I have to admit that despite the title, I was expecting the Death of Hawkman mini-series to be a fun and light-hearted romp. After all, it is a team up of two C-list super heroes who only have one thing in common, they hang out in space. Other than, I never really thought of Adam Strange and Kartar Hol as hanging out together at the JLA. Whether or not Hawkman actually dies at the end of this series is irrelevant as this has turned into a great story.
Following up closely on last issue, Despero has enslaved the remainder of his species and a good number of Rannians as well. He is using them to construct a giant zeta portal. Strange and Hol have found out that Despero has led a slaughter of those among his own people who refused to follow him. He has then been manipulating Rann and Thanagar into a more warlike posture as a way of hiding his activities.
With Strange and Hol both wanted by the governments of Rann and Thanagar, they are on their own with their investigation. When our heroes figure out what Despero wants, they find they are too late and the cost to Thanagar is devastating.
The story as a whole has been fast paced and generally well executed, but at this point I wish that Marc Andreyko (Manhunter, Batwoman) would drop the whole flash-back/ flash-forward device. I think that even he is getting confused because it appears that he has placed Adam Strange and Hawkman overlooking the zeta portal on Rann at the beginning of the issue at the same time they are in orbit of Thanagar at the end. Without the weird time changes it would be easier to understand how they get from point A to point B.
The art in this book is great, despite a number of distinct styles. The over lapping of Aaron Lopresti (Ms. Marvel, Justice League International) and Rodney Buchemi’s (Smallville, Titans) pencils with John Livsay (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doom Patrol), Norm Rapmund ( The Flash, Titans), and Sean Parsons’ (The 99, Batman: No Man’s Land) inks allows for unique looks in different parts of the book, but somehow manages to work together through the book.
This issue leaves the table set for the return to the first issue of the book with the Thanagarian invasion of Rann. (See what I mean about all the flash-back-forward stuff?) That leaves out heroes with the full plate of defeating the more powerful than ever Despero, stopping the planetary invasion, rebuilding Thanagar and fixing Adam’s marriage. And they only have two issues to do it in.
Man, that’s enough to kill anyone.
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Pencils: Aaron Lopresti and Rodney Buchemi
Inks: John Livsay, Norm Rapmund, and Sean Parsons