Writer: Jadzia Axelrod
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 18th, 2023
Kendra Saunders finally gets a solo series, and Hawkgirl #1 starts with a blast, as Hawkgirl, now living in Metropolis, struggles with her past while trying to make a new life for herself. There’s not much time for self-reflection though, because an alien force called the Helioans (beings made of fire) have invaded Metropolis. Hawkgirl fights on! Also, the hero Galaxy (and their talking Corgi Argus) make a grand entrance! And who is the mysterious villain Vulpecula and what’s her connection to the Nth World?
Of all the places I thought Kendra would end up, Metropolis was last on the list. But living in the big city always brings big problems, and in Hawkgirl #1, Kendra deals with a huge one, as she battles the invading Helioan alien horde beside Superman (Kal-El, not Jonathan Kent), Black Canary and Power Girl. Kendra’s like a fury here and so cold and grim, she makes Batman look like Harley Quinn by comparison. But I like her like this, all rage and fury, and I enjoyed watching her mow through the Helioan horde alongside Power Girl, who used to be the grim hero with the stone heart, but writers have lightened up her character a bit lately, so she, Kendra and Black Canary complement each other perfectly. It makes me wish these three were together in the upcoming Birds of Prey series that will be written by Kelly Thompson. A guy can dream, I suppose.
Kendra’s history is nearly as convoluted as Hawkman’s, and that’s addressed throughout the issue, as memories of the hundreds of previous lives Kendra has lived occasionally flood her mind, overwhelming her. It really makes you feel for Kendra, who keeps other people at a distance while simultaneously wishing for someone to help ease her psychological pain. Amidst all this, the hero Galaxy appears. For those not familiar with Galaxy, she appeared in the 2022’s graphic novel Galaxy: The Prettiest Star. She’s an alien princess with the power to control gravity and light around her, and she had to hide on Earth as a male in order to hide from the enemies of her planet Cyandii, who are hunting for her. After living 6 years as a boy on Earth, Galaxy yearned to live as a female again. It was a great tale and a wonderful metaphor for living a trans life. I was hoping Galaxy would show up in a book again and it looks like she’s going to be a big supporting character in Hawkgirl’s book, showing up to help Hawkgirl at a critical moment. I think she’ll be a great member of Hawkgirl’s cast, someone I see Kendra warming up to over time, and I look forward to seeing more scenes with them together.
The action scenes leap off the page in Hawkgirl #1 thanks to Amancay Nahuelpan’s art. Kendra looks like a true warrior throughout the issue, ripped from head to toe and looking almost like an Amazon warrior, towering over everyone around her. Galaxy is drawn beautifully also, seeming very graceful and light on her feet, a good contrast to Kendra’s bulldozer-like way of moving through life. Vulpecula has an interesting look that makes her look like a combination of Marvel’s The Scarlet Witch and Viper.
Hawkgirl #1 is a great debut issue that promises a series full of action and a great villain in Vulpecula, who’s incredibly sinister and will be a formidable nemesis for Hawkgirl in the issues to come. Recommended.