Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Number 1459: Shelly’s Hawkman

Sheldon Moldoff did the Hawkman feature for Flash Comics as on-the-job training. He started at age 18, and like many of his peers in those early days of comic books he swiped Flash Gordon poses.

I think the artist who created the costume (Dennis Neville?) put all of the subsequent Hawkman artists in a bind, because drawing him with the hawk head and wings was difficult and unwieldy. Years later the golden age Hawkman was given a superhero mask, but those wings remained.* I think an interesting critique of the Hawkman costume** is from 2011, by a commenter going by the name “meltdownclown” for Booksteve Thompson’s Four Color Shadows blog:
“To me, the wings always looked like rugs.

The wings will always be Hawkman's big problem. Those don't-try-it-at-home-kids nightmares are anchored to the center of his back by a harness that, by rights, should carve him into quarters in the first hard crosswind. And they must be great fun in any narrow space.”
You can see the 1942 story meltdownclown was commenting on in Steve’s blog here.

My post today is from Flash Comics #38 (1943):

*The original costume, hawk head and all, was resurrected by Joe Kubert for the silver age revival.

**Considering we’re talking about a comic book character, and in comic books all rules of realism can be broken.

1 comment:

Daniel [] said...

The mixture of the swipes — sometimes better done than in this story — with crudities of the rest of the art gave Moldoff's work a really odd look.

I'm amongst those who prefer the yellow cowl to the hawk-head. I observe that some people in the opposing camp seem to have really strong feelings.