "Oh, Katar! I could listen to you disparage my brother all night long. *sigh*"

All the bickering and arguing ends up being a moot point anyway as a giant Kolamoran Slug destroys the mines and all of their drilling equipment. I suppose Kolamoran Slugs were named because their fossils were only found in the Kolamoran area. When the giant Sand Worm, believed to be extinct for "centuries" while being referred to as "prehistoric," does appear, Katar says, "Obviously, reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated." After fixing the hole I punched in the wall in my office and piecing together the shredded pieces of this stupid comic book because of the rage it just sent me into, I continued reading.

Katar and Corsar and Shayera sit around in the lab wondering what comes next. Katar, knowing how dangerous the Nth Metal is in its unprocessed form, never-the-less decides to touch the raw material. It bonds with his body and he becomes Hawkman. Corsar now believes that the Nth Metal will make the Thanagarians powerful enough to conquer all the remaining realms from the air. Fuck peace anyway!

The statement about destroying all the remaining realms from the air makes me believe that not only was the war against the Czarnian and Daemonites from other planets but also against other races on Thanagar. I guess the peace treaty with the races on Thanagar is probably what the Emperor was talking about. Maybe. Who the fuck knows? Apparantly Thanagar and Czarnia and Daem are all planets in the same solar system? At the very least, I suppose they're all neighbors in the same arm of the same galaxy. I don't have any notes showing the Sectors that all of these planets are supposed to be in but my guess is that they'll all turn out to be vastly different areas of space.

Researching their old locations, I could only come up with Thanagar's sector which I just completely forgot. Czarnia's sector wasn't listed and the Daemonite homeworld would not have had a sector in the Preboot Universe. But I did find out that the Thanagarians conquered many worlds! So I believe the Annual Respectatron Ball brought together members of the races of all of these planets which had been conquered by the Thanagarians but then were, due to Katar, treated peacefully and like an empire of self-governing nations as opposed to sub-states of an empire raping them of their resources and giving them little in return except harsh laws and boot heels. But that's me assuming again!

Anyway, Katar will not allow Corsar to once again bring the planets to war. They fight and Corsar suddenly explodes in a blast of electricity when he tries to attack Katar with his Nth Metal Arm and instead hits a computer panel. And that's all it takes to kill him because the Nth Metal didn't bond to him very well. Katar is accused of murder by Shayera and the guards so he escapes in a ship. The ship is blasted, Katar loses consciousness, and then the story leaves me to assume a bunch of other stuff.

Like this: If the Nth Metal had already bonded to Katar Hol, how come when he burned it back in issue one, it was separate from him and it had to rebond with him? How did he become Carter Hall? How was his new identity set up? Did he just appear as an amnesiac in New York one day with the Nth Metal ejected from him in a Hawkman-shaped suit in his bag? Did he take the name Carter Hall because he could just barely remember the name Katar Hol? How did he become the greatest historian in the short time he's been on Earth without any documents that could identify who he was? Did he go to college since he came to Earth?

I know now that I will never get the answer to my question as to why he was burning the Nth Metal in Issue #1. I suppose the years between his leaving Thanagar and the day he burned the Nth Metal (which should have been bonded to him but wasn't until he burned it) will never be answered because they can never make any sense. Good luck to whatever writer takes over for Liefeld on this piece of shit comic book.

The Savage Hawkman #0 Rating: Liefelded.

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