04 November 2009

Spotlight on Hawkman (and Hawkgirl)

The bare chested Hawkman first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940 and though he has had various names (Katar Hol, Carter Hall) origins (alien, reincarnated Egyptian) and affiliations (Justice Society, Justice League) over the years, he has long been a DC staple. And who couldn't love a superhero with a beak (aside from Howard the Duck perhaps)?

Old bird brain first appeared both in his own adventures and as a member of the Justice League in the 1967 DC Super Heroes animated series.

In his solo outings, The Winged Avenger teamed with his sidekick eagle Skreal.

Hawkman next appeared a decade later along with Hawkgirl in 1977's All New Super Friends Hour. In 1978, Hawkman was promoted from special guest to main character for the Challenge of the Super Friends season, though Hawkgirl disappeared. In subsequent iterations of Super Friends, Hawky again took on a supporting role to the other heroes.

During those Super Friends years, Hawkman also appeared in the Legends of the Superheroes live action variety show, his first live action appearance.

By 1997, Hawkman had fallen from grace and his second live-action appearance was even more humiliating than his first.

Hawkman was seen schilling Baby Ruth's while flying into glass windows in this horrific commercial:

In 2000, a Hawkman-esque character Warhawk was shown as a member of the future Justice League Unlimited on the Batman Beyond episode, The Call. It was eventually revealed, that Warhawk was (retroactively written to be) the son of Hawkgirl (and GL John Stewart).

In 2001, a new Justice League was assembled and to mix things up a bit, it was Hawkgirl not Hawkman that made the cut.

In the Justice League finale, a Hawkman Hro Talak (anagram for Katar Hol) from alien world Thanagar appeared. Hro looked a lot like Hawkman, though he wasn't what some would consider a hero and he wasn't technically Hawkman.

Finally, in the Justice League Unlimited Hawkman Carter Hall was introduced. This time taking the reincanation (though of an alien Hawkman) approach, Justice League finally had a man hawk to court Shayera Hol (she having dropped the Hawkgirl moniker).

Hawkman was introduced to The Batman in 2007. He teamed up with Batman in a pair of episodes to take down the Shadow Thief and Black Mask as well as some pesky alien invaders.

Most recently, Hawkman was shown beating the snot out of Superman and Batman in the Superman Batman: Public Enemies movie, only to be taken down off screen.

In the upcoming Smallville 2-part episode beginning with "Society" Hawkman will return to live-action and will even be donning his trademark wings. Hopefully a Baby Ruth free appearance will finally restore some dignity to the live action version of the character.

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