By Tim Board
Many things have been rewritten about Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman over the past few years. DC Comics has rebooted, rewritten, and rebirthed themselves silly with events like Flashpoint, the New 52, and DC Rebirth. It’s tough for any fan to keep up with what is going on, especially for fans that don’t follow the characters that are not DC’s “first-tier” characters. Many things from past stories have been changed, altered, and even erased. This is my attempt to take all the altered pieces and make sense of the whole thing. This record of Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman’s history will be based on what we’ve seen in Scott Snyder’s Dark Night Metal series, the current Justice League series, and Robert Venditti’s Hawkman series.
|Art by Andy Kubert (Dark Days The Casting)|
Shiera was split into two beings; Shayera Hol of Thanagar and Kendra Saunders of Earth. Let’s look at Kendra/Hawkgirl first.
|Art by Jim Lee|
During the Death Metal series, Perpetua was finally defeated and Earth was restored. Hawkgirl is now a member of the new Justice League and appears to be quite powerful. Her Nth Metal mace is showing some new abilities so it will be interesting to see where her story goes from here.
|Art by Jim Cheung, Stephen Segovia, Mark Morales|
So, to put it simply, the Shayera Thal who appeared in Savage Hawkman has been rewritten into the current Shayera Hol. Using this information, I have tried to piece together her story.
|The new Thanagar Prime (From Justice League No. 14)|
Shayera reincarnated from Shiera as the daughter of Thal Provis, Lord of Thanagar. She was married to Katar Hol, the Savage Hawkman, and took his name. Thanagar was attacked by Despero and practically destroyed, while Katar died trying to stop him. With Thanagar destroyed, Shayera led her people back to the ancient and original Thanagar called Thanagar Prime. It was ruled by the demon Onimar Synn, but they were able to overthrow him after the events of Metal and Shayera became the Empress of Thanagar. Under the influence of the Absorbascon, she used any way necessary to rebuild Thanagar and broke many laws. When Kendra, John Stewart, and the Martian Manhunter came to her for some answers about Kendra’s connection to the Totality, she attacked them and even attempted to kill them. The Martian Manhunter helped her break free from the Absorbascon, and she realized she was wrong. Starman appeared and used his powers to make her a whole person for the first time in her life.
|From Justice League No. 16|
When Kendra was made whole, Shayera asked, "Did you just rip out my soul and give it to her?" Starman replied, "Your soul is your own. Your story is your own, and I've given that back to you." In other words, Kendra became the being that Perpetua feared most, and Shayera became the one who had the connection to Hawkman since the beginning of time. She was about to be arrested by the Green Lantern Corps, but she was given another chance to lead her people in the right way. Since then, she has been rebuilding Thanagar and assisting the Justice League with her Thanagarian army when they need help.
The Shade witnessed Carter Hall being overcome by the Sky Tyrant, and he knew that the only way to bring Carter back was to ask for Shayera’s help, so he contacted her through the Justice League, knowing what Carter and Shayera meant to each other. Shayera arrived on Earth to help Carter fight the influence of the Sky Tyrant. It appeared that she did not remember a lot of her past, but she remembered enough to know that she has a connection to Carter. She knows Carter better than anybody. She remembers many of their past lives. During her fight with Sky Tyrant, she talked about some of their past lives together. While Kendra Saunders did not feel or desire any connection with Carter Hall, it became clear that Shayera is the one who remembers their past, has feelings for Carter, and has a desire to reconnect.
|From Hawkman No. 18|
|From Hawkman No. 21|
|From Hawkman No. 7|
|From Hawkman No. 7|
|From Hawkman No. 22|
|From Hawkman No. 23|
In a flashback, we discover that Shayera was called Shrra in her first life. She was a herald-angel who served an as yet un-named entity. The entity planned to allow creation to be taken over by the evil entity called The Lord of the Void as it had decided creation and man was a failure. Shrra intervened and helped Ktar defeat the Deathbringers and send The Lord of the Void back into his realm. As punishment, Shrra was stripped of her position and cursed to be reincarnated along with Ktar until he atoned for his sins. Until then, she would not be allowed back into the presence of the entity. Shra swore that she would help Ktar achieve his purpose and return to the entity someday.
|Hawkman Vol. V No. 25 (September 2020)|
|Hawkman Vol. V No. 25 (September 2020)|
With the power of reincarnation gone, Carter begins to fear death, knowing that it will mean the end. Shayera is determined to live their last life to the fullest and is frustrated by Carter's fear. They also discover that Hath-Set is alive and has stolen the Nth Metal knife used to kill them so many years ago in Egypt. They battle Hath-Set and are nearly killed by him, but Carter overcomes his fear and defeats his nemesis.
The ending of the series by Robert Venditti gives Hawkman and Hawkwoman a new story that we have never seen. They go on to live together, fighting side by side with the Justice Society, the Green Lantern Corps, and other groups. Times passes and they age very slowly.
We finally see them in the 40th century. Carter is battle-scarred and seemingly retired from fighting, while Shayera is an instructor at what appears to be the Legion Academy where she is training new heroes. They are old and gray-haired but very much alive and very much in love. Their story continues as the series ends.
|From Hawkman Vol. V No. 29 (January 2021)|
We next see Shayera with Carter in a special Valentine's Day issue. They are back in the current time, having adventures together.
Venditti gave us something that has rarely ever been given; a happy ending. Even though we saw a glimpse into the future, there are many, many more stories to be written about Hawkwoman; one of the most iconic heroines in comic book history. Her past lives, her future adventures, and her life of love and partnership with Carter are waiting to be told. Here's hoping that her fans get to see them someday.