Team Up Week: Hawkman and Hawkgirl!

Katar Hol, Hawkman, must hang out with Reed Richards and Tony Stark.

Katar Hol, Hawkman, must hang out with Reed Richards and Tony Stark.

I have recently seen the two part “Arrow/Flash” crossover on television, which went to great lengths to introduce Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and the antagonist for the new “Legends of Tomorrow” series, Vandal Savage. It was a pretty good crossover…it kept my attention, Vandal Savage is a great bad guy and well cast. Still, the Hawks kind of bothered me.

They went pretty much with the Golden Age Hawks, as opposed to the Silver Age. In the Golden Age, the Hawks were reincarnated Egyptian royalty, and that allowed Carter Hall to make their wings, and to generally use the “wisdom of ancient Egypt” to fight crime. Apparently, in the Golden Age, Egypt was also full of white people, although that’s pretty much comics in general from the time period. It’s important to note that Egyptology was a big deal at the time, so it made a kind of marketing sense. Still, it made Hawkman and Hawkgirl ordinary people with wings and no protective gear, fighting mobsters and supervillains with medieval weapons from a museum. Not that great.

In the Silver Age, they are police officers from another planet, Thanagar, where everyone wears wings to get around. They have a spaceship, laser guns, a cool thing called an Absorbascon that is like the internet, and alien physiology that makes them tougher than regular people. Their costumes are actually their police uniforms, and they decide to hang around on Earth after a case to study law enforcement methods. Because of a Prime Directive like rule, even though they have all of this cool technology, they openly CHOOSE to chase you down with a spiky ball on a chain, instead of their laser guns. That simple fact makes Katar Hol the scariest Justice League member.

Katar and Shayera are married in the comics, and have a typically Silver Age style “perfect marriage” with almost no dramatic tension.

What’s my point? My point is this…I would have preferred the Silver Age versions. I buy into it more. I look at my bookshelf, and the amount of science fiction books vastly outnumber the fantasy books. The basic pretense of the DC television shows is founded in Science, Barry Allen solves his problems by consulting with a group of scientists. The episode itself struggled with the idea that an Indiana Jones style artifact would be the McGuffin, and that “magic and reincarnation” were a thing.

Also…Hawkman is SUPPOSED to be a right wing, kind of Republican from the eighties kind of guy. The fella they cast, though, played it as “straight up douche”, which made him very unlikable. Surrounded by a very endearing ensemble cast…that contrast was jarring.

Without old school eighties era DC trade dress.

Without old school eighties era DC trade dress.

Throughout the whole two parter, Hawkman/Carter is jealous of the relationship that Cisco Ramon has with the “emerging” Hawkgirl. I felt like I should play off of that in the art for today, hence Katar’s dialogue bubble. I thought I’d leave it ambiguous as to whether he felt the protagonist would make a pass at him, or Shayera.

The Silver Age spaceship interior was a bunch of visual noise that took forever to do. Bleah.

Now…off to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens!


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