Zero Hour Strikes! Hawkman #9-13

We did it! We made Bass read five consecutive issues of Hawkman! In episode 8 of Zero Hour Strikes!, he and Siskoid cover the Godspawn storyline (Hawkman vol.3 #9-13) which ends on a Zero Hour tie-in, though the anomalies start to crop up earlier. One could say the whole of Hawkman’s post-Crisis history is an anomaly. So… does Bass like Hawkman now? Only one way to find out…

Listen to the Zero Hour Strikes! Episode 8 below!

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Relevant images and further credits at: Zero Hour Strikes ep.8 Supplemental

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16 responses to “Zero Hour Strikes! Hawkman #9-13

  1. Hoo boy, I don’t envy you guys. What a mess. Hawkman’s continuity was already a raging dumpster fire, and then adding all the Native American heritage stuff to it (when he already had Egyptian heritage) was like the fire spreading to a nuclear power plant. Merging the characters together really didn’t solve anything. I think if Silver Age Katar Hol had emerged from Zero Hour somehow, it would have patched up DC history more, and then you could just explain his coexistence with reincarnated Egyptian prince Carter Hall as an anomaly itself. But what do I know? All I know is classic, Silver Age Hawkman has never truly returned in any subsequent DC continuity.

    I think Geoff Johns did the best he could to make it all work out in his JSA and Hawkman runs. But then people wouldn’t just leave it alone, and mucked it up again. Poor Hawkman. Even Power Girl and Donna Troy look at him and just shake their heads.

    Chris

    1. Who is Donna Troy? is the mantra of every iteration of DC Comics isn’t it? And the question’s never been better answered than her first origin.

      Leave it to Bob Haney to create a rift in the DCU that would outlive him!

  2. Bass survived the gauntlet. Congrats. But boy, does Hawkman lean hard into the more spiritual world. There is an avatar arc, lots more exploration into the hawk god stuff, and the loss of Shayera. In retrospect, her sidelining is merciful.

    And let me tell Bass something – you don’t know my life either, pal!

  3. WARNING: The following comment has nothing to do with Hawkman, and is really a thinly veiled attempt to indulge my teenage fascination with heraldry.

    I was big into heraldry back in my middle and high school days, so I got a big kick out of Bar Sinister’s appearance in these issues. Fun fact, bar sinister is a pseudo-heraldic term for a band that runs from the upper right (or dexter) side of the shield to the lower left (or sinister) side. In true heraldry, a bar is the term for a vertical band, and, therefore, cannot run diagonally. That correct term for a diagonal band like this is bend sinister, but that just doesn’t sound as cool. A little research on the internet suggests that Sir Walter Scott invented the term bar sinister, which he used to imply bastardy.

    In a feeble attempt to tie this back to the comics, I see that Bar Sinister’s special third arm, the one on which he wears a red glove, is on his left side, below his normal arm. Unfortunately, the posted images don’t reveal anything about the nature of Bar Sinister’s parentage.

  4. .

    I think as I’m about to listen to two episodes I need to tell about my memories of this series. I have waited for the Hawkman episode to do this because the problems with his continuity were/are part of my feeling about this series .

    I do not like the silver age Hawkman. I met him on The SuperFreinds and he was my least favorite. Then the comic that made me a superhero fan, JLA 147 introduced me too a reincarnated Egyptian prince, I liked that version much better. Because of this preference and my dislike at the time for comics that were too “war based”, I wouldn’t read HawkWorld until years after Zero Hour was over. The only thing I knew about the Hawks post Crisis was that the continuity was so glitched it could be the entire reason for a time crisis on its own. I wanted Zero Hour to fix them. It just merged them in to a non-explained mess. That merged Hawk-god IS the personification of my disappointment with Zero Hour in general. There is not a “fix” in Zero Hour, just some bad endings. (There were “starts” to a whole lot of other books as a side effect, some of those were great.)

    I’m a fan of a good retcon fix of a continuity glitch. Dona Troy is my tied for favorite Superhero because “Who is Dona Troy” is my favorite single comic. I live for a “creative fix”, of bad continuity. A time crisis isn’t that kind of “creative” on its own, but can be used in creative ways to “fix” things.

    I’m a fan of the idea of a Multiverse for DC. The JSA is my favorite team and my tied for favorite Superhero is the Golden Age Green Lantern. I love comparing time lines. A time crisis could bring this back.

    Instead of that, we got Zero Hour, book of endings. Nothing is fixed in the series, just “tied up”. The DCU that this clears the way for is probably my favorite comic book DCU. The white pages and timing allow for me to tie it to Sandman. I like the idea behind the main bad guy, and I like where that went later. So I LOVE what this series events allowed to happen. However as a series its just a bunch of “done now” endings for characters who deserved a better end.

    ((AND I’m still super disappointed this didn’t relaunch a multiverse- even now decades later))

  5. I cant post a picture here, but I own a two Happy meal toys that use the costumes from this series in the animated style of the Batman/Superman cartoon at the time. A Kyle Green lantern that looks nothing like he wold appear in Superman.
    AND
    The Merged Hawkman- The mess of continuity that was, done in the style of a world where Hawkman didn’t exist. I often call mine “world breaker”.

  6. I was a big fan of Hawkman’s look in the Bronze Age when he still sported the Kubert look. I read the last Showcase issues (Hyathis!!) and bought the Shadow War mini-series and the beginning of the solo series that broke out of that mini. But it just seemed like there was never enough to keep my interest long term.

    I then read the Hawkworld mini and was floored by it. The political intrigue pf Thanagar, the sort of flawed Katar, the Truman art … all clicked. But once more, once the monthly broke out of that it didn’t grab me enough to stick around long term.

    In fact the last solo issue of Hawkman I bought is later in this very series when Wonder Woman (sporting the black bike shorts) guest stars. I loