Carter Hall: Prehistory - 2500 BC Edit
Before we get to Carter (or “Hawkman”, if you prefer), we need to tell the tale of the Thanagarian named Kol. Thanagarias are an ethereal Avian-like race from the planet Thanagar. In order to prevent dying with the rest of their doomed planet, Kol took to the stars with his mate, Thal. On Earth, they met an ancient sorcerer, Nabu that brought them into the material plane by fusing their bodies to the souls of a pair of Nabu’s apprentices. Prince Khufu, the son of a Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, was made the first host of the Thanagarian Kol.
As a fusion of both Thanagarian and human, Kol/Khufu was greater than the sum of his parts. He was stronger, faster, and could even sprout wings to take to the sky. It was little surprise that he and his mate were worshipped. Using his human host’s royal lineage, Khufu ruled Egypt for a short, but prosperous time, with his mate at his side.
But their rule had offended the status quo and so the Egyptian gods sent a crazed priest named Hath-Set to remove the Thanagarians from power. In order to do so, Hath-Set tricked Nabu into creating weapons using the ethereal substance of the Thanagarians’ own ship and fusing it with more mundane Earth weaponry. Hath-Set claimed that he would present the weapons as gifts for the Pharaoh and his queen; but instead Hath-Set used a dagger made of Nth Metal to literally stab the Thanagarian monarchs in the back.
However, though their material forms may have perished, the Thanagarians still lived as ethereal beings which Nabu then gave the ability to fuse with other willing hosts to spite Hath-Set for his past trickery. When Kol and Thal returned to life in the bodies of new hosts they were understandably upset with Hath-Set and sought retribution. Armed with the other weaponary Nabu had created as gifts, Kol and Thal chased Hath-Set all over as he fled from Thanagrian pursuers. But when they finally killed him, Hath-Set was not rewarded in the afterlife as the god had promised, instead he was cursed to return to life until he finished the task he had been give: the death of Thal and Kol, thus tying the fate of these three beings for all time.
Hawkboy: 2500 BC - 2008 Edit
The essence of Kol would be housed in many hosts throughout time after the death of Pharaoh Khufu. In the dark ages, Kol became a Knight of the Round table named Sir Brian the Silent (though not mentioned in any of the histories I could find, Jason Blood confirmed there was such a knight who once sprouted wings in battle). Kol and Thal spent some time in ancient Japan, where they claimed to have been the source of myth of the Tengu, before they would return to Europe and set sail for the Americas. They claim to have been present for Roanoke Colony’s disappearance and cite that the only thing out of the ordinary that they saw before their human bodies disappeared from this plane was a sinister looking boy stroking a cat.
In the 19th century, Kol was a lawman known as Hannibal “The Nighthawk” Hawkes (not sure if this was the host’s actual name, but I highly doubt it was). Hannibal was a rather prominent figure in the stories of the old west where he was part of the notorious Rough Bunch with Jeanne Walker, Bartholomew Lash, John Tane, Lazarus Lane, Jim Craddock, The Kent Brothers Nathaniel and Jebediah, Jim Sawyer, Bill Polk, Matt Savage and his son Brain, the Prairie Troubadour, Jimmy Leong, Ohiyesa, Strong Bow, Jonah Hex, and of course the love of his life.
Most recently, Kol was known as Jim Wright where he lived a prestigious career as a retired lawman turned judge until his death in 2004 when he and his wife were assassinated at home by Hath-Set who had thrown the Thanagarians off by resurrecting as a woman this time. Still, Hath-Set was not successful in ending the Thanagarians and they found new hosts. The host Kol found was an unassuming young man from the streets of Midway City named Carter Hall who Kol sensed was from a bloodline rich with magic potential. With the rush of a new body, the Thanagarians’ presence was overridden by the personalities of the hosts with the Thanagarians’ influence limited. So what did two hormonal teens with newfound powers do? That’s right, they joined the second batch of Titans. Though the death of their teammate Jason was felt, the Thanagarians had lost many friends and so they kept with the Titans until disbanding.
Hawkman: 2008 - Present Edit
Ditching the “Hawkboy” name after the Titans, Carter became the hero known as Hawkman. He and Shiera settled in Midway City, where their human hosts had lived before their joining to the Thanagarian souls. Part of the reason for this was Shiera learning she was pregnant. Shortly before the birth of their twin sons, Rex and Hector, Shiera’s father gave them an apartment building to manage. Carter took the simple job of a handyman so as to keep with his and Shiera’s decision to lead lowkey civilian lifestyles as a way to avoid Hath-Set. No sooner than Carter and Shiera had settled in, however, did the superhero life call them once more. Carter’s younger brother’s Hank and Don were given mystical powers, transforming them into the Avatars of Conflict and Peace, respectively, known as Hawk and Dove.
The bird motif given to Carter’s brothers was no coincidence as Carter learned when he confronted Dr. Fate about it. It turns out T’Charr, a Lord of Chaos and Terataya, a Lady of Order had defected their factions and created a third faction dedicated to Balance. The new Lord and Lady of Balance elected to model the mystical template which would be fused to the souls of their chosen avatars on the Thanagarian essence of Kol and Thal and because the template was so similar to Kol and Thal’s Thanagarian essence, the hosts were required to have the same metaphysical qualifiers that were required of Kol and Thal’s potential hosts. For this reason, Carter’s own brothers were chosen to be the first agents of Balance.
As a result of this, Carter wanted to make certain his brothers were properly trained and so he joined the Justice League with Shiera. Once the Titans were relaunched, Carter then had his brothers placed in the program as a test of their readiness. Both surpassed expectations and were quickly invited to join the Justice League after reaching the proper age. Carter was truly devastated to lose both brothers to this life, but he carries on. Ever a positive role model, Carter is always ready to take younger heroes under his wing, especially Holly and Dawn.
Trivia and Notes Edit
- Hawkman joined the Justice League in 2009 nominated by Superman.
- For Carter and Shiera, every death, their previous lives' memories dull a little due to the shock of dying and the process of joining a new host is also jarring. The longer they are in a host, the more they remember about their past lives... especially if they do something to jog their memory... like visiting a place they've been before or reclaiming their weapons for the first time as a new host... and so on.
- Other examples of Carter Hall's rich with magic potential bloodline are his brothers Hank Hall and Don Hall.
- The soul joining cannot work if the host rejects it on some intrinsic level or if the host turns out to a hugely different person than the Thanagarian expected them to be. There has to be some innate compatibility of their personalities, hopes, ambitions, and desires for this thing to work. The Thanagarians cannot just possess anyone and often when they die, they search for days, weeks, or months to find the right pair of hosts. But before the joining becomes permanent, there is a long "trial" period where either the human host can reject or the Thanagarian can object to the joining. "I have been meaning to clarify how the joining works exactly. it's definitely a morally gray thing, but Kol and Thal try to be ethical in its use but also need to weigh their commitment to Dr. Fate and their service to him as Agents of Order." (Roy)
- Carter Hall's image in E27 is based on Mike Colter.
- E27's Hawkman is not only a compositive of all the versions of Hawkman from comics (Carter Hall, Katar Hol, Fel Andar), but due to the reincarnation backstory, he has been merged with other heroes from differente eras of DC Comics, like The Silent Knight (King Arthur Era) and Nighthawk (Western Era).
- The Rough Bunch are all heroes from DC Comics Western Publications: Jeanne Walker (Madame .44), Bartholomew Lash (Batlash), John Tate (Johnny Thunder), Lazarus Lane (El Diablo), Jim Craddock (Gentleman Ghost), Nathaniel and Jebediah Kent (The Kents), Jim Sawyer (Cowboy Marshall), Bill Polk (Wyoming Kid), Matt Savage, Brian Savage (Scalphunter), The Prairie Troubadour (Greg Saunders/Vigilante), Jimmy Leong (Stuff, the Chinatown Kid), Ohiyesa (Pow-Wow Smith), Strong Bow, and Jonah Hex.
- Carter's residence, Neville Fox Building is a nod to his creator, Neville Fox; the house number 1961 is a nod to the year Hawkman and Hawkgirl were reintroduced in the Silver Age; and apartment number 34 is a nod to The Brave and the Bold #34, were that reintroduction happened.