Writers: Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV / Artists: Jim Cheung and Stephen Segovia / DC Comics
Up until this point, if you said that the Thanagarians lived on Thanagar, you’d be completely right. But it was revealed back in Dark Nights: Metal, that Thanagar was actually a front to their real homeworld: Thanagar Prime. It’s like the dry cleaning service that hides the Speakeasy in the basement. Most of the known universe doesn’t know about the secret homeworld, which allows them to operate with virtual impunity. Meet the new mobsters of the DC Universe.
In this new arc, Martian Manhunter, Hawk Girl, and John Stewart travel to the Hawk homeworld to get some answers from the Martian Keep, the oldest and wisest of the Martian race who hold all of the planet’s history. The Keep is kind of like an alien refugee, seeking a home after her planet was destroyed. She’s the only other living green martian besides J’onn. And the information that she holds could give the League some much-needed answers to their specific questions.
But there’s a bit of a problem. Something isn’t right on Thanagar Prime. And our heroes are being kept in the dark about what’s really going on.
There’s a lot to unpack from the intro to this arc. It’s easily the densest issue of the series. Having to seed the new origins of an entire planet while catching up with characters we haven’t seen in a few issues is hard work. But what I wanna focus on are the themes explored, because they’re at the center of all of it.
The nature of secrets, and the unspoken power that they hold over anyone and everyone is something that is explored in detail on every page. Things may look beautiful and majestic, but Snyder and Tynion want you to feel like something is a little off.
Everything is predicated off withheld information. That goes from subtext to narration to literal actions from some of the characters. Even the nature of the team’s mission is centered around trying to get the secrets of the universe. Snyder and Tynion do a really good job of conveying the power of knowledge. Even if you yourself don’t know exactly what’s going on yet, you can sense the influence shifting as things unfold.
This seems like it’s gonna shape up to be a really personal arc. With Kendra looking for answers about her powers and her history, and Manhunter seeking emotional refuge with a fellow Martian, I can tell the pressure of the secrets that hang over their heads are gonna cause some major conflict both emotionally and physically. And you already know I’m here for it.
If you missed Hawkgirl, John Stewart, and Martian Manhunter the past few issues, this story is here to make sure it was all worth it. The Secret of Hawkworld provides new history, fragmented origins and some deep, dark secrets that promise to make this arc a linchpin of the overarching story Snyder and Co. are crafting.
8.5 Martian Dance Partes out of 10
Reading Justice League? Find BNP’s other reviews here.
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