New 52 Review – The Savage Hawkman #1


I’ve always liked the character of Hawkman, but I wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan.  I know the basics of his origins enough to hold my own in a conversation, but I’m by no means an expert regarding Hawkman.  When I heard he was getting his own series in DC’s New 52 naturally I was intrigued.  I was surprised by the title The Savage Hawkman.  It implied the promise of an action packed story with some gorgeous artwork to back it up.

Cryptologist Carter Hall is tired of bearing the burden of being Hawkman.  He sets out to dispose of the Nth metal harness and wings that give him his power.  Setting the harness on fire and burying it should suffice in ridding Carter of the curse of Hawkman forever.  The flames react unexpectedly with the Nth metal of the harness and erupts in a wall of flames that consume Carter.  He then succumbs to the thought that one way or another Hawkman will die.

Some time later he awakens at home dazed, with no memory of how he got there.  More importantly, he cannot remember or understand how he is not dead.  His body shows signs of being burned, but the wounds are healing rapidly.  Carter is then suddenly visited by his friend Terrance, who says he’s been trying to contact him for some time.

Terrance is there in behest of Professor Ziegler, Carter’s employer.  Ziegler has uncovered an alien spacecraft from the bottom of the ocean and needs Carter’s expertise to decipher some strange markings on the hull.  Once onsite, he is told of another amazing discovery they made while examining the alien ship: some sort of strange mummified remains.

As Carter and Ziegler look on, the remains are examined by other members of the team.  Suddenly a sample of DNA taken from the alien remains comes to life and attacks the scientists.  Carter leaps into action thinking that although he may not be Hawkman any more, he will go out fighting.  As he fights the alien creatures, the Nth metal of Hawkman’s armor starts to appear from inside his body.  It appears that his efforts to destroy Hawkman may now actually save his life.  But it may only be a short reprieve as the strongest of the creatures intends to absorb his strength.

“You play the cards you’re dealt.  And even though it looks like you have the winning hand, you still can end up the loser.  It’s the unseen variables that can do you in.  And just like life, nothing is certain…’cept maybe for death and taxes.  That death part…don’t let me down now.  Die you S.O.B.  There.  I did it.  Hawkman’s dead.  One of us had to die.  I’m glad it was you.”

The Nerd’s thoughts:  This was a pretty exciting first start to this new series.  As I said before I’ve never been a Hawkman fan, but I’ve always liked the character.  It’s nice to see he isn’t the obsessed psycho he was portrayed to be in the Justice League animated series.  From what I know about Hawkman, he is a fierce warrior with a “no mercy” type approach.

It’s nice to see how the writers of not just this series, but several of DC’s new series, are making the heroes more human.  Some of them aren’t always virtuous and don’t always do the right thing.  Some of them consider the power they’ve been given by whatever means more of a curse than a gift.  I am a little sad that I will not be picking up this new title beyond this issue.  I’d like to see how this character develops in the next year.  I will certainly keep my eyes and ears open for details about The Savage Hawkman.  My hats off the the creative team of Tony S. Daniel and Philip Tan for delivering a brilliant story and stunning artwork.

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