Saturday, July 06, 2013


Comic Art


I am never more disappointed in a superhero than I am in Hawkman - never has a character looked better and delivered less. I honestly think he is the best look in any superhero ever, but his stories have never lived up to the appearance. BUt this column is about villains, which is one of the reasons Hawkman has never really delivered, he Roues Gallery is just not that strong. Perhaps the strongest of the bunch, but also the most frustrating is Shadow-Thief.

Like so many DC characters Shadow-Thief has been invented and reinvented and invented again, but the gimmick remains, He's a guy that looks like a shadow, and interestingly, behaves like on too. That is to say is is without form or substance. The trick in the original telling was that he could alter his density like The Vision of Avengers fame. Later it was a multi-dimensional thing, but anyway the power worked it meant you literally could barely see him at night, he was well camouflaged in day, and he was so insubstantial that you simply could not touch him. How do you beat a bad guy like that?

You outsmart him, of course. And that I think is where the troubles begin with Hawkman. He had an awfully hard time outsmarting the guy, making him and irredeemable muscle head - something a hero that looks that good should be better than.

Shadow-thief now enjoys a bigger presence than Hawkman, having gone on to battle other superheroes more matched to his capabilities. He has also hit the animated world pretty hard, which Hawkman has barely penetrated. I have never been a big fan of Shadow-Thief. Frankly he was the bad guy in my first Hawkman encounter as a boy. I was so excited becasue of how good Hawkman looked on the cover of that mag. I was so disappointed becasue half way through the story I had figured out six ways to beat Shadow-Theif that Hawkman had yet to consider. At that moment I decided to hate Shadow-Thief becasue he made a hero I so wanted to look good, look bad. Perhaps that makes him the most villainous of all comic villains?

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