iFanboy Mini Video Podcast

iFanboy Mini #114 – Hawkman: The Character Continuity Killed!

Show Notes

Hawkman has withstood universe-spanning crises, legions of super villains, and 68 years in comic books. But the one thing that finally defeated the winged wonder?

Confusing continuity.

Spurred on by yet another Hawkman retcon in the recent Hawkman Special #1, Conor Kilpatrick examines the tragic history of one of DC Comics’ biggest stars.

Why is one of the pillars of the DC Universe considered radioactive by the people making DC Comics?

Find out here.


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  1. "I don’t know why I’m doing this, but it seems like a good thing to do."  That was awesome.  I understood what you were trying to do.  They are torn apart by death and then come back together in life.  Perfectly illustrated by your improptue sign language.

    I dig Hawkman, too.  I actually thought they did a decent job utilizing his two origins in an interesting way in the JL cartoon series you wrote about a few weeks ago.

  2. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Right there with you, man.  I LOVE Hawkman and I really, really wish they’d get it together.  

    In JSA (Lightning Saga maybe?) they alluded to this whole triangle with Hawkman, Hawk Girl, and Power Girl, and never really picked up on it.  I really hope they find more ways to use him because he’s one of my favorites.  

  3. Awesome mini! Coming from someone who doesn’t know much on Hawkman, I love the whole Hawkman 101 you just gave me. Great job, Conor.

  4. Great mini. I totally agree, that Hawkman is a GREAT top tier character, that DC needs to fix. I would so pickup a Hawkman series. He has one of the coolest looks in comics (thanks to Joe Kubert).

  5. I prefer Hawkworld Hawkman myself, but I know that doesn’t really fit into the DCU.  This also reminds me of how screwed-up Psylocke is.  I always loved her.

  6. thanks for that vid…i really enjoyed the explanation of a complex character.

  7. I don’t like Hawkman.  He make Hulk head hurt.

    I want to like him though. I always thought he should be treated like the Thor of the DCU (maybe he could be an unknown Egyptian god?). And any characther that wields a mace and shield and has a badass helmet like him should get more love.  I just have a hard time explaining his character when someone sees my figurine sitting on my shelf.

    The one character I wish would get fixed, and I’ve mentioned other places is Aquaman.  He’s a badass and anybody that does’nt agree is just hatin’.

  8. I like Hawkman, I just can`t read anything with him in it or I get a massive headache.  

  9. Great mini! And in less than five minutes. I completely agree with everything you said. He’s so ridiculous I don’t know what to believe anymore…

    Maybe Johns can do it now. When he first wrote Hawkman, wasn’t that his early work? No offense to him, but he seems much more… flowing with it, now…

  10. Didnt the Justice League animated series went with the whole Thangar warrior origin? Plus they did that with Hawkgirl too….geez I can see why people today, even me, get confused by the guy’s origin story.

    I honestly dont know what will happen to him, to be perfectly clear I’m not a fan of the character anyways. Not because of the confusing origin, but he’s just not that great of a character in my eyes. Oooo a guy who dresses like a hawk and carries a mace…..why is that so special? It’s probably better of DC just ignores the character all together.

  11. @NextChampion- I believe the show went with a mix of the two origins.  I could be wrong but I think they went with the story that Katar and Shayera Hol were Thanagarians that were stranded in Ancient Egypt, and they have been reincarnated ever since.

  12. It’s nice to see someone else appreciates Hawkman, and hates seeing the character languish.  I think most of the continuity problems happened when DC tried to spin off Tim Truman’s Hawkworld mini series from 89? into an ongoing monthly book.  The mini was a really nice piece of work, the monthly that grew off from it- not so much.   More people should check out the Hawkworld mini series as well as the collections of the old Gardner Fox/Joe Kubert work on the character.
    I don’t know how they fix Hawkman’s continuity at this point, but they could start by putting the yellow stripe back on the side of his pants consistently, sometimes it’s there most times it’s not, I’m starting to think Hawkman has a bladder control problem.  I love the silver age costume and would love to keep the modern costume as close to the silver’s design as possible.  Bring back the stripe.

