The universe has changed … again. Is that bad or good? Let's discuss it. Let's talk DC Comics. I have been reading various DC Comics issues in the new DC Universe and am impressed with many of the stories.
My favorite characters in the DC Universe have always revolved around the Golden Age of heroes. Therefore, I am most interested in what is going to happen with the DC characters connected to the Justice Society of America (JSA) and the old Earth-2. For those of you who do not know, when the Justice League of America (JLA) was created in the Silver Age of comics, the powers that be decreed the 1940s-era Justice Society members lived on a parallel earth, Earth-2. Meanwhile, the JLA lived on Earth-1 (Never mind that the JSA came first and really should have been on Earth-1 and the JLA on Earth-2.
One of the series I have been reading in the new DC Universe is the Savage Hawkman. Hawkman has been one of my favorite DC characters since I was a little kid riding my bike to the corner gas station to buy my weekly comic books. The new Hawkman title focuses on Carter Hall, the original Golden Age Hawkman. His wife and longtime partner is dead and he is alone. In the new series, the gravity-defying Nth metal harness and wings he wears are basically a part of him. He no longer has to strap the wings on. The suit and wings appear and attach to him when he needs them. This strikes me as very similar to the old XO Manowar armor from Valiant Comics.
At this point, I'm okay with the Hawkman suit becoming a part of Hawkman. However, it smacks a little of the hawk god story from the 1990s in which Hawkman became part hawk (more or less). The fact this new twist on Hawkman resembles the hawk god is not a good thing. Many fans consider that story a low point. But, as long as Carter Hall remains himself and does not become a were-hawk, I'm okay with the changes.
On another note, it looks like the creators are trying to provide Hawkman with a new enemy. Hawkman has some great villains but only one or two that really stand out and are known by many readers. Shadow-Thief and Gentleman Ghost are among the few Hawkman villains to become popular to the masses. The new villain, Morphicius, looks like a cross between a hawk and a werewolf to me. Similarly, he is an alien, which I like. I like that Hawkman has always mixed ancient culture and alien technology, especially since the Silver Age. I'll be interested to see if this new villain sticks around for the long haul. The Savage Hawkman is written by Tony Daniel with art done by Philip Tan.
I have also been reading Mr. Terrific. The new Mr. Terrific first appeared in the Spectre comic book series and then joined the JSA. Almost, the Mr. Terrific in the new DC Universe is still Michael Holt but he was not a member of the Justice Society. (It has not been stated he was never a member of the JSA but it sure looks like it.) Power Girl appears in the Mr. Terrific comic but she does not seem to have powers or go by Power Girl. Instead, she appears as a friend of Micheal's and uses her real name of Karen Starr. I like how Mr. Terrific now works out of a space between dimensions. I can not help but wonder if Mr. Terrific's study of dimensions is going to play into the return of the JSA somehow. It looks like we will have to wait and see.
I am enjoying that Mr. Terrific focuses on science and all things cerebral instead of the typical punch and smash of many comics. Although, there is definitely some punching and smashing that takes place, especially when it goes up against the new villain named Brainstorm. Mr. Terrific is written by Eric Wallace with art by Gianluca Gugliotta.
Other titles I have been enjoying in the new DC Comics universe include Justice League and Justice League International. I read the first issues of Action Comics, Frankenstein – Agent of SHADE and Green Arrow, as well, and recommend those titles. Green Arrow is a refreshing take on the archer. He acts more like the Green Arrow seen on Smallville (the long-running TV show) than the Green Arrow that has been in Justice League for years. The new Green Arrow is still Oliver Queen but he has a team surrounding him and he looks more youthful than he has in the comics, in my opinion.
I am enjoying the new DC titles, but there is one lingering issue in my mind: Where is the JSA? I am anxiously awaiting more news on the Justice Society of America like thousands of other longtime DC Comics readers. It was announced on numerous comic book news sites that the JSA is returning and will likely be living in a parallel world again. Since that news, nothing more has been said or written about the Golden Age team.
For readers who may not know, the original JSA consulted of the Golden Age Hawkman, Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, Hourman, Sandman, Dr. Fate and Spectre. More members joined over time, including Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and Black Canary. DC is making a mistake if they believe the JSA is not a viable book that reads to be hurried into the new lineup of titles. I only hope that it is taking as long as it is to get the JSA book launched because DC creators are taking care to make the new JSA book exciting yet respectful to longtime fans.
I am very interested to see if Carter Hall's Hawkman will be a member of the JSA. Because DC has Carter Hall living in the same world as the Justice League – at least that is how it appears – how would Hawkman be a member of the JSA, too? Will there be two Carter Halls on both worlds? Will Carter Hall leave the main earth to join the JSA or is the current Hawkman really living on the JSA's earth and we do not realize it yet? I feel Hawkman needs to be a member of the JSA. A JSA without Hawkman is like peanut butter without jelly.
I look forward to seeing what DC has planned for my favorite team, the JSA, and I'll be along for the ride. I do suggest everyone pick up at least one new DC Comics title and give it a try. With 52 new titles, you are bound to find one that suits your taste.