Writer: Jeff Lemire
Pencils: Bryan Hitch
Inks: Kevin Nowlan
Colors: Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Liam Shar and Jason Wright
Last time: The depths of the Dark Multiverse have reached their tendrils out further and further, bringing out countless abominations and corrupting the few lights the heroes have left; culminating in two bringers of doom for the enemy- the monstrous Lady Blackhawk, and Hawkman, the Dragon of Barbatos.
What’s Happening? With Reed Strong: Much like Bruce Wayne finding himself lost in the pages of…well, Batman: Lost, Carter Hall is unstuck in time. Having a series of reoccurring dreams of flying high like a hawk, the continuity-cursed strongman faces off against the brutal and wicked Manhawks, as he awakes once more in his cave. A series of feats of strength and feats of will push him literally higher and higher, climbing to board the enemy spaceship and facing down a bizarrely familiar enemy. Cloaking himself in the garb and weaponry of the Hawk, Carter flies up to the skies in search of further victory- before being hit by dark realization that the Dragon of Barbatos still rules his waking moments, and traps him once more in a sleep.
Reed Strong’s Read: Hawkman is a dude with a history, and a dude a lot of people have strong feelings on. Funnily enough, this issue didn’t invoke either side of those strong feelings either way, despite being compelling enough. Most of the book is one scene, and it’s a fun and challenging scenario. Seeing Carter Hall face off against the classic Manhawks, and even another Hawk on the spaceship is the weird stuff we’d expect from Hawkman by now, but the issue doesn’t give much of an impact that wasn’t already slammed into place by the end of Metal #4. It shows us the struggle to keep his head above water, but since Hawkman still appears to have already lost, this book didn’t do enough to elevate it to the heights of the rest of Metal. But knowing Hawkman and Jeff Lemire; a second swoop-in will be soon to come.