Hawkman has always been a difficult character for writers to take on owing to his long and tangled history of reincarnations and failed retcons and reboots. While the character might look cool and have some of the most interesting backstories of the superhero genre, he can be a little difficult for readers to get into. He’s a fierce fighter and an intimidating presence while fighting for the people he cares for. Aldis Hodge will play the winged warrior in the highly anticipated Black Adam with Dwayne Johnson playing the titular character.
With that in mind, here are 10 amazing facts about Hawkman, DC’s most complicated superhero.
1. Earth 1 and Earth 2
Before the numerous retcons that DC put its entire universe through, Hawkman was not that difficult a character to understand. Earth-One the prime universe, had the Justice League of America. Hawkman in this world was a police officer from the planet Thanagar, Katar Hol, equipped with Nth metal technology. Hawkman and Hawkgirl would join the JLA.
On Earth-2, the premier superhero team was the Justice Society of America. Here, Hawkman, Carter Hall, was a reincarnated Egyptian Pharaoh who used Nth-metal to construct his crimefighting equipment and used ancient weapons to fight crime. He would go on to become the chairman of the Justice Society of America.
Crisis on Infinite Earths changed all of that by picking elements that writers wanted and after numerous edits, the Hawkman, in all his convoluted retcon glory was born.
Thanagar is a planet that is synonymous with Hawkman and his mythos. A highly advanced planet, it is home to the mysterious and powerful Nth metal. Thanagar is home to humanoid Thanagarians whose law-keepers are the winged Hawkman. Isamot Kol, a Lizarkon or humanoid lizard is from the planet Thanagar. He is partners with Rannian, Vath Sarn. Thanagarians and Rannians famously do not get along. With a rich history and ties to a lot of major DC stories, it is a well-known fixture of the DC universe.
3. Nth Metal
This mysterious metal is synonymous with our winged crusader throughout his history. Massive deposits of this wondrous metal are found on Thanagar. The metal when made into wings, can negate gravity, allowing users to fly. It also protects wearers from the danger of space, allowing for heat generation and self-sustenance. Nth metal also allows users to use it as a weapon as it can easily metamorphose into any kind of weapon. It can also transfer energy, open portal, increase strength, negate magic, rapidly heal users among its many properties. Among its uses are the aspects of resurrection reincarnation, allowing users to reincarnate with the knowledge and skills of their previous births. Phew.
4. Prince Khufu and His Associates
Prince Khufu is one of the first known incarnations of Hawkman. He lived during the time of Ramses II in Egypt. He was the lover of Princess Chay-Ara. They were murdered by the Dark Priest Hath-Set and cursed to an eternity of reincarnation. They were doomed to find each other every time they were reincarnated only for Hath-Set to murder them. Interestingly, his associates were Nabu and Teth- Adam. Nabu was the wizard whose helmet and consciousness would guide iterations of Doctor Fate. Teth-Adam, his champion would go on to become corrupted and turn into none other than Black Adam.
5. Brian Kent
Carter Hall is distantly related to the Kent Family. One of Hawkman’s many, many reincarnations is as a young man called Brian Kent, Brian Kent was a champion that wronged injustices as a figure called the Silent Knight. Brian would go on to have wondrous adventures involving King Arthur, Morgaine La Fey. It has been indicated that Johnathan Kent is a descendant of Sir Brian Kent. This makes Superman, related to Hawkman through adoption.
6. His Children
Hawkman has had children who have gone on to become powerful heroes in their own right. Earth-2’s Carter Hall would have a son with Hawkgirl, Hector Hall. Hector would take the name, Silver Scarab and wear a suit of Nth metal. He would then go on to become Doctor Fate and join the JSA in the main universe where the Justice League also existed. Fel Andar, another Hawkman had a son called Charlie Parker. Charlie would go on to have a short-lived career as the Golden Eagle of Titans West.
7. He Beat Superman
Forged by Nabu for Prince Khufu, the Claw of Horus was a devastating weapon. It was made from the Nth metal found on the Thanagarian ship that landed in Ancient Egypt. The claw draws its power from the Earth’s magnetic field. Hawkman used this device to briefly incapacitate Superman during the Public Enemies storyline. Its mystical energy could have also caused Superman serious damage owing to his weakness to magic.
8. Doesn’t Get Along with Green Arrow
Oliver Queen and Hawkman simply do not get along. The reason is purely ideological. Hawkman is sometimes written as a conservative and a space cop. And Oliver Queen? A left-leaning, anti-establishment millionaire with a conscience. The unfortunate events of Identity Crisis didn’t help either with the two heroes on opposite sides. However, the two of them can put aside their differences when they have to go head-to-head with a common threat.
9. Can Breathe Underwater and Talk to Birds
Among Hawkman’s many abilities is the ability to breathe underwater. Hawkman can also communicate with birds. In the Golden Age of comic books, he journeyed underwater, found Poseidon, lord of seas and oceans. He was given the ability to survive underwater, a handy ability indeed. He could also talk to birds and was able to teach the language of birds to his fellow Justice Society members. The Golden Age truly was a strange and wonderful time.
10. The Dark Forge
Carter Hall/ Katar Hol’s failed New 52 reboot meant that writers did not know what to do with him. Enter DC: Metal. The story goes that the great Bat-demon Barbatos found Carter Hall in the Dark Multiverse. He transformed Carter into a gigantic hawk-demon. Carter was forced to man the World Forge, a place beneath creation itself creation that created entire universes from the fears and terrors of every living being of the multiverse. He was eventually freed and his convoluted history was given a fix in the recent Hawkman series by Robert Venditti.
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