New 52 Review – “The Savage Hawkman #1”

Hawkman may have the single most convoluted history in comics. If anyone needs a clean slate in the relaunch, it’s him.

General Information

Title: The Savage Hawkman #1

Author: Tony Daniel

Illustrator(s): Philip Tan (art) and Sunny Gho (colour)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Carter Hall is tired of being Hawkman, but Hawkman isn’t tired of being Carter Hall.

High Point

This is clearly a hero whose personal is not a shiny, happy place.

Low Point

That’s a pretty extreme opening to be given without revealing *why* he considers this a curse.

The Scores

This may be an original take on Hawkman; I haven’t read a lot of the history. The feel of the book is very much like Marvel’s Ghost Rider at its best. I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork has the “darkened pencils” feel to the inking that I’ve never really been a big fan of. I think the pencils would have been crystal clear, but the light inks with the muddy colour scheme and extremely dark enemies makes some of the panels somewhat hard to discern. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is well assembled as a plot and action driven first chapter. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization could be better. We get a crystal clear picture of Carter’s emotional state here, but have no indication of what drove him to this state. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is mild. There’s good stuff here, but it feels like too much background was left out to hit this particular last page. Carter’s life is clearly in a miserable place, but this single issue doesn’t tell me why I should sympathize with him or his history really is. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow works well enough. The only part of the story that skips ahead suddenly is supposed to do that for a disorienting effect. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is another title that just didn’t grab me with a mediocre launch. If I don’t care about the lead by the end of the first issue, there’s a problem. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, The Savage Hawkman #1 receives 29 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman