Hawkgirl #50

"The Dead of Night"
Story by Walter Simonson, art by Howard Chaykin

I'm pretty sure this is the worst of the bunch so far. Nightwing comes close, but that was by a couple of semi-nobodies: this is by Walt Simonson and Howard fucking Chaykin, whose American Flagg! used to be mentioned in the same articles as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns.

The plot is a snoozer about creepy bullshit lurking in secret underground tunnels beneath the museum where Kendra "Hawkgirl" Saunders works. Every choice Simonson makes exacerbates the dumbness of the scenario: the opening dream sequence, the lugubrious pacing, the expository thought-balloons. (If you have a character thinking "The deadfall must have dumped tons of rock between us, and I'm on the wrong side," it's safe to say you're not using the comics medium to its full potential.) But the real shock is Chaykin's staggeringly ugly art. His figures are stiff, his backgrounds are illegible, and his perspectives are crude or botched, especially on faces, which sometimes look unintentionally Picasso-esque. Inexplicably, he insists on depicting Hawkgirl's bottom teeth, giving her a perpetual grimace whenever she appears. DC should be embarrassed to offer this crap for sale.