John Ostrander & Tim Truman writing? Graham Nolan drawing? Hawkman? This sounds like my perfect comic. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that great. This story has the introduction of post-Crisis Shadow Thief. Or at least a Shadow Thief to antagonize Katar Hol, the Thanagarian Hawkman. The Thief doesn’t get too much character development, and is really more of a pawn of Byth’s for the issue. I vaguely remember Byth, and sure enough, he’s still a gross-looking dude very reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing. He gets his arm chopped off in the beginning of the issue, and calmly comments that he needs to burn it before it grows into another copy of him. Sure enough, we see a little gross head popping out of the arm. So gross and cool.
Hawkman and Hawkwoman aren’t quite as cool as I’d like. Katar is rocking the 90s ponytail, and Shiera mostly flies a ship this issue. I remember liking the random issues of this title I’d pick up, but Johns’ savage take on Hawkman is a little clearer and easy to “get.” I do feel like this issue is really part of a longer narrative, as I could see there were many plot elements I just didn’t remember. I mean to read through a bunch of these old Hawkworlds soon if I can.
Graham Nolan’s art is solid as always. It’s not quite as striking as his later Detective Comics work, but he is a solid storyteller. I’ve enjoyed his style since I first noticed it, in fact, he’s one of my favorite bat-artists. He does a good job on Hawkwoman especially. I vastly prefer this incarnation to the Kendra version of Hawkgirl in the current DCU. Of course, Shiera also stars in JLU, which could be affecting my opinion.