What ever happened to Green Lantern and Hawkgirl?Posted: 06/25/2013
I remember the Justice League animated show of the mid-2000s fondly, if just because I was far too old to be watching children’s superhero cartoons. In the series, many young fans had their first interactions with the Green Lantern John Stewart, who besides being an ex-Marine and gifted architect, was a prominent and respectable African-American superhero. Diversity in comics is more important than you think — the original Justice League consisted of one women, one Martian, and five white dudes.
So when Warner Bros. came out with the TV show in 2001, they figured that John Stewart would be a welcome addition to their starting line up. Then he and Hawkgirl fell in love. Normally we’d all cheer and place our hands lovingly over our hearts, but as the series wrapped up, one giant plot twist stayed unsolved. In Justice League Beyond #7-8, written by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen and drawn by Eric Nguyen, you can finally ease your worried mind and get your first good night of sleep in years.
The comic’ll explain the backstory better than I can. If you’ve seen the cartoon, this is familiar ground:
Okay, caught up? Basically, Green Lantern (born in Detroit) and Hawkgirl (an alien from the planet Thanagar) dated for a while until Hawkgirl’s people arrived on Earth and tried to destroy the planet. That totally kills the mood, y’know? So the two broke up and Stewart began a relationship with Vixen, but during one adventure when they traveled to the future, it turns out Green Lantern and Hawkgirl have a son together.
Now, I’m all for soap operas filling time when bad guys aren’t being punched, but as the series wrapped up, the status quo hadn’t changed. Stewart and Vixen still cuddled passionately aboard the Watch Tower as Hawkgirl awkwardly looked on from behind the cafeteria walls. Well, I’m here today to piece together those missing links. Lucky you.
By the way, notice how the comic formatting looks different than normal? Digital only, baby. This series gets downloaded straight to your computer and away from those prying eyes of the Magic: The Gathering players sitting in the darkest corner of your local comic book store. Don’t let their Cool Ranch Doritos fingers and Mountain Dew breath judge you, much like I’m judging Magic: The Gathering players. Or is it Yu-Gi-Oh that the kids play now?
Anyway, we pick up with Stewart and Vixen on a date. An important date.
What’s the most important rule of superhero comics? Superheroes are meant to suffer. Happiness remains fleeting in the world of capes and magic. Unfortunately, Green Lantern learns this the hard way. The very hard way.
Far bloodier than on TV. Also, the TV show didn’t massacre supporting characters, but different artistic medium bring different rules, I guess. With Vixen’s death weighing heavily on poor Stewart, it’s time he puts those superpowers to good use. First, that weird shadow dude? It’s the evil spirit of Hawkman, who even in death remains angry that Hawkgirl chose Green Lantern over him. I’m serious:
As Green Lantern and Hawkgirl confront the Shadow Thief, the dark mood of the arc stays in full-blown effect. Did you know that Stewart served as a sniper during his time in the Marines? I thought you’d like to know.
In comics, no DC title contains more bloodshed and killing than the Green Lantern comics. But in the cartoon world, the Green Lanterns like to keep their hands murder-free. So when one of their own caps a baddie in the noggin, a moral spanking must be administered.
Look, it sucks having no Green Lantern, but Earth does have hundreds of other superheroes patrolling it. Like a half dozen Kryptonians and a small village of Bat-people. That’ll probably be enough. For our two protagonists (and after Vixen’s funeral), the story ends romantically and happily, which is by far my favorite type of ending.
If you’re under the age of fourteen and haven’t seen the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons yet, go do so. It’s well worth your time. If you’re over fourteen, go watch them anyway — just don’t tell anyone.