If you’ve been reading Justice League you’re probably wondering what the heck Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, and Martian Manhunter are doing. They could have helped with “Drowned Earth” and yet they’re out in space doing detective work. Wonder no longer as this issue reveals the importance of their mission and how, by the end of this issue, they may need help as much as Earth heroes did in the last issue.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Let’s take a trip to “Hawkworld” in part one of a new Totality-related storyline! Martian Manhunter, John Stewart and Hawkgirl avoided “Drowned Earth” with a detour to Thanagar-Prime: J’onn looks to tap into the ancient Martian mental database, GL struggles while practicing his new UV powers, and Kendra searches for answers about her connection to the Totality.
Why does this matter?
James Tynion IV takes over on scripting duties (with Scott Snyder collaborating on story) delving into a deep space mission on Hawkworld that could change what we think about the Totality. Everything has been building to a huge finish and this is the first step to understand how we get there.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a groundwork-laying sort of issue, developing the mystery at hand be it the players on Hawkworld, the planet itself, and the heroes working the case. Tynion IV does a great job with these characters, giving each a moment to show a bit of themselves while also developing a potential love interest. If you’re at all interested in Hawkman and the bevy of characters that come with it, you’ll want to check this out. Tynion IV is fleshing out this strange world and that includes a mysterious connection Hawkgirl has with a character named Shayera Hol.
Some of our Earth heroes are present in this story too, opening and closing the book with high stakes moments. I don’t want to spoil it, but Batman is messing around in things he probably shouldn’t, and Starman is a bomb just waiting to explode.
Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia share pencil duties with Mark Morales and Segovia on inks and Tomeu Morey (is he coloring everything these days?) and Wil Quintana. Hawkworld has some impressive moments to shine in this issue revealing how large and epic it can be. Nth metal allows the structure to defy gravity and the art team pushes what is possible in that regard. Hol looks impressive too in her full-page splash entrance and there’s a subtlety to the Hawk guards that’s a tad unnerving. You understand they’re probably the bad guys, yet shrug it off as a hardcore military. That is until they open up those wings and bring out the maces! I’m also impressed with the emotive expressions of Hawkgirl given her eyes are covered.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
As a table setting sort of issue, there’s a lot of talking and setup. There’s a bit of action, but most of this is focused on heroes talking amongst themselves, with strangers, and then reflecting on their interactions. I’d say it’s a bit too wordy, but given the release schedule of these books, I’d also wager Tynion IV had to get a lot into this issue to set up what comes next. The pace could have used a bit more action though especially with word bubbles being so stuffed.
Is it good?
The opening and closing give this issue pop, but it’s hard to totally love the issue when the rest is slow and lengthy in its delivery. If you’re interested in the Totality and the larger story you’re going to need to read this.