Hawks: The Outremer #1 – Dark Fantasy Done Right

Hawks of Outremer #1 (Boom! – Howard / Nelson / Couceiro )

BOOM! Studios brings you an epic story by Conan creator Robert E. Howard published in comic book form for the first time ever! As a wandering warrior born and bred on the battlefield, Cormac FitzGeoffrey is a renowned fighter, a ruthless adversary, and a man who is no stranger to the ways of bloodshed and violence. Cormac counts his friends on one hand, so when he learns that his most recent liege has been murdered, nothing will stop his quest for revenge. By oath, a path of vengence will be marked by the blood of his enemies. Covers by Joe Jusko and Karl Richardson.

When looking for a good opening number, one should look at Hawks of Outremer!  This is dark fantasy at it’s best.  If you can dig on some sword and axe over the top violence, dolled out by medieval superman, then call your local comic shop and put this on your pull list.

The second half book is by far the highlight.  Cormac, our main character, track down a man who was supposed a friend’s ally, but left this friend high and dry during a big battle.  This resulted in Cormac’s friends death.  The entire scene of this altercation is both funny, and a bit gruesome. Cormac is standing at the gates of his new enemy demanding they fight for the honor of his fallen friend, but turns out that the turncoat is not what you would call “a fighter”.  What happens next isn’t too surprising, but presented in such a cool way that it’s still effective.

Damian Couceiro’s art is the best part of this issue. He makes the scenes come alive with strong, dark line work. His battles are pictorals of chaos and bloodshed, while his character work is also strong. Cormac is your typical angry force of nature, and Couceiro shows him a such.  Think a Conan for the dark ages, he’s less a character than a stereotype. But, since the appeal of a character like this is that single-minded slaughter and bad attitude, that’s the right choice.

Despite its historical setting, “Hawks of Outremer” isn’t a large departure from other Robert E. Howard properties like Conan, Solomon Kane, or Krull. The hero at the center is a violent man of action with somewhat heroic motives, surrounded by cowards and decadent rulers.

Over all I say it’s worth picking up.

Grade: B

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Updated: June 15, 2010 — 10:13 am

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