Friday, August 15, 2008

O, Where Have You Gone, Hawkman?

Taking a break from his tireless crusade to get Honor Jackson his due in the DC Universe, Jeff @ The Conditional Axe has put it to the blogging masses to come up with a new direction for Hawkman. Why does Hawkman need a new direction you say? Well, for nigh on 20 years, ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths, Hawkman has been a continuital cluster fuck for all who dared to enter. I think there was a period during the early nineties where they were actually retconning one of his origins before they had actually finished publishing it, and now, Jim Starlin has thrown his hat into the ring, re-inventing the HM for a whole new generation to get confused over. But it doesn't have to be this way, no it doesn't. Back when they brought him back from the dead, DC restarted a new series what had provided him a new direction in a new city. I'd take that same premise and turn it just a little to the side and I think good things could happen, it all starts with a few basic changes:

  1. Blow up Thanagar. I don't want to completely remove Hawkman's alien roots, but I want to get them off of the page for a while. The damn war that's been going on between Rann and Thanagar is a giant, soul-sucking albatross around the neck of the character and it needs to be resolved and promptly moved out of the lime-light. He needs to be an earth-bound hero for a while, and really the only way to do that is to take Thanagar off the map.

  2. Drop Hawkgirl. While the "star-crossed lovers" aspect of the Hawk-mythos is a compelling one, the fact that Kendra just isn't that into Carter makes the whole thing rather creepy and stalker-ish. Have Carter realize this and leave her behind. Let Hawkgirl continue on with the JLA and find her own way in the DCU.

  3. Put Hawkman in charge of a museum. Put plainly, my re-imagining of Hawkman's concept can be pretty much described as, "Indiana Jones with wings and a big, ruddy mace." Put him in charge of a museum and give him a teaching job on top of it. this is a guy with literally thousands of years of knowledge in his head, it should be put to good use. I'd also get rid of his secret identity, there's really no reason for him to have one. His only relations are Northwind and Hawkgirl, and they can take care of themselves.

  4. Along with the above, I'd get him out of the US, while St. Roch was an interesting locale, it felt too much like James Robinson was trying to build a "new" Opal City for Hawkman. I'd move him to a historic European city, maybe Berlin. We don't see enough places that are outside the US in the DCU and it would give him room to move without bumping into the thousands of heroes that litter the States.

  5. Give him a purpose. I'd go back to his Egyptian roots and give him a quest for objects tying into his status as a former Pharaoh, and perhaps the inspiration behind the god Horus (I know, he's apparently a falcon-god, but work with me). From my quick scanning of Wikipedia, apparently Horus had run-ins with Set, the Egyptian god of evil, which works very well for our purposes. Set him, and his museum colleagues, up as chasing down some type of mystical macguffin which requires the to do some globe-trotting to both cities/other museums and archaeological dig sites. I'd set up against them some type of Set-cult, maybe tied into one of the several million other evil cults that currently patrol the DCU (Kobra, Brother Blood, Amway). On top of this, I'd throw Checkmate into the mix as a wild card. They'd be working behind the scenes to get the macguffin for themselves (as it's too powerful to be in the hands of anyone but the government, yada, yada, yada...)against both parties and it would set up well for the endgame. Really, this could be a cool concept. Not everything would have to tie into the grand plan, you could have smaller stories of them on digs dealing with local issues, and it could be a lot of fun. Along with his team, I'd also include his "son" Northwind. Show him trying to bring out his humanity and teach him to be a hero. Right now I've got like four different story-arcs floating through my head, but I'm going to stop there.

OK, I realize that this is all horribly disjointed and also not very original, but I guess that's the point (the not original part). The good stuff for Hawkman has already been established, and though there are always going to be continuity issues to be ironed out, they can be ignored with the genesis of a good series to distract people (just look at post-OMD Spider-Man).

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