"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
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According to recent convention scuttlebutt, DC Comics is apparently canceling its latest Hawkman series, the New 52-launched Savage Hawkman, perhaps as early as May’s Issue 20.
That is not the least bit surprising, really, given the publisher’s historical difficulty in keeping readers interested in Hawkman, and given the way in which the title and the character were served by the line-wide reboot and the accompanying creative-team chaos. It’s too bad, though, given how easily DC could have simply published the sort of Hawkman title the 21st-century super-comic audience would support, rather than The Savage Hawkman.
The series launched in September 2011 along with the other 51 new series comprising DC’s New 52 initiative, featuring a rebooted continuity for the then 71-year-old hero and a redesigned costume featuring more armor and pointed edges (most notably a set of Wolverine-like claws frequently waved in the direction of the reader on the covers). The creative team consisted of artist-turned-writer/artist Tony S. Daniel, who was just handling the writing, and Philip Tan, who was providing the art.
I found Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams’ Justice League #1, the inaugural effort in DC’s “New 52″ effort, to be thunderously disappointing. Listening to three months of sustained, daily hype has a way of raising expectations, I guess, and as cynical as I remained about so many aspects of DC’s relaunch, and despite the fact that I took each new tidbit of information with a grain of salt, that much exposure to positive PR still managed to raise my expectations rather high. Particularly for this book, since it was the flagship one, and the one being written by the publisher’s chief creative officer and drawn by its co-publisher.
But the quality of the comic book just didn’t really meet those high expectations.
There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most obvious, and one I saw cited most often in the slew of reviews and reactions I’ve since seen online, is that it fails to meet even the most basic, vague promise of its own cover: It’s not a Justice League comic, as the logo says, and it doesn’t features the characters pictured on the front. Two of them star in the book, and two more cameo, but it read more like The Brave and The Bold featuring Batman and Green Lantern…albeit a theoretical version of The Brave and The Bold, perhaps written by Brian Michael Bendis for an eventual trade collection of the first six-issue arc, as DC’s various Brave and the Bold books almost always tell a complete story with a beginning, middle and end in each and every single issue.
A project that I recently became aware of is Moon Girl, written by Tony Trov and Johnny Zito with art by The Rahzzah. Moon Girl (originally created back in the 1940s for EC Comics by Max Gaines, Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff) was relaunched by Trov and Zito back in 2010 (after the property entered the public domain) via Comixology. More recently the Moon Girl has begun being published by Red 5 Comics–and Moon Girl 2 (of a five-issue miniseries) is slated to come out this Wednesday. As detailed by CBR back in early 2010: “Masked vigilantes wage a psychotic war against 1950’s bourgeois; it’s The Dark Knight meets Mad Men. Clare is a Russian Princess happily exiled to New York. When enemies from the past threaten her new life, the repressed Warrior Queen fights back. In the media her secret, nocturnal adventures are attributed to a mysterious hero; Moon Girl.” To get some perspective on the uniquely named artist‘s role in creating the series, we recently did an email interview.
Tim O’Shea: Your name is rather unique, what’s the backstory on your name?
The Rahzzah: Nothing interesting. It’s a hold-over from my “band days” where we all had nicknames. It began as Razz Matazz, got shortened to Razza. Then I had a lady friend who pronounced it “Rahzzah” and I liked that so I just started spelling it phonetically (plus I like the symmetry of it). And Rahzzah it stayed for a good long while, until Johnny Zito came along and decided it wasn’t good enough as-is and threw a “The” in front of it for some reason.