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Comic Book: Hawkman
"With a weapon of the past, I shall defeat an evil of the present."

Hawkman is one of the oldest of DC Comics' superheroes, having been created in 1940, during The Golden Age of Comic Books. He's also one of the most infamous cases of Continuity Snarl in the world of comics.

As originally envisioned, Hawkman was really archeologist Carter Hall, who discovered that he was actually the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince named Khufu, and that he had been murdered long ago by an evil priest along with the woman he loved. Furthermore, both the priest and his lover had also been reincarnated, and the former had now captured the latter! Arming himself with equipment found at a museum, as well as using an anti-gravity metal called "Ninth metal" (later renamed Nth metal) to fly, Carter created the costumed identity of Hawkman to go rescue her. She would later join him in his adventures as "Hawkgirl". Hawkman would also become one of the founders of the first superhero group, the Justice Society of America. As the only hero to appear in every single Golden Age JSA story, he was later retconned to be the leader of the group.

During The Interregnum, Hawkman's series, as with most other superheroes of the time, was canceled. During The Silver Age of Comic Books, he was reinvented, this time as Katar Hol, a law enforcement agent from the planet Thanagar (conveniently inhabited by Human Aliens) who came to Earth (along with his partner and wife Shayera) to study Earth's crimefighting techniques, and they assumed the identities of museum curators Carter and Shiera Hall. They also acted as superheroes (using their Thanagarian uniforms) and became known as Hawkman and Hawkwoman. They soon joined the Justice League, the modern version of the Justice Society, and even met the original Hawks during the League's team-ups with the Society (which was established as having existed in the parallel universe called Earth-2.)

(At around this time, Hawkman appeared on Challenge of the Super Friends. Since no one on that show was allowed to throw a punch, his prowess was portrayed as ... somewhat less than stellar. Basically, he could fly, and that's it — which for a super hero is like being able to tie your shoes.)

Up to this point, there was no real confusion over the Hawkman characters. It all started after DC decided to Retcon their universe with the Crisis Crossover called Crisis on Infinite Earths. All of DC's titles were supposed to undergo a reboot afterwards; but due to poor editorial overseeing, some titles were rebooted but others were not. More specifically, the original Silver Hawkman was initially still around after the Crisis, even having his own ongoing series again. However, in 1989, John Ostrander wrote a miniseries called 'Hawkworld'; the idea was not to remove or recton the Silver Age Hawks as they were now, but rather to give their origin a more modern update. However, for whatever reason, it was decided that Hawkworld would turn out to have taken place in the present day, thus completely rebooting the Hawks, despite such a change occurring 4-5 years after Crisis. In the end, Silver Age Hawkman was reinvented as a Darker and Edgier character who had only recently arrived on Earth—but due to this change happening several years after the Crisis instead of right after it, Hawkman was still supposed to have been a member of the League for years! They explained this by claiming that the winged heroes in the League were actually the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl (since all DC characters now existed in one universe) and, later, that a Thanagarian spy had joined the team as Hawkman.

When DC decided to fix its post-Crisis mistakes with another reality-changing crossover (Zero Hour) somebody came up with the idea of having the various Hawks... merged into a single being, known as the "Hawk-god". This idea was poorly received and his series was soon cancelled. DC was so desperate over the mess that they actually forbade anybody from using the character for years.

When the Justice League animated series was made, it was decided that Hawkgirl, rather than Hawkman, would be a member. A Hawkman expy, Hro Talak, was introduced in the series as her former lover and a bad guy! Even later, an actual Hawkman character (Carter Hall, following a variation of the Golden Age reincarnation origin) was also introduced in the cartoon.

Back in the comics, DC tried to exploit Hawkgirl's popularity by having (a variation of) her take over the new Hawkman comic book, but it didn't work and it too was soon canceled. Hawkman was finally brought back in the pages of the new Justice Society comic series, with a new origin that explains that both Khufu and his mate have reincarnated many times, including as Katar and Shayera.

In 2011, the entire DC Universe was rebooted, erasing all the history (good or bad) of most characters including Hawkman, hopefully ending the confusion for good. Hawkman had his own self-titled book, and Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders again) is featured in James Robinson's Earth-2.

Hawkman and Hawkwoman appear as members of the Justice League on the Young Justice series. Hawkgirl is a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Hawkman was also a recurring character in the late seasons of Smallville, played by Michael Shanks.

This character(s) provides examples of the following:

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HawkeyeAnimal Title IndexHeathcliff and the Catillac Cats
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The FlashUsefulNotes/The Golden Age of Comic BooksBlack Canary
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alternative title(s): Hawkman
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