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Dawn Of DC: Hawkgirl Gets A Fresh Start

Ending our look at the look at the latest announcement for Dawn Of DC I’m wrapping up with the new Hawkgirl title announced. This is a title that was teased with just the logo in the initial Dawn Of DC. That led some to think it would be a new Hawkman or Hawkgirl title. We got confirmation that the logo is indeed for a new Hawkgirl series.

The announcement of Hawkgirl came alongside the announcement for the new Wonder Woman, Flash, and Steelworks titles. Unlike those three that are building off what’s been established in their respective titles Hawkgirl is one of the series that is getting a fresh start in Dawn Of DC. Even titles like Cyborg and Shazam are building off other comics those characters are involved in during Dawn Of DC. The only other Dawn Of DC title that is getting a full fresh start is the Unstoppable Doom Patrol.

Hawkgirl #1 Cover
Amancay Nahuelpan and Adriano Lucas cover for Hawkgirl #1. Credit: DC Comics

But as we learned in the solicitation for Hawkgirl #1 Kendra Saunders is on her own without Hawkman around. That’s at least the tone established in the solicitation that says:

“Kendra Saunders, the winged warrior better known as Hawkgirl, has been one of the DC Universe’s greatest heroes for a long time, serving as a member of both the Justice League and the Justice Society. But with the Justice League disbanded, Kendra decides she needs a fresh start and heads to Metropolis to begin a new life. That life is quickly interrupted by a mysterious villain with a powerful connection to the Nth Metal that makes up Hawkgirl’s wings and weapons.”

Based on this information we do know that at least Kendra’s history as a Justice League and Justice Society member is staying intact. That is at least a positive as we can never really know what the exact history DC Comics is having their creative teams use for Hawkman and Hawkgirl. They are arguably the most confusing characters to read since there has been a lack of consistency with the characters. Consistency is all we can ask for to help get Kendra off to a good start in the new Hawkgirl series.

Which brings us to the creative team for Hawkgirl. We learned that the series creative team will be writer Jadzia Axelrod and artist Amancay Nahuelpan. In terms of art DC Comics selected a very good artist in Nahuelpan. Everything Nahuelpan has done, from Detective Comics to Justice League Dark, shows he knows how to draw a good looking comic book.

When it comes to Axelrod that is a question mark simply because she has very little history as a comic book writer. This lack of history even comes through in the press release by DC Comics as there is no hype around Axelrod’s announcement as writer for Hawkgirl. That’s especially noticeable when you look at the descriptors used for Tom King, Michael Dorn, or Simon Spurrier in the same press release.

In terms of credits Axelrod wrote a short story in the DC Pride 2022 issue and wrote Galaxy: The Prettiest Star, a graphic novel DC Comics published in May 2022 as part of their Young Adult line. That gives us very little to gauge Axelrod ability to write a superhero ongoing series. Out of all the ongoing titles DC Comics has announced Hawkgirl is the one that will be selling more on the hero name rather than creative team.

Hawkgirl Appears In Dark Crisis #7
Hawkgirl teased to play a role in future DC Comics events in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #7. Credit: DC Comics

Now to Axelrod’s credit Galaxy: The Prettiest Star was well received is it got a 10/10 from AIPT and 9.5 from Geek Dad. Galaxy: The Prettiest Star also got favorable reviews from Comic Book Resources, The Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Looking only at other online comments from those who have read Galaxy: The Prettiest Star it is a well-received Young Adult Graphic Novel.

That said, even with the critical acclaim Galaxy: The Prettiest Star did not get widely distributed as in its release month of May 2022 it did not chart on graphic novel sales. It did chart in June 2022 at #60 for graphic novel sales. That is not a very good number to debut at. This is all based on the numbers we have available to us from ICv2 and NPD Bookscans. But if it was a big sales chart topper DC Comics would not have hesitated to add in New York Best Seller or award-winning to the promotion of the new creative team for Hawkgirl. No company could resist adding those marketing buzzwords to an announcement like this.

The Young Adult catalog of graphic novels is just not for me and that’s okay. That is for an entirely different demographic that DC Comics is and should be targeting to grow its readership base. That said, not having a writer with a good amount of comic book writing history is something that does hurt the pitch of the new Hawkgirl series. It will take not just a great preview but positive reviews from others before I’m likely to trial-run the new Hawkgirl series on my pull list. At the very least it’ll be a comic I read through the DC Universe Infinite app thanks to the one-month release window for new comics.

With DC Comics, Marvel, and other comic book companies announcing new titles or creative team runs we are in a great time for the industry. That also means there is much more competition as not every series can be added to comic book fans’ pull list or have a long run. I hope for the best from the creative team of Axelrod and Nahuelpan starting when Hawkgirl #1 comes out on July 18th.

Source: DC.com