Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: A-team, BlackHawks, DCNew52, GrahamNolan, GuyMajor, KenLashley, MikeCosta, WillEisner
We’re now into our final week of DC New 52 #1s – so I figured I would start my bunch of reviews with the wildcard of the pack – the one I knew nothing about – Black Hawks. As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m game for any new comics – so c’mon Hawks, let’s see if you can impress me?
Before reading the book (and then looking it up on Wikipedia) I’d assumed this was another of DC’s integration of Wildstorm/Vertigo characters into the new universe. I was wrong. In actual fact, this is based off a long running series created by Will Eisner, Chuck Cuidera and Bob Powell about a team of World War II pilots. Which is surprising because BH#1 has very little to do with pilots, and even less to do with WWII. A modern day remake I do smell. Now armed with a little knowledge of the history of the book, I’m going to ignore it for the rest of the review, because to be honest it’s not needed – this one reads like a totally new concept anyway.
The first issue doesn’t mess around either – it drops us straight into the battlefield with three of it’s top field operators on point. (I’d be very grateful to anyone who’d like to leave comments on this post, to help me understand why four names appear at the start of the issue, but I can only find three operators running about – the missing one being Lady Blackhawk?)
These guys don’t mess around – this isn’t the Suicide Squad and its bad of crazy villains, and it’s not Red Hood and his band of scantily clad Outlaws – these are trained professionals, pulling off the kind of insane stunts that you’d expect from the A-Team.
Although the cover suggests that there’s plenty of Black Hawks to go round, this isn’t a Legion-sized list of names to remember – everyone has simple, usually 1 word, nicknames that are easy to remember and go nicely with each character. The issue works well to introduce each person and get us familiar with their characteristics, without going into much (if any) unnecessary back story. I was able to slip into the world of Black Hawks with ease – something a #1 should definitely do – and had no issues with what these guys do and how they go about it.
Reaching the half way point into the book, I couldn’t help but think that this was exactly what I expected from Men of War, and wondered if this was going to be completely Meta-less. It’s not long after this point though that we’re introduced to “Nanocites” – microscopic machines that can enter the blood stream and alter a person’s make up – from super strength to human bomb. It’s a nice touch, making a clear distinction between super powers and technology, helping the book have a much more realistic, if not futuristic feel. I can’t see Supes turning up in this one any time soon.
There are a lot of nice set pieces in this book too – the best of which being the Hawk’s base of operations, the Eyrie – a secluded mountain-top fortress, with more parking spaces than 10 of Bruce Wayne’s batcaves.
Artwork and colour, provided by Graham Nolan, Ken Lashley and Guy Major are all spot on here too – again nothing too over the top to spoil the realism that the book is going for. There’s a lot of cool designs in here to separate this from other war / commando crack team comics out there.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this one – I’d sum it up as an X-Men meets the A-Team kind of comic. It wasn’t one I had wanted to follow to issue #2, purely because I knew nothing about it, but #1 has done what it was supposed to and has interested me enough to make me come back for more.
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