  13. @OccultPanda – The stripe on his pants is the very, very least of Hawkman’s problems. 🙂

  14. Awesome mini! The title says it all!

    I totally agree DC needs to pick an origin & stick with it, it doesn’t have to make perfect sense or fit perfectly into continuity — nothing else does!

    PS – I dig the passion you guys show for comics! It makes me feel like way less of a geek for feeling the same way. =D

  15. You know, as much as I love Hawkman, I’m starting to think that maybe they should either keep this new thing up(Though I’m not such a Big Fan of this new combination thing) or just Kill of Karter Hall (Not a Typo) and bring in a New Guy, cause I’d rather have a dead hero than one without dignity.

    And personaly, I like the Golden Age One Better, and that’s odd for me cause I am a huge Silver Age Fan, Hal and Barry all the Way.

  16. too bad DC can’t just say Hawkman was replaced by a skrull…

  17. Warning: Trying to get Hawkman’s origin straight may cause migraines and extreme motion sickness.

  18. Man, I remember picking up a trade of the Geoff Johns’ Hawkman series, and it has basically a dissertation about Hawkman’s origin in the front.  I tried to read it, I failed.

    Hawkman exists to make all of us Cable fans feel better.

  19. I love how when you describe why you think the character is great you mention "he has a great big mace and he beats the crap out of people with it". lol.

  20. He’s a character that has multiple reincarnations thus multiple origins, including an ancient prince and an alien cop.  Makes sense to me.

  21. True story: the first DC comic I ever read was Kevin Smith’s "Quiver" arc of Green Arrow.  Near the end, Hawkman shows up, and as I’d barely even heard of him before, I asked the friend who had lent it to me what his deal was.  She stared at me blankly for a long moment and then said, incredulous, "How did you manage to pick the most impossible question in the entirety of DC continuity to ask first?"

    Her subsequent attempt at an explanation scarred my then-newbie comics reader mind.

  22. Hawkman is my favorite JSA character, bar none. I enjoyed his special, but yeah. He needs to be sorted out ASAP 

  23. Townsend Harris shirt… nice

  24. Well, the only problem with Hawkman’s continuity is the "whatever happend to Katar Hol" question.  The recent Hawkman series (morphing into Hawkgirl for "one year later").  I was an avid Hawkworld reader and it was really great and I never had a continuity problem.  They defined the relationship between Carter and Katar the same way they define the relationship between Alan Scott and Hal Jordan.  That’s what they lifted for the animated series.  Thangarian’s had come to Earth in ancient Egypt and exposing ancient Khufu and Chay-Ara to nth metal at the times of their deaths started this reincarnation thing.  They used to tie Thangarian technology into some mystical stuff.  Katar and Shayera showed up while the golden age characters were in limbo fighting ragnarok as Thanagarian police.  The fact that everyone’s name is similar is just kind of coincidence.  Shayera died (I believe) just before that in a pretty awesome storyline in Hawkworld.  The problem was Zero Hour when Golden Age Hawkman/Hawkgirl along with alternative universe Hawks merged with Katar Hol forming the "Hawk God".  That’s when everything turned to crap.  Post-Zero Hour I remember Hawkman Katar Hol living in an abandoned church steeple which with weird bird eyes.  He could also talk to and control birds.  Then I think the series was unceremoniously cancelled because I don’t remember a story after that.  I think there were plans to restart the series at some point after that but it never happened. 

     The latest Hawk-series was really good and basically sidestepped all of this by saying the new Hawkman was Carter Hall.  He had somehow been reincarnated on Thanagar with dark hair like Katar.  The whole Hawk God thing was kind of retconned out which was fine because it was stupid.  Again, it went to shit with Rann-Thanagar and never recovered.  I’ve been waiting for some sort of annual or special or Who’s Who to sort all this out.  I think it will take some star writer who really cares about the character to lay down the law at DC and say "this is Hawkman’s story and that’s the end of it".

  25. In my mind i just go with the origin in The Return of Hawkman trade.  I find the DCU is an awesome, awesome place if you just follow one simple rule:

    trust Geoff Johns, he will deliver you to the promised land of milk, honey, great stories, and flawless continuity.



  26. Except that Geoff couldn’t even fix Hawkman to DC’s liking, which is why he has been "radioactive".  Apparently they are going to try again.

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