Carter Hall is in a world he doesn't recognize. He doesn't know who he is, where he came from, or where he's going. All he knows is that he has dreams of flying, and that he must fight off swarms of Manhawks daily. They come from a ship in the sky, and, today, he is going to find a way aboard that ship.
For those keeping score, Hawkman is actually #4 on my list behind Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and Oliver Queen. But, sometimes we internet writers need to go to extra lengths to get eyes on the page, so here we are.
I didn't know what to expect from Hawkman Found. I have expected it to consist of the fight in the Forge between Batman, Superman, and the mutated Carter Hall. The actual product wasn't out of the realm of prediction, either.
It's equal measures a deep-cut character study and cryptic hints at this part of Metal. It has me somewhat excited, because I feel like you don't put out a comic like this unless you're testing the waters for another Hawkman title.
If you're hoping for some insight into Metal, then this comic doesn't have too much to offer. The most it will give you is (spoiler) Hawkman was supposed to man the Forge of Worlds before he became the creature you saw at the end of Metal #4.
That being said, it is a dive into the very base of Carter's psyche. He is, above all else, a warrior and an explorer. This comic shows those two parts in his battle with the Manhawks and his need to get aboard the ship in the sky. The plot is tight, but it has a dazed feel to it to reflect the state of Hawkman's mind. We aren't really given specific reasons for his actions; he just feels that he needs to do these things.
It's nice seeing Jeff Lemire return to DC with a comic this solid.
If I had complaints, it would be that the ending makes all of this feel quite inconsequential. On some level, you know that this comic can't go beyond a certain point given the nature of the tie-in. And we already know some of the details behind Hawkman's story, and this comic doesn't give you any shattering revelations.
The meandering nature of the forward plot also kills the tension somewhat be minimizing the sense of urgency. It just feels like he's doing this today on a whim. That is good on some level, because it means the lead character is definitively driving the plot, but it also gives you the feeling this could happen at any point without much consequence. Admittedly, the ending shows you the reason for that. This comic actually mirrors Batman Lost in a lot of ways beyond the inverted names.
I'd put it in the upper-middle in the rankings of one-shot Metal tie-ins as a result (this is counting Batman Lost and all the Nightmare Batmen stories). It's better than say, The Drowned, The Merciless, and Batman Lost, but it's not as strong as The Dawnbreaker, The Red Death, or The Batman Who Laughs.
Bryan Hitch's artwork keeps the comic quite visually appealing. It has a somewhat gritty style which feels very Hawkman. The fight scenes feel impactful and weighty to boot. Kevin Nowlan's inking work is notably strong. Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper give some strong color art, and the overall book is quite strong in the aesthetic department.
While this may not be the most significant of Metal tie-ins, it is a good introduction to the character of Hawkman. In many ways, it lets you know exactly the kind of hero he is. Along with Hitch and company's artwork, this is a comic I can recommend. Pick it up.
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