Weren’t we introduced to “the menace of Morphicus” in ‘The Savage Hawkman’ #1?  Why yes, we were.  In fact, in this issue, after a brief tussle with Hawkman, he flies off.  More like “Say goodbye to the menace of Morphicus.”

Initially, it seems like Morphicus has the upper hand on Hawkman, but he has underestimated this new mysterious take on Nth Metal.  Hawkman is able to turn the tables and the two have a pretty brutal knock-down-drag out.  Morphicus seems to have Hawkman on the ropes, but the effects of the Nth Metal are taking their toll and he flees.  A new menace, Dr. Hogarth Kane is introduced.  He’s a not-so-typical “pretends to be a philanthropist scientist, but is actually a bad guy.”  But he’s no Lex Luthor.  No… he certainly isn’t.  He sends a powerful agent named Waker to collect Morphicus.

We get a little downtime, where we get more exposure to Carter Hall’s supporting cast.  His landlord Mr. Gomez nearly evicts him.  He’s visited by Emma Ziegler, his boss’ daughter, who I assume is a love interest, although I had trouble even caring about her, since we all know who he really belongs with.

Hawkman’s powers continue to change in this issue.  Last issue, his Nth Metal costume and weaponry “possessed” him, Venom-like, so now whenever he needs them, they just magically appear.  His healing factor also increased exponentially.  In this issue, he is looking at photos of alien hieroglyphics from Morphicus’ ship and he gradually discovers that he is beginning to understand them!

Hawkman mentions that he’s been active for a few years as a super hero, so that much is established, but not much else.  Was he in the Justice League?  Is he buddies with Ray Palmer?  Has he ever met a woman named Shiera?  Still mysteries, but I am inferring that this is a new take on Carter Hall.  He’s not technically an archeologist like he was before.  Obviously, there’s no mention of Thanagar or ancient Egypt, either.  This makes him another New 52 lead that we’re basically getting to know from scratch.

Overall, it was enjoyable enough, but I didn’t love it.  I’m not hooked, but I’ll definitely give issue #3 a read.  The writing is decent enough.  Carter Hall is a tough, no-nonsense guy, so fans of that type of character should enjoy this book.  I personally can’t relate to such an Alpha Male, so he doesn’t do it for me.  I don’t care much for his supporting cast, either.  His boss is a jerk.  I’m completely indifferent to Emma.  I’m not anti-Emma, she just doesn’t really register with me.

Now the villains are interesting.  Morphicus is an unique twist on the old Shadow Thief character.  I realize he isn’t Shadow Thief, but there may still be a connection.  Hogarth Kane may prove interesting.  It’s too early to tell.

I think one problem I have with this book and why it doesn’t knock my socks off, is that so much of it is hackneyed.  The jerky boss.  The landlord on the verge of evicting the main character.  The shady corporate villain.  How many times are these elements going to get used in stories, comic or otherwise?  That just bogs it down.  The book’s not bad, but it doesn’t break any new ground either.  There’s not an idea in either of the first two issues that is 100% new.

The painted artwork, overall is excellent.  The one problem page for me was in the above two-page spread, in which I have no idea what is happening.  Is that an arm on the left?  Or a knee and calf?  I can’t tell!  But overall, it’s great!  It’s kind of drab and gritty, befitting such a masculine character.  Hawkman’s new suit looks fantastic!  The storytelling is a little pedestrian, though, so that also doesn’t help elevate this book above average.

So while this book doesn’t bowl me over, it’s certainly not bad.  A little derivative, a tad flat, but not outright bad.  The art is very nice.  I’m engaged enough to carry on with it.

Verdict: Borrow

Written by Tony Salvador Daniel
Illustrated by Philip Tan
Cover by Tan and Sunny Gho