Hawkman loves HawkgirlPosted: 04/28/2013
Today’ll be confusing and messy — you can’t talk about the Hawks without scratching a few heads. Surprisingly, for superheroes who fight shirtless and wield medieval weaponry, the Hawkman/Hawkgirl continuity may very well be the most perplexing in comics. I can’t hope to get into all the details (mainly because I don’t know them), but I will try to explain as well as I can.
Hawkman and Hawkgirl are cursed to find each other, fall in love, and then get murdered or killed. Rinse and repeat every generation via reincarnation or something. Thousands of years of this nonsense. As we reach modern day, Hawkman lies dead. Hawkgirl, now Kendra Saunders, has recently taken over the superhero mantle from her great-aunt. Aliens from Thanagar (the planet where their wings and maces come from) figures now’s as good as time as any to bring back Hawkman.
We’re going to explore select scenes from JSA #22-31, written by David Goyer & Geoff Johns and drawn by Stephen Sadowski, Rags Morales, Michael Bair, & Peter Snejbjerg. It’ll be fun, I promise.
Turns out the resurrection process requires a heaping dose of Hawkgirl. Unfortunately, Hawkman and Hawkgirl remain forever linked, even if the former’s a man she neither knows nor has met.
Okay, ready for confusing back story part two? So remember how she inherited the costume/skills from her great aunt? It’s because Kendra committed suicide and her Aunt Shiera’s soul climbed inside, restoring Kendra to life. And of course, Shiera and Carter had that whole great love thing going on. So while Hawkgirl’s all Kendra, she has that chunk of Shiera floating inside her somewhere.
I agree, shirts get too confining when fighting crime. Giant attachable wings? Not so cumbersome, but a tank top’ll only get in the way of bashing criminals. Anyway, Kendra (who as you can tell is already an emotional mess) takes this news about as well as most shocking proclamations of affection from strangers.
As they have a post-resurrection Thanagarian adventure, the romance only accelerates:
Kendra acts the only appropriate way you can when your great aunt’s former husband speaks like a perverted Romeo. And to be fair to Hawkman, Kendra kinda is Shiera, who’s fated to tragically love him back. Poor Carter hasn’t had to have a woman refute his advances in thousands of years. Luckily, something insane happens.
Now, I can’t make this next part up. I’m giving you zero context, but the only way to defeat the evil bad guy, who’s now a giant rock monster, is through the power of Hawklove. Note: this pick up line rarely works in real life:
Mission complete. You would think that when a single kiss can explode supervillains on sight, Kendra would take Hawkman on his word. But y’know, she only met the man a few days ago. And he wears a bird costume.
When they all get back to Justice Society of America headquarters, the two of them have a moment to decompress. After all, fighting hordes of zombie hawks doesn’t really provide an opportunity to properly discuss the situation.
While, I understand Kendra’s situation, I really have to stress once more that the girl’s an emotional nightmare. I mean, she did only get all that cool Hawkgirl stuff because she attempted to kill herself. So her next decisions may not be good ones, but they at least fit convincingly with her character — a severely damaged character.
No, not this decision. The next one:
Right? Classic soap opera drama! Allow me to introduce Sandy Hawkins (superhero name Sand — who, as you figure, controls sand). He currently leads the JSA, which I guess makes for a lapse of leadership when making out with the girl Hawkman claimed dibs on. The same man known for his short temper and weapon with spikes.
Watch as he gets friendzoned. Too bad his winged buddy saw the whole thing.
We all agree the real victim still lies with Hawkgirl, right? Terrible situation, lose-lose choices, and all in between smacking down bad guys. Regardless, Hawkman’s a far scarier character than his costume lets you believe.
The “talk?” One single page, which sets up the status quo for many, many years. And truthfully, probably the only correct decision Hawkgirl can make in this dilemma.
The actual (and inevitable) romance between Kendra and Carter occurs in the Hawkman series give or take forty five issues in (and a good four years later). It’s worth a read, especially if you enjoy mace-based combat.