Friday, December 7, 2012

Graphic Book Review: Hawken by Benjamin and Timothy Truman

Hawken by Benjamin and Timothy Truman is a graphic novel that tells the story of a killer unlike any other, a man that seems to be a force of nature.

Tim Truman returns to the Weird West! The industry legend teams with his son, writer Ben Truman, for a violent new tale of the supernatural! In the land of the lawless rode the soulless! Scout, hunter, raider, killer-for-hire: Kitchell Hawken has been many things - most of them bad. Scalped, tortured, and left for dead by the mysterious order called the Ring, Hawken returns, seeking vengeance... but surrounded by the ghosts of every person he's ever killed!

This is one of those special graphic novels that keep the reader constantly at the edge of his sit. There’s too much action in it, great characters, some hints of dry humor here and there, and a plot that drives the narrative from peak to peak.

An old man is riding a blind mule, in 1881, on a trail called The Road of Death that goes through the Sonoran Desert. He has done many bad things in his life. And his name is Hawken. And that’s just about how the story begins; a story full of villains, and in which bloodsheds are never too many pages apart.

Hawken is a man with a mission, and he’s determined to accomplish it no matter what. As it’s already established he’s no angel, but there are worst human beings out there; beings that need to die and thus follow him every step of the way as he heads for his final destination.

The journey will prove long but the old man rode because he was not yet finished. His enemies are plenty, and they all belong to the Ring, a gang or an order of sorts, unlike any other.

Hatred seems to be the keyword in this story. The hatred he feels for his enemies; the hatred they feel for him. In fact everybody seems to hate everyone else, yet: It is rare for a man to kindle a hatred that burns so brightly that it has the power to touch the unliving. Well, Hawken does. And that’s what keeps him going; from town to town, from massacre to massacre.

The strange thing is that the most of the humor here is provided by his victims, his ghosts. They argue with him, they have a laugh at his back, and they urge him to move forward until he reaches his goal. So it comes as no surprise that when some philosophy finds its way into the text, it has to do with them:

“All men are haunted, whether by ghosts or by memories.”
Though, “sometimes it is the living who are the ghosts.”

This team of father and son do a great job in delivering to the reader a story that is not only gripping but also hard to forget. Hawken is a character that plants himself into your memory and makes you think of his persona and his mission again and again. I guess in the hands of a capable and imaginable director this could make a beautifully dark and slightly funny movie.

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