Writer: Jadzia Axelrod
Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elahaou
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 19th, 2023
Vulpecula travels to Gotham City in Hawkgirl #3, where she uses Bruce Wayne’s rival Farlane Candor (what a name!) for the next phase of her plan to get to the Nth Metal Dimension. Hawkgirl and Galaxy (along with Galaxy’s faithful sidekick Argus) follow her there and recruit Batman to help them against her, but Vulpecula’s ready for them and has The Court of Owls at her side!
As I read Hawkgirl #3, I wondered for the millionth time how Batman has time for all this stuff he’s involved in. Of course, these days, he’s hip deep in the Gotham War against Catwoman. But I suppose he can take a few hours to help Hawkgirl and Galaxy kick some Court of Owl behind. After Galaxy’s “energy surgery” on Hawkgirl’s wings, Hawkgirl has become one with the Nth Metal wings. She can fly much faster and has much more control over them. Even though she has been formidable in the past, she’s even more so now, and this issue we get to see her battle it out not only with the Court of Owls, but a massive beast created from them by Vulpecula.
Ah yes, Vulpecula. She’s visually striking and kind of like a female version of Felix Faust, wielding powerful magic that she uses to transform people, control them or just generally cause chaos. Unfortunately, she’s also very one-dimensional. We got glimpses into her past in the first issue that gave us tantalizing hints as to how she became the sorceress she is today. But since then, old Vul has only been focused on getting to the Nth Metal Dimension and she never wavers from that, attacking and manipulating, every action she and everything she says looping right back to that goal.
It’s a shame, because she could be a fantastic member of Hawkgirl’s Rogues Gallery, maybe even Hawkgirl’s equivalent of Lex Luthor or The Joker. Every hero needs an ultimate adversary, someone as intriguing as the hero, but Vulpecula isn’t it. Still, it’s fun seeing more of Galaxy in action this issue. She’s definitely an interesting character and a fun ally of Hawkgirl. Her interaction with Batman towards the end of the issue is hilarious, as she drones on excitedly to Batman, who has no patience for her exuberance. Her joy and bright spirit are a perfect counterpoint to Hawkgirl’s grim nature.
Hawkgirl’s battle with a massive beast conjured by Vulpecula is thrilling, and I love Hawkgirl’s savagery in battle. She’s very much like Marvel’s Wolverine, brutal and relentless in combat. When she goes into battle, someone’s going to end up bleeding. Good thing Batman’s here. Had she fought beside Wonder Woman, Diana would probably be reading her the riot act after the dust settled. Overall, this was a fun issue that moved the story forward a bit, but it seemed like a sly way of sliding Batman into the book. Next issue we’ll be back in Metropolis and I hope Vulpecula’s motives and history are explored a bit more.
Amancay Nahuelpan’s art on Hawkgirl #3 reminded me of John Byrne’s post-X-Men art (primarily his art on Fantastic Four back in the 1980’s). His Hawkgirl is massive in size, at times almost appearing as big as Big Barda, and I like that. Hawkgirl’s a warrior, she should look solid and tough. The fight scenes are furious and I loved how the action seemed to burst from the panels.
Hawkgirl #3 felt primarily like a “guest shot” issue where Batman is shoe-horned into the story. Even though Vulpecula seems like a very generic villain, I love the interactions between Hawkgirl and Galaxy, as well as the great fight scenes and action. I’m hoping next issue we’ll get more insight into Vulpecula and the Nth Metal Dimension.