Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dark Nights: Hawkman Found #1

I preferred when Hawkman remained lost.

Look at that cover again. Or better yet, find a version of the cover via Google Image Search that doesn't look like it was smeared with anal lube before being scanned. If your first reaction isn't "Why is that giant bird man hanging from the rebar trying to fuck the tiny bird person in the ass?" then we probably don't have a lot in common. Here's another way to find out if maybe we'd enjoy having a beer together: are you also a petty ass bitch who's super pissed off that Hawkman is coming back to the DC Universe even though it won't affect your life in the least and might even make Hawkman fans happy that they'll get to read terrible stories about their favorite stupid character? If your answer to that question is not a resounding "Of course I am!", you probably live by a philosophy so alien to me that I wouldn't even recognize you as human. I'd be sitting at the bar thinking, "What is this hazy, gibbering smoke monster trying to drink beer out of a mug and why does it think I care what it has to jabber about?! Where is my gun?"

The issue begins with Hawkman telling a story terribly. I think that's postmodern! He's doing what everybody who has ever written a Hawkman story has done: told a shitty story. Hawkman says, "Every night I dream I am a bird. No wait. Not a bird. A warrior. Who can fly. So why did I begin with that bird thing? That was stupid. I guess my point is that I'm not a bird, you stupid asshole readers. I'm not a fucking joke. 'Oh! Oh! Hawkman's big powers are that he can fly and that he votes Libertarian! What a stupid character!' Well that's not all I am! I can beat the shit out of people! That's what makes me bad-ass. I'm not just a guy in a dumb mask with an old-fashioned weapon who can fly. I'm a trained warrior that can beat your stupid mouth to a pulp!" In other words, Hawkman uses the same defense that Aquaman uses when somebody points out that they're a stupid hero that might have made sense when they were created because kids in the forties had a severely limited imagination.

Seriously, Aquaman is a dumb concept. I don't care that he's super strong and nearly invulnerable and can force sharks to jump out of the water to kill parademons. He's still an idiotic concept. Plus, I mean, that shark image from the early New 52 Justice League issues that people use to show how cool he is? Super dumb. It should have caused people to stop saying a thing jumped the shark, replacing it with the thing's shark jumped.

Hawkman's dream is the opposite of that Sandman dream story where the dreamer learns that there is a third option to fly. Hawkman begins by flying and winds up falling to his death. He also mentions a seemingly trivial detail about his teeth loosening. But dreaming about losing your teeth is a sign that you feel powerless in your waking life. Also birds don't have teeth. I guess warriors probably still have some. Which is why it's a good thing he wasn't actually dreaming about being a bird.

Hawkman awakens to Manhawks attacking his stone age community.

At some point, somebody decided that the antagonist of every superhero story should be a dark reflection of the superhero. So now every story is completely narcissistic with the hero disappearing up their own ass.

I hear what you're saying, jabbering smoke monster: "Who else should a comic book called 'Batman' be about if not Batman?!" Well, maybe it could be about justice or acting as a responsible father figure to broken children or saving a city on the brink of destruction or doing the right thing no matter how much you have to sacrifice. It doesn't always have to be about Batman seeing what he might have become if he didn't have the inner strength and intellectual clarity he somehow developed all on his own without any help from parents (no matter how much the butler tries to take credit for some of it). How many of Batman's villains eventually just became shadows of Batman himself? Wrath. Hush. Bane. Even The Joker became molded more toward being the antithesis of Batman rather than some psychotic maniac trying to make a bit of money. If the only enemies we're going to get are twisted versions of the heroes, at least make them whimsical or interesting, like Bizarro or Nam-Tab! I just made up Nam-Tab. He's an ex-Vietcong soldier who drank a Tab can mixed with napalm. He's super poor and his parents weren't murdered in an alley. Now he spends his life trying to murder parents in alleys because his life probably would have been better if his parents had been killed that way. He doesn't have a butler and has never taken in children as wards and has a dog named Eca.

The rest of the story is the just the dream repeated. Hawkman fights back against the Manhawks. Hawkman discovers the dark Hawkman keeping him imprisoned. Hawkman defeats him and escapes on newly found wings. The wings fall apart and he falls to his death, only to wake just before he dies. Basically his prison or afterlife or wherever he is is just a dark reflection of his life on Earth where he constantly died and was reborn.

Dark Nights: Hawkman Found #1 Ranking: The only reason anybody needed to buy this comic book was because they're completists and it said "Dark Nights Metal Tie-In" on the cover. Hawkman was never actually found. The reader just learns where Hawkman has been since his sales dropped through the floor due to terrible writers telling his stories (that probably weren't even worth telling even if a great writer had been on the book). Apparently Hawkman has been off trying to save the Multiverse by working the Dark Forge. That's important for some reason that I've already forgotten because it was dumb. This book didn't make me curious enough to go back and remember why that was.

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