Hey there, folks! Just popping in from New-Fatherhood-ville long enough to share a few things.
First, thanks so much for all the good wishes. We’re all doing pretty well, settling into various new roles. I won’t gush too much, although I am toying with the idea of posting another “OMG KYOOT” photo.
Second … yes, I did try to float some superhero-related names, which thankfully were all vetoed. We went through Diana, Dinah, Lois, Selina, Helena, Susan (as in Storm), and probably a few others which now escape me. And no, Olivia isn’t named after Hal Jordan’s old girlfriend. Still, who knows? I might end up calling her “Ollie….”
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Anyway, I’m glad I can duck out of here a little earlier than usual this week, because I just can’t bring myself to care about what Jim Starlin has apparently done to Hawkman. It may be in the service of a new Starlin-produced Hawkman series; but I can tell you right now I have zero interest in that series.
Now, this is not some “Creator X has defiled Beloved Character and I am boycotting” situation. No matter what Starlin does to Hawkman’s origin, eventually someone will roll back his changes and/or render them irrelevant.
In fact, I can’t muster a whole lot of righteous indignation about the whole “illusion of change” process. In this case it’s not so much cynicism as it is apathy. This whole episode has made me realize how little emotional investment I have in Hawkman — and considering that I could probably crank out 1500 words on just about any other major DC property, that’s saying a lot.
Normally at this point I might get into the history of the character, describe some changes, and maybe cite a particular story or creative team to show How It Should Be. With Hawkman I can’t really do that. I’m sure there have been some fine Hawkman stories over the years — the Golden Age origin is pretty good just on its own, and I’m definitely not dismissing Joe Kubert’s work. I liked how Mark Waid used him in The Brave and the Bold, and how Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza are using him in Trinity.
Still, some characters suggest their directions more clearly than others. The Flash and the Atom are science-based heroes, Green Lantern is a space opera, and Aquaman can personify both environmental and geopolitical issues. To me, though, Hawkman seems torn between the simplicity of his costume and a couple of complex backstories. Put another way, wings+pants+helmet doesn’t necessarily equal either “reincarnated archaeologist” or “policeman from space.”
What, then, does Hawkman’s costume suggest? Well, Grant Morrison’s through-the-looking-glass version was the more conceptually consistent angel Zauriel, but I doubt we want to go there with Hawkman himself. Maybe he’s a space pirate or smuggler who’s accumulated a diverse set of gear, a la Booster Gold or the current Manhunter; and maybe now he wants to clean up his act.
Really, given the combination of bare-chested machismo, giant wings, and ancient weaponry, I’d be tempted to make Hawkman even more of a reactionary. Let him come from Thanagar, but as an ambassador of its crypto-fascist regime, not a political dissident. Contrast him politically with both Green Arrow and Wonder Woman. He’d be (cover your ears, Olivia!) the G-D Hawkman, all snarls and stubble.
Or, you know, I could just be running on too little sleep from these middle-of-the-night diaper changes….