Hawkgirl #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Jadzia Axelrod, art by Amancay Nahuelpan, colors by Adriano Lucas, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Hawkgirl moves to Metropolis and finds a new hero just as someone begins messing with Nth metal.
This is an opening issue layered with content. There are so many directions and avenues being constructed, but helpfully they all come from a similar place; Hawkgirl and those wings on her back. She does not quite have a clean break as she moves into Metropolis, but the things that overhang from previous series and events are important and serve a purpose. Everything boils down to two stories happening at the same time. Hawkgirl’s superhero adventures are aided by someone brand new, spurring her to investigate. This part of the book is mainly clear and forward-thinking. But pressed against the back of that story is a kidnapping of a woman that is equal parts time-travel based and something very different. It’s chaotic, and the plans are just beginning, but how it’s written and introduced is brilliant. Hawkgirl #1 is filled with energy and a fast pace. That secondary story is fascinating and creepy, and the two tales only really affect one another at the end of the issue, creating massive complications.
The characters and the dialogue in this first issue are extremely fun. There are many cameos and guest stars from the biggest heroes in the DC Universe. For a woman who wants to go out on her own, former Justice League members and other heroes in general feature heavily. Hawkgirl is one of those characters that just seems suited to a team, so it is great to have that reflected in her comic. Kendra is a fantastic character. She is grouchy and resistant to help, brimming with anger and sarcasm. And those qualities seem to excel when she is bouncing off of others.
The interactions with all the heroes are superb, with Axelrod demonstrating a brilliant ability and creating distinct relationships between individuals. Each character has their voice, and their personality shines through the dialogue. The narration is also magnificent, using a fairy tale motif that is gorgeously eloquent. It’s poetic and fits so many of those involved in the comic. The new character is a ball of delightful sunshine, similar to but nothing close to a copy of Singularity from A-Force. Much of this comic is unashamedly queer, with various relationships and characters appearing. This suits a character that is often focused on identity.
The art is pure excellence. Nahuelpan relies on a classic but awesome design for Hawkgirl. That helmet is too iconic to mess with, and the mace is just part of her now. Those wings are interfered with in a story sense, but again remain simple but effective in how they look. When they are spread, Kendra takes up a large space, giving her that presence in her book she deserves. All of the other heroes look tremendous as well. The new character has an adorable pet. There are two figures in the parallel story as well. The villain deserves special mention. She appears at three different points in time and has separate appearances. One is dramatic and monstrous, but the other two are more intricate and potentially missable if one doesn’t look closely enough.
The colors are stunning. In the book’s main body, the shades’ vibrancy shine. The characters are exuberant and energetic, so their colors match that personality. The new hero has distinct tones to their hair and skin, which makes them so striking when they first appear, and every time they do for the rest of the issue. The other half of the book is dark, sinister, and emotive. The first page is like that, giving the gloomy scene a green tinge that is pretty yet creepy. The lettering has some incredible dynamism, with changes in word color, font sizes, and SFX happening frequently.
Hawkgirl #1 hints at a series full of life and energy. It sets Kendra off on her adventure, but with her superhero friends there to perhaps serve as a buffer before she goes out on her own. It would be fun if the cameos such as these could be sustained throughout the book. It has huge amounts of action, brilliant mysteries, and plot points that have instant ramifications, with new characters introduced with immediate depth and intrigue.
Hawkgirl #1 hints at a series full of life and energy. It sets Kendra off on her adventure, but with her superhero friends there to perhaps serve as a buffer before she goes out on her own.