The plot description for The Hawk of New York #1-2 left me believing it was more about a vigilante than a character piece; however, I finished the second volume with a sense of it being an origin story about who Eric Warden would become. He’s not yet fully the titular Hawk, but he’s gained the skills, the motivation, and the means to manifest himself as something more than a punk-loving teen. I didn’t identify with Eric closely for a variety of reasons, but there was something intriguing about his persona and story. Even as I wanted to smack Eric for some of his choices, I wanted to see him gain agency and independence in a world where non-white, non-adult, non-mainstream individuals often struggle for recognition. The bond he built with Mr. Olive gave me hope that Eric wasn’t too broken to care about others; he just had no reason to care in the state system. The final reveals of the second issue left me excited for the young man’s future. How will the events shape Warden, and how will the Hawk of New York manifest? Is he protector of the weak, dark vigilante, or simply someone who chooses to interfere where he sees fit? Only later additions to his story will tell!
After so many full-color comics, the stark, black-and-white art for The Hawk of New York #1-2 seemed a little plain. As I focused on the story, though, the detail and effort put into each page became clear. Randyl Bishop carefully lettered song lyrics onto many of the pages, and the painstaking detail of the motorcycles and unique character appearances impressed me.
Music plays a very important role in Eric Warden’s life and the story of The Hawk of New York, and creator Randyl Bishop sells a soundtrack for the first two issues on his website, artofrandylbishop.storenvy.com. While I am not familiar with any of the featured artists, the atmosphere created with the music is supposed to enhance your reading experience. If you like full immersion into your media, it’s worth checking it out.
I enjoyed the first two volumes of The Hawk of New York, but I am left with as many questions as answers. If you don’t mind waiting for later stories to be released, nab these issues now (The bundle of both issues with the soundtrack is only $18!), but if you’re like me, you may want to wait for a continuation. Eric Warden is definitely an intriguing protagonist, since he walks a fine line between anti-hero and target (I can’t say victim, since he refuses to allow life to knock him down completely.), and I’d love to see where his adventures take him.
4.5 Incredible Punk Hairstyles out of 5