The Death of Hawkman miniseries kept its name a secret. It had been listed under the title Hawkman and Adam Strange. And, to be frank, that would have been a better title. Actually, Adam Strange and Hawkman would have been an even better title. Even just calling it Adam Strange would have worked.
Because honestly, ranking this as the first issue of The Death of Hawkman, it’s going to come out pretty low. But if I rank it as the first issue of Adam Strange (and Hawkman), it comes out far higher.
The story opens with a fairly dark and intense scene on war-torn Rann, with Hawkman in pretty poor shape. But after that, the tale jumps back in time, and back to Earth, and centres solely on Adam Strange.
It becomes very clear that this is the New 52 Adam Strange. Alanna and Sardath look different in their New 52 versions, and reference is made to the period Adam spent as a member of Justice League United. Those references gave me the best laugh in the issue, when Animal Man was referred to as Dr. Doolittle.
But is Hawkman the New 52 Hawkman? I don’t think so. His costume doesn’t look much like the New 52 one. But it’s very hard to tell. And it’s not as if there aren’t at least a dozen variations on Hawkman to pick from. And as he is only in that one brief scene at the top, it’s not like there is a lot to go on.
But the rest of the issue, the Adam Strange stuff, is really enjoyable. The Zeta-beams simply stop working on Adam, and he cannot figure out what is wrong. We get to see a bit more of his life on Earth than is usual, and get a very good sense of how mundane and tedious it is for him, compared to his adventures on Rann.
Consulting with Cyborg, Adam traces the locations that the Zeta-beam has landed on Earth, which brings the hero to Metropolis, Gotham, St. Roch and Belle Reve.
Really, the only thing I have to complain about with this story deals with the cover. Firstly, as I mentioned, the title of the miniseries, which does not seem to fit it at all. And secondly, the dramatic presentation of Despero on the cover. Despero does not appear in the story, although we do see a cell at Belle Reve labelled with his name. But his presence on the cover basically alerts the reader that he is, or will be, the major villain for this story.
So I guess my advice is to rip the cover off, burn it, and pretend it never existed. Then you’ll enjoy Adam Strange #1 far more.