To Catch A Shadow Thief: Hawkman #17
by Josh Davison
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Hawkman has caught up to Shadow Thief, but he’s left his backup, the Shade, behind. This means no one is there to cover Carter’s back or hold back his building bloodlust and rage. Despite this, Hawkman seems to have the upper hand in the fight…until Shadow Thief reveals that he has full control over Hawkman’s shadow. The Thief orders Hawkman’s shadow to fight Hawkman himself, and any damage Carter manages to deal to his shadow is reflected back upon him. Could this be the end for the Hawkman?
Hawkman #17 brings his conflict with Shadow Thief to its brutal and bloody conclusion. Hawkman has finally caught up to the Shadow Thief, and the Thief will not flee because he believes he has the upper hand here.
Hawkman’s rage is once again a major theme of the issue, but it’s not just rage–it’s full-on bloodlust. He wants to kill Shadow Thief, and he longs for the chance.
The fight itself has a pleasingly classic feeling to it. The villain is overconfident about their power, and it does seem as if they have this victory in the bag. However, they’re also prone to monologuing and don’t foresee the hero’s surprise turnabout. It reads believably here too given that Shadow Thief has access to immense power, but he’s also a bit petty and not especially bright. He also greatly underestimates the Hawkman’s rage.
Pat Olliffe’s artwork once again shines brightly in this issue. The fight between Hawkman and Shadow Thief is well-realized, cathartic, and flows excellently. His penchant for grittiness and heavy linework serves the book well as well, and it’s boosted by the inking of Tom Palmer. The color palette of Jeremiah Skipper is atmospheric and moody while looking downright great throughout.
Hawkman #17 is another compelling and action-heavy issue for the Winged Warrior. Carter has an engaging and climactic showdown with classic villain Shadow Thief, and his morals are put to the test when given the chance to end the Thief’s existence. This one, needless to say, gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Hawkman #17 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 James Harren.
Final Score: 8/10