Friday, February 09, 2007

Squadron Supreme: Hyperion vs. Nighthawk #2 - A Review

Writer: Marc Guggenheim, Artist Paul Gulacy

Premise: Nighthawk is in Darfur, a region of the Sudan in Africa. He has come to try and stop the genocide that is occurring within the country. As his actions are causing diplomatic issues Hyperion is sent in to stop him. Nighthawk surprises Hyperion by actually beating him in a fight.

What I liked:

1) The story. Marc Guggenheim has so far taken an issue that is a real world concern and has been talking about it without preaching and showing almost all sides of the coin. Instead of just preaching and whining that this is bad he has crafted the story showing that some problems do not have easy solutions. Nighthawk as philanthropist Kyle Richmond is frustrated knowing his money cannot solve this problem and has decided to see first hand what he might be able to do about it. One of his advisers says that there are no options to fix the problem. I have been told often that one of my typical male traits is that I try to fix things and solve problems. When I can't fix something it is frustrating and I have learned that some things need to fix themselves, it is true in the real world also. Nice to see a comic writer highlight a problem, but not simplify it.

2) The art. Paul Gulacy is highly stylized and was probably one of the first artist to photo reference people for characters. Paul has been around for years and has kept his style and his photo reference work is done right. My guess is that he using a photo reference as a template and then draws it as opposed to copying it or being so true to it you might as well have copied it. He has remained fresh and new (as opposed to Chaykin and Bryne who are now almost mockeries of themselves with their art).

3) Characterization and respect. Dedicating the book to Mark Gruenwald, classy touch. The characterization of Nighthawk. Showing him breaking his fingers over and over to make them harder, separates Nighthawk from Batman even further then just color.

What I Didn't Like:

1) The back and forth storyline. I believe Marc Guggenheim is one of the writers on Lost and if so he is way too in love with jumping back and forth in time and not even to the same spots. Page one says "Today", page two says "Three months ago", Page 4 says "One month ago", page eight has a flashback to a further time ago, page 13 is "One week ago", page 16 is "10 days ago", page 18 is "Today". It was really hard to try and put this book in order. I hope the trade is recut and put into a better order.

Grade B


  1. (a) the time jumping is part of the reading experience. Somehow I doubt that they are going to reorder it. They didn't reorder it for the first trade of Priest's run on Black Panther so this doesn't stand a chance. AND, doesn't the extra challange of keeping all the timelines straight thrill you???? Aren't you an DC infinite earth guy? QUICK: WHAT NUMBER EARTH WAS OWLMAN AND THE EVIL JLA FROM???

    Dollar says you knew off the top of your head.

    And, ever writer thinks this is cool at some point. Hopefully he will grow out of it.

  2. Gulacy has remained fresh and new??? GAG ME. I love Gulacy more than most but he has seen a general decline the same as all the other artists. As for Byrne and Chaykin, I just don't think their styles have changed. Byrne has gotten to the point that he apes his own style. Look at you copy of Champions and you can see the same character pose that you saw in X-men, and FF, and Wonder Woman, and Demon. It's the same, that is why you are sick of it.

  3. Okay fresh and new is over the top, but I actually think his work has improved after going into a decline for about five years. This is his best work in the last five to ten years.

    Bryne just copies himself and has lost it. Chaykin has three to four faces and that's it. Very limited.

    Owlman might have been Earth-3, but I never really cared that much.

    Also I know they won't reorder it, that was sarcasm on my part, still the technique is valid if not overdone and Marc G. is overdoing it on this book.