Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Hawkgirl #5 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: November 21, 2023

Hawkgirl #5 takes Kendra down the rabbit hole of her life when she follows Vulpecula down the timeline to stop the Fox from tricking her past self into accepting a favor.
Is Hawkgirl #5 Good?

It's a bizarre turn that after five issues, the titular character is almost the least important person in her comic book. In Hawkgirl #5, Kendra chases Vulpecula down her timeline to strike a deal, but the best Jadzia Axelrod can muster is a repetitive exploration of Kendra's formative years to fill space.

When last we left Kendra, she managed to tap into the same time-hopping power as Vulpecula to stop the villain in ethereal form. Now, the shapeshifting villain attempts to trick earlier versions of Kendra into accepting a favor that she can use to cash in now and put Kendra under power.

Kendra's efforts are largely successful until Vulpecula reaches a point in Kendra's recent past where Shayera Hall's Reincarnation Cycle ends, and Kendra feels incomplete or alone. At that moment, Kendra accepts the favor, and Vulpecula instantly captures Galaxy and Kendra to open a portal to Nth World. Unfortunately, Vulpecula's plan doesn't work out the way she expected.

The most miraculous aspect of this comic and series is just how much the story feels stuck in a circular rut. No small feat for a new writer on a new series. Kendra starts this series wallowing in her loneliness, self-doubt, and emotional angst. Now, in the penultimate issue, Kendra spends her time on a walking tour of her troubled life, giving her more reason to wallow in loneliness, self-doubt, and emotional angst. The more this series progresses, the more Axelrod paints Kendra as someone not up to being a hero.

What's great about Hawkgirl #5? The art is the real winner in this series. It might be too harsh to say Amancay Nahuelpan's art is wasted on this poorly written story, but it is fair to say the art quality outstrips the writing quality by a country mile.

What's not so great about Hawkgirl #5? The plot isn't interesting, Vulpecula's methodology for getting back home makes little sense or isn't explained well enough to make sense, and Kendra is a glum sad sack who appears to have not learned from her heroics to rise above her self-pity. The best thing a mini-series can do is elevate a character to get readers invested enough to want to know more. This mini-series is doing the opposite.

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 #5 is a tedious, self-pitying, frequently nonsensical chore of a comic to read with spectacular art. It's clear Axelrod never understood the character or had a clear idea of how to build on her mythology, so the obligatory final issue next month will, at best, be a blessed relief.


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