hawkman has a complicated comic strip, and simplifying it in the DCEU will be the biggest challenge for him. Hawkman made his film debut in Black Adam as the leader of the Justice Society, with Aldis Hodge as the tough hero. As Dwayne Johnson’s plans for both Black Adam and the future of the Justice Society in the DCEU begin to unfold, the way Hawkman will be established is a far more complicated prospect than other characters.
While most superheroes have undergone some degree of reinvention in their comic book history, Hawkman essentially has two different backstories from the different versions of his history. Because Hawkman’s two parallel origin stories are so different that they are contradictory, the challenge for him lies in the DCEU deciding definitively which version of Hawkman it will contain. That said, there’s also a strong argument that the best solution is one seen multiple times in the comics simply by combining elements of both versions of Hawkman.
Hawkman’s Different Comic Book Origins
although Black Adam omit Hawkman’s reincarnation powers, this is a staple of the first Hawkman in the Golden Age of comics, Carter Hall. Originally the ancient Egyptian prince Khufu, he has been reincarnated in modern times as Carter Hall, alongside his love Chay-Ara, who takes the civil name Shiera Sanders Hall. After regaining his memories as Prince Khufu, Carter assembles his Nth metal wingsuit to become Hawkman, with Sheira doing the same as Hawkgirl. As Hawkman, Carter Hall is also one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America.
The Katar Hol Hawkman is a rebooted version of the Silver Age character and an agent on the planet Thanagar. Katar’s wings created his father Paran Katar from Nth metal. Katar and Shayera Thal would eventually be sent to Earth on a mission and decide to stay as the heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Obviously, these two Hawkman backstories are quite different and stay in between Black Adamunanswered questions. Even within the two Hawkman origin stories, numerous variations and reinventions have been applied to each, while different adaptations have had to choose which versions to follow. Meanwhile, Hawkman’s first big-screen appearance in Black Adam leaves a fair amount of flexibility for its future.
How the DCEU can use both Hawkman’s backstories
Black Adam Doesn’t go into much detail about Hawkman’s origins, aside from his longstanding friendship with Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and the fact that Aldis Hodge’s incarnation of Hawkman uses the name Carter Hall, suggests that the DCEU leans towards its Egyptian ancestry (although the Katar Hol has used Hawkman as an alias). Carter’s remark to the clairvoyant Dr. Fate that he is not afraid of death also seemingly alludes to Carter’s power of reincarnation. A fairly easy way to reconcile Hawkman’s unusual comic book history for his film portrayal could be by using the Carter Hall version as the character’s base, while integrating aspects of his alternate Thanagarian backstory. Carter’s use of N-metal for his wings, suit, and the Justice Society’s flying cruiser could be an example of how that might be accomplished.
While Nth metal is associated with both versions of Hawkman, the connection to Thanagar can be reworked in the ancient Egyptian origins of Carter and Shayera. Thanagar could be introduced as a planet and alien race without Carter and Shayera’s direct connections to it, along with where N metal comes from in the DCEU. That, in turn, could open up the possibility that Hawkman and Hawkgirl visit Thanagar in a way that traces their Thanagar-based origins to the comics as one of the Black AdamThe DCEU is changing. Alternatively, the DC Rebirth era established Thanagar’s Katar Hol as one of Prince Khufu’s many reincarnations. As one of the more streamlined stories of Hawkman’s origins, using this for his DCEU origin story could be the simplest solution to Hawkman’s problem. At least with hawkman with such compelling stories of comic book origins in both ancient Egypt and Thanagar, it will take a little more effort to capture its origins in the DCEU than other characters. After his introduction to Black Adamthe ideal way to do this could be a middle ground between the two to establish Hawkman’s place in the DCEU as the leader of the Justice Society and also an ally to Henry Cavill’s Superman.
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