Dark Covers

I reject the premise of “Hawkworld”.

I read the original “Hawkman” series as a kid in the 1960’s. This was the silver age of comics and the Hawkman and Hawkgirl of this timeframe had a different origin story than that was presented during the golden age of the 1940s. Being a nine-year-old kid, I knew nothing about Carter Hall and Shiera Saunders. Nothing about the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince and princess. Nothing about a mystery element called Nth metal.

As far as I was concerned Hawkman and Hawkgirl arrived on Earth from the planet Thanagar sometime in the dim past of the early sixties. They posed as a museum curator and his lovely red-headed wife. Only we, the readers, and a police commissioner knew their secrets. Using ancient weapons and a little bit of Thanagarian-tech, the couple saved their adopted planet from attacks by shape-shifting maniacs, Manhawks, Lionmane, and some guy named Ira “IQ” Quimby.

When I tossed down my hard-earned 12-cents, I expected that every story I read about the Hawks in Brave & The Bold, Hawkman, The Atom, Justice League of America, and Detective Comics, was just as much a part of the DC universe canon as was a story about Superman in Action Comics or about Superboy in Adventure Comics. I could have spent my dime and two pennies on any other comic book (including Marvel or Harvey), but I choose to buy DC Comics “Hawkman”.

Fast-forward to the late 1980s… Both sets of Hawks survived the Crisis on Infinite Earths and shortly after COIE, the golden age Hawkman and Hawkgirl went off to a limbo dimension; while the silver age Hawks, Hawkman and now Hawkwoman, joined and shortly participated in Justice League International. Then they quit the JLI and went home to Thanagar. Then in August 1989, DC published a 3-issue series titled “Hawkworld”. This was the start of the Dark Age of comic books.

The story in the mini-series, which took place entirely on the planet Thanagar, told of Katar “Hawkman” Hol and Shayera “Hawkwoman” Thal and it seemed to fit into the silver age timeline. Perhaps the events of Hawkworld v.1 took place sometime prior to Brave and the Bold #34 (March 1961).

Then in June 1990, a second series titled Hawkworld began. This 32-issue series + 3 annuals, that ran from 1990 to March 1993, did a total reboot of the mythos of the Thanagarian Hawks, effectively wiping from existence the Hawkman & Hawkgirl of the silver and bronze ages (1961 to 1987). This re-wiring of continuity in a retroactive manner gave impetus to the term “retcon”, a portmanteau meaning “retroactive continuity”.

To me, it feels like a retroactive rip-off of my 12-year old self. If I had been told that the stories in Hawkman volume 1 (1964 – 1968) were bogus, I might have spent my money on Daredevil or maybe Sad Sack. Maybe DC owes a refund to me and other readers of Hawkman v.1.

That having been said, what happened “happened” and now thanks to the Convergence event of 2015, both continuities are considered valid.

Although I may not agree with or like the Hawkworld story, it is part of the canon. Hawkgirl (woman) did not appear on any of the Hawkworld v.1 covers. For volume 2, she appeared on the cover nine out of 32 issues. In this most recent acquisition, I purchased eight of those books. Once again I messed-up and bought a book that I mistakenly thought hosted Hawkgirl on the cover. I need to do a better job of reviewing my list before I hit the submit button.

In this go-around, each book was $1.70. VF=Very Fine and FN=Fine. I will present four in this post and four in the another.

Hawkworld (1990 2nd Series) #1 (June 1990) – VF

In the first issue of the Hawkworld v.2 series, we are introduced to a couple who kinda-sorta resembles the Earth-1, silver age Hawks. We meet a Thanagarian “wing-man” named Katar Hol and his partner, Shayera Thal. In this retconning of the Thanagarian Hawks, Hawkgirl (er… rather, Hawkwoman) comes across as an angry, trigger-happy policewoman who loves to cuss Thanagarian-style. Her catchphrase is “Seven Devils!!!” and she refers to just about anyone who is not a Thanagarian police officer as “meat“. It seems her only resemblance with previous Hawkgirls is her red hair and the fact that she has wings.

In the scene below, Shayera loses her temper and smacks Katar in the jaw when he reminds her of past, growing up in the slums of Downside.

Hawkworld (1990 2nd Series) #8 (February 1991) – FN

Issues 1 through 9 of Hawkworld v.2, present an extended twist on the silver age mythos of the alien shapeshifter, Byth Rok. In the scene below, Katar and Shayera have been on Earth in search of Byth. Now, confronted by the police, Shayera is caught in a lie after telling the police that she has no idea who the shapeshifter is.

Hawkworld (1990 2nd Series) #10 (April 1991) – VF

Since their time on Earth, Shayera has caused problems for the Earthly authorities through her aggressive police tactics. A public relations man is hired to help Katar and Shayera improve their image. In the scene, below Shayera is shown pictures of proposed new uniforms for her. Needless to say, Shayera loses her temper once again.

Hawkworld (1990 2nd Series) #14 (October 1991) – VF

In 1991, Wonder Woman and her Amazonia sisters were visiting America when they became framed for the murder of a number people including police officers. When Shayera first encounters Diana, they fought to a draw. Afterward, when Katar and Shayera became convinced of Amazonia’s innocence, they agreed to help the Amazon princess. Shayera and Diana became besties.