FIRST APPEARANCE (DC DIRECT)
“Archaeologist Carter Hall discovered that he was the reincarnation of ancient Egyptian Prince Khufu in 1940’s Flash Comics #1!Using an experimental antigravity metal, Hall took flight as Hawkman!”
In the Golden Age, comic books were still very much periodicals in the vain of the pulp magazines that inspired them, with multiple features in each book. For the most part, the earliest appearances of the heavy hitters only got one notable stand out per book; no one’s really talking much about the characters that were backing up Superman and Batman in Action and Detective. However, there were a few instances, especially as they get into that slightly lower tier selection, where multiple characters might share their first appearance. For instance, while Jay Garrick’s The Flash headlined the first issue of Flash Comics, also debuting in that same issue was fellow JSA member, Hawkman, who I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hawkman was part of the second series of DC Direct’s First Appearance line. We’d gotten just one Hawkman from DCD previously at this point, and he was specifically the Silver Age version of the character (albeit one that happened to included a second, Golden Age-inspired helmet), as had all prior versions of the character in toy form. The figure is approximately 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation. Like Alan, he got to keep those extra wrist joints that the Series 1 figures had been lacking, plus he had the extra added joints of the wings. Hawkman’s sculpt was technically all-new to him, though I’ve actually looked at a lot of it previously, when it was re-used for the ReActivated! Hawkman. Of course, that being a review from my first month of reviewing, I didn’t actually, you know, really review it. It’s a rather nice sculpt. It’s got nice, balanced proportions, and does a respectable job of capturing Dennis Neville’s illustrations of the character from the interiors. The head and wings are the notable changes between the two releases of the mold. This one’s been designed to include a removable helmet, which is quite nicely handled. Both the helmet and the underlying head work well together, with neither being too oddly scaled. Additionally, the wings on this version are designed for more easy removal, and to also more resemble the original intent, where they were more of a glider set-up. As such, they’re a little flatter, lack the more overt feather detailing, and have a connection via pegs, rather than the ball joint set-up of later figures. It’s not going to be getting many killer poses or anything, but it does mean you can have a much more dressed down Carter Hall. Following in Flash’s footsteps from the first series, Hawkman is the one figure in his set that doesn’t feature any cloth parts, mostly because, exactly what would you use them for? He’s not exactly overly clothed. Hawkman’s paint work is bright, colorful, and clean, and he’s got some nice variation, especially on the yellows and reds, which have two differing sheens, depending on where they are. Hawkman’s definitely the best accessorized of the line up to this point, with the previously mentioned removable helmet and wings, as well as a dagger, shield, stand, and reprint of his portion of Flash Comics #1. Compared to the others, his assortment definitely feels more all-inclusive.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
At this point in my collecting, my dad and I were still kind of sharing a DC Direct collection, so we’d usually split any given assortment of figures. When Series 2 was released, we got a full set, but Hawkman wasn’t one of the two I got out of that. I wound up getting one of my own later down the line, under the same circumstances as the Flash figure I looked at earlier this month. I actually do quite like this figure, even if Hawkman himself has never really been one of my favorites.