Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Hawkgirl #1 Review



Written by: Jadzia Axelrod
Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by: Amancay Nahuelpan, Adriano Lucas
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: July 18, 2023

Hawkgirl #1 finds Hawkgirl settling into life on her own in Metropolis as her friends and "work" colleagues express concern over her lack of life/work balance. Meanwhile, a fox demon tries to open a portal.
Is It Good?

At the risk of sounding like a tween girl who listens to too much Taylor Swift... YIKES! Hawkgirl #1 is pretty terrible. Scratch that. Hawkgirl #1 isn't pretty terrible. It's downright awful.

Jadzia Axelrod's story centers (but not entirely) on Hawkgirl struggling to find herself as a solo hero living alone in Metropolis. Allied heroes reach out to her to express concern and lend a sympathetic ear, which Hawkgirl soundly rejects. Hawkgirl connects with old collegemates to catch up, but she finds memories of the past highlight her directionless present. Oh, Galaxy shows up to lend a hand, and a fox demon is messing around with Nth metal to open a portal back to its homeworld.

A lot is going on in this issue, so it's almost impossible to know where to start. Some events in one part of the comic don't connect with other parts, other factors are out of line with current continuity when this comic is in continuity, and the tone of this book is hard to ignore without devolving into culture war nonsense (more on that in a minute).

Hawkgirl receives an outpouring of concern from her JL colleagues during an alien invasion battle, even though the Justice League has been disbanded (???), and Superman notes out loud that the JL has been dissolved as they're fighting together.

During the fight, Hawkgirl is saved by Galaxy - an alien with energy-manipulating powers. Galaxy is a new creation from the same author (Jadzia Axelrod), she's never appeared in a regular DC comic (only in her own, self-titled GN), and Hawkgirl calls Batman to get an extensive rundown on Galaxy despite Galaxy claiming to have been on Earth for years.

Watch our Hawkgirl #1 Video Review

It turns out that the JL's concerns are correct, and Hawkgirl is struggling to find her place in the world. She lives in a new city alone with no regular friends and no romantic prospects, so she reaches out to an old college friend to catch up and get grounded. During the meetup, we learn Hawkgirl was an anti-cop, BLM activist with a shaved head in college (wasn't the height of that protest movement only two or three years ago?), and the old college buddy would be open to a romantic relationship with Hawkgirl because she can't decide if she's a man or a woman(???) The meeting does not end with plans for a date.

Somewhere amid all this, a fox demon who has been trapped on Earth for decades tries to use Nth Metal in a bizarre experiment to open a portal back home. The experiment inadvertently zaps Hawkgirl into Galaxy's apartment while Galaxy is making out with her girlfriend, and that's the cliffhanger.

The flow of the events doesn't make sense, the adhesion to continuity doesn't make sense, the number of self-insert ideas and characters are bizarrely off-putting, and the result is a jumbled mess that brings down instead of elevating the character.

How's the art? Phenomenal. Amancay Nahuelpan's art looks gorgeous, and this is a true example of art that's too good for the story.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Hawkgirl #1 is an unmitigated disaster and one of the worst (best?) examples of a writer's narcissistic need to push themselves into a character's life instead of caretaking what the character is meant to be. The setup is disjointed, the connections to continuity don't make sense, the self-insert characters are irritating, but the art is fantastic.


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