Thursday, May 17, 2012

Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor Trade Paperback Review

Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor
DC Comics - Wildstorm
Softcover Trade Paperback
144 pages
$19.99 (2009)
ISBN 9781401222079

Contributors: Mike Costa, Fiona Staples, Rob Leigh, and covers by Cully Hamner

Reprints: Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor #1-6 (of 6)

Synopsis: Jack Hawksmoor was human once.  It was before he was abducted into the future and had his insides rebuilt in order to commune with the cities.  See, in the future, Earth is one big city from horizon to horizon and the cities have a life of their own.  The future people who altered Jack knew one of their cities would go rogue one day and try to destroy the past.  They wanted to stop it and created an ultimate weapon - a being who draws strength from the cities, could absorb nourishment from pollution, no longer needed to sleep, could shape the cities' very surfaces to their will, and was so connected to the cities that they would die outside of urban environments.

Jack in the City by the Bay
Jack Hawksmoor was human once, but now he serves the cities - as protector, as savior.  Jack hates San Francisco.  His life was forever altered in the Bay Area, but Jack is drawn back to the scene of tragedy again and again.  He searches for some sign to make sense of his hurt past.  It never comes, but he always returns.

On this trip he stops a giant robot from Sliding Albion from destroying the Golden Gate bridge.  Easy enough for a god of the cities.  Then a strange thing happens - he encounters a dead space inside the city where a murder happened.  Investigating further he encounters a beautiful woman who washed out of Stormwatch.

They investigate the murder and run into strange men with the power to stop Jack from communing with the city.  The men know of his past and have a clandestine mission.  They are from the future!  Jack must solve the mystery of his origin while courting love or disaster.

Pros: Decent art by Staples, okay covers by Hamner, we get Hawksmoor's origin

Cons: Dialogue is atrocious - people from the future should speak differently than us, plot is weak, art is so-so
Costa gives us awesome dialogue like this

Mike Tells It Straight: Gone are the glory days of The Authority when Warren Ellis introduced us to the next generation of comics in ultra-violent, widescreen format.  Long since the time of Ellis and his successor Mark Millar (who authored Jenny Sparks: Secret History of the Authority) we are left with an unknown (at least to me) writer's attempt at Jack Hawksmoor's origin.

It's a meager effort and the plot doesn't mesh in a coherent manner.  The future people who altered Jack to become a god of the cities are revealed to be complete idiots.  I had high expectations for this story after being a Stormwatch and Authority fan while those two books were in their prime.

This book is a far cry from Jenny Sparks' origin and leaves a lot to be desired.  If you're an Authority completist then pick up the book, otherwise it doesn't add much to Hawksmoor's or the team's history.

TO BUY and Recommendations: