Surviving The Shadowlands With Hawkman #16

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Hawkman reflects on his first meeting with Shade as the two enter the Shadowlands that darkly reflect our own world. The terrain of the Shadowlands is in flux as the Shadow Thief’s power continues to grow. The Thief unleashes a full horde of stolen shadows upon Hawkman and the Shade, and Carter thoroughly enjoys the fight. This worries Shade, and it only gets worse when the Shade discovers that he can’t control the shadows now that the Shadow Thief has taken over. Then, the shadows take the form of a dragon, and Hawkman must take it on alone.

Hawkman #16 cover by Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer, and Jeremiah Skipper
Hawkman #16 cover by Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer, and Jeremiah Skipper

Hawkman #16 finds the Winged Warrior battling the full force of the Shadowlands as controlled by the Shadow Thief. 

After a somewhat slow prologue, the comic turns into a full-on action issue. We get to see Carter unleash himself upon the stolen shadows and the shadow dragon. It’s a lot of fun, and it helps move the story forward.

The weird returning detail is that Shade thinks it strange that Carter is raging and enjoying the fight. That’s pretty incongruous considering, prior to this current Hawkman run, Hawkman was very much a rager and a fighter. I guess “this” Hawkman isn’t in that case, but Shade seems to have known him over a series of reincarnations–he should have seen an angry Hawkman at some point.

Hawkman #16 art by Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer, and Jeremiah Skipper with letters from Richard Starkings and Comicraft
Hawkman #16 art by Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer, and Jeremiah Skipper with letters from Richard Starkings and Comicraft

That aside, it is a helluva fun issue, and Pat Olliffe continues to kill it in the visual department. He provides a gritty style that nonetheless turns somewhat fantastical and creative in the Shadowlands. The fight between Hawkman and the shadow dragon in especially looks spectacular. Jeremiah Skipper provides a solid color palette that keeps the Shadowlands lively.

Hawkman #16 is a fun and action-packed issue that keeps the reader engaged and excited. Despite my complaints about the incongruous depiction of Carter Hall’s rage in the past (and even that just comes from me being a longtime Hawkman fan), this is a solid issue. This comic book still easily earns a recommendation. Check it out.

Hawkman #16 comes to us from writer Robert Venditti, artist Pat Olliffe, inker Tom Palmer, color artist Jeremiah Skipper, letters from Richard Starkings and Comicraft, cover artist Pat Olliffe with Tom Palmer and Jeremiah Skipper, and variant cover artist Inhyuk Lee.

Final Score: 8/10

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