[In order to catch up, Collected Editions will be running some mini-reviews for the next few titles. Same reviews ... just mini.]
In terms of the Hawkman series as a whole, from the end of Black Reign to the beginning of Rise of the Golden Eagle, the transition to the fourth Hawkman trade is fairly jarring. In terms of the Rise of the Golden Eagle story itself, I actually enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I think I still have some preconcieved notions of the kind of comics that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray right from back in Palmiotti's somewhat flip run on Superboy (which was actually pretty deceptively intelligent in its own right), and the blood-and-gore chew 'em up Punisher aspect of Hawkman is pretty much in the forefront here--but at the same time I couldn't help but appreciate that they used no less than seven pages at the end of the trade for a slow, satisfying epilogue. Though Golden Eagle's ultimate role in this story is very easy to guess, his motivations are not, and I loved how deeply rooted the whole story was in Hawkman lore (even if some parts of that lore still only make sense if you close both ears and one eye). Thankfully Joe Bennett's penchant to draw protruding nipples on all the women fades away early on, and though it's sometimes tough to tell exactly who's throwing what punch, the art remains consistantly and interesting throughout.