Tug's Pick of the Week

Click for a Larger ImageHawkman # 25

I usually don’t choose a comic for a "Pick of the Week" unless I get to read a preview copy beforehand, but this time, I just couldn’t help myself. The “Black Reign” crossover running in the past month’s issues of Hawkman and JSA has been nothing short of phenomenal so far, and I’m almost 100% certain that the final chapter in Hawkman # 25 will be no different.

The only bad part about “Black Reign” is that there are so many surprising twists and turns that I can’t really get into the story too much without spoiling something for you. (In the last issue of JSA, there were two “hmm, that’s good” moments and five jaw-dropping “oh, @#$%, I didn’t see that coming!” moments. I counted.)

The basic set-up is that Black Adam has gotten together a group of heroes who all have connections with the JSA (Northwind, Nemesis, the new Eclipso, Brainwave, and Atom Smasher) but no longer agree that the JSA’s definition of justice is the right one. Instead, they decide that justice should be metered out with cruel force and no mercy. Their first target is Black Adam’s home country Kahndaq, where they demolish the harsh dictatorship and set themselves up as the country’s leaders.

This, of course, doesn’t sit well with the JSA, and they decide to stop Black Adam’s crew. This fight of brother-against-brother has so far been testing the resolve of both groups — especially Hawkman, whose brand of justice is closer to Black Adam’s than he would care to admit.

The story so far has been a sly commentary on the recent rise of super-hero groups like the Authority, who break rules in order to enforce justice.  This last part of "Black Reign" promises to show why the JSA, a team that has been around since the 1930s, is still the best team of super-heroes today.

Not only does this issue conclude “Black Reign,” but it is also the final issue of Hawkman by writer Geoff Johns and penciller Rags Morales. This team has made Hawkman consistently one of the most interesting characters in the DC Universe for the past couple of years. Morales’s work in this book has cemented him as one of the best artists working in comics today. I can’t even imagine how the book will get on without them, but here’s hoping that it will be just as good, if not better.

If you missed out on the first five parts of “Black Reign,” have no fear. They are all still available. If you don’t see them on our shelves, just ask one of the guys behind the counter to special order them for you. We can have them for you in no time. Here are the issue numbers:

  • JSA # 56, 57, and 58

  • Hawkman # 23, 24, and 25

And don’t forget to check out all the other great books this week, including Geoff Johns’s Teen Titans and Marvel’s Secret War: Book One, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Gabriel Dell’Otto, whose art has been compared to Alex Ross by everyone — including your grandmother!

Also, we’ve just added more titles to our Must Read Graphic Novel section, including all the Marvel Essential trades and all the DC Archives. Go get you some!

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