Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Hawkgirl #2 Review


Written by: Jadzia Axelrod
Art by: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by: Amancay Hahuelpan, Adriano Lucas
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 15, 2023

Hawkgirl #2 finds Kendra letting her hair down and gettin in touch with herself with Galaxy's help. Meanwhile, Vulpecula is on the hunt for more Nth Metal.
Is It Good?

Well, Hawkgirl #2 does one thing right and a whole lot of things wrong. If you liked issue #1, this issue is more of the same. If you disliked issue #1, this issue is (surprise!) more of the same. Let's get into it.

When last we left Kendra Saunders, aka Hawkgirl, Vulpecula's (terrible name) experiment to open a portal back to her homeworld somehow teleported Kendra through the skylight in Galaxy's apartment. Now, Galaxy spends time with Kendra to explain a little bit of her backstory (which we never hear), all about her identity, and to coax Kendra to come out to a gay bar to enjoy herself for once. Vulpecula shows up at the gay bar to make a scene and steal one of Kendra's feathers.

Structurally, Jadzia Axelrod's script is a little cleaner and clearer than issue #1 in that you understand a little more about Vulpecula's objective. Her homeworld is Nth World, and she performing experiments, some years in the making, to get back home, and she needs Nth metal to do it. Barring the lack of backstory about Vulpecula and Nth World, that sorta makes sense

What doesn't makes sense? Practically everything else.

We begin with a prologue where Vulpecula tempts twin boys to grant them everything they want in return for a favor years later. Except, years later, one of the twins is a broken-down drunk, and the other is trapped in a sexless marriage. Suddenly, the scene changes. The drunk twin is a famous racecar driver, and the other twin is in a happy gay marriage. Does Vulpecula travel through time? Does she create alternate timelines? What did Vulpecula promise the twin boys in exchange for her favor? We never find out. During the prologue, Aesop's fable of The Dog & His Reflection is narrated but told incorrectly.

Later, Vulpecula interrupts both men in the midst of their happiness and spirits them away to turn them into monsters - one a werewolf and the other a cyborg made out of auto parts. Why does Vulpecula turn the twins into monsters? Changing one into a robot made out of auto parts makes sense for a racecar driver, but why is the other a werewolf? How or why does opening a portal to Nth World change people into monsters?

Elsewhere, Galaxy uses her powers to help Kendra become whole with her wings (???) such that Kendra can now feel them. As Galaxy and Kendra fly back to Kendra's apartment she explains her history, how she came to Earth, what her world is like, and why she has a talking dog. Unfortunately, all that talking is done off-panel, so if you have no knowledge of Galaxy, you only learn bits and pieces. Why would Axelrod go through the trouble of making her Hawkgirl comic mostly about Galaxy and then neglect to tell readers anything about Galaxy???

Before parting, Galaxy insists on Kendra joining her and her girlfriend for a night out of drinking and dancing. Kendra agrees but doesn't find out until she gets to the bar that it's a gay bar, where she just so happens to bump into her college friend from issue #1, Abilene. It appears Axelrod is setting up a romantic relationship between Kendra and Abilene, so we'll see if that development is as forced as it looks.

Just as Kendra starts to enjoy a night of dancing, Vulpecula crashes into the bar in search of a large quantity of Nth Metal. Galaxy and Kendra fight Vulpecula's pets, but Vulpecula takes one of the feathers and leaves. Why does Vulpecula insist Kendra has to come to her willingly? If Vulpecula needs Nth Metal, and Kendra is beaten, why doesn't she take all of Kendra's Nth Metal?

I've often harped on the positives and negatives of getting the reader to ask questions. Forward-thinking questions ("What's going to happen next?") are good. They instill anticipation and curiosity. Backward-thinking questions ("Why did person X do Y when that doesn't make sense?") are not good and exemplify a lack of skill in writing.

Again, we have a better understanding of Vulpecula's goals but that's about it. Everything else is a mess. Between the endless author self-inserts, the over-focus on Galaxy, and the nonsensical actions by the villain, this comic is just as much a failure of DC Editorial as it is the author.

How's the art? Amancay Nahuelpan's art is fantastic. Clean lines, powerful figures, and dramatic camera angles squeeze every ounce of visual pop into every panel. Truly, Amancay Nahuelpan is too good for this comic.

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 #2 is a mess with fantastic art. The one positive is clarity surrounding the villain's intentions and motives, but everything else is a mass of confusion designed to force fit Hawkirl into Galaxy's world, whether she wants to or not.


1 comment:

  1. As a trans woman, I completely agree that Galaxy dominates these stories far too much (not because she’s trans, but a. She is not the person the book is name after and b. She is so annoying). I’ve actually found in all four issues, Axelrod writes Kendra really really well……but that is drowned out by everything else Axelrod wants us to focus on for some reason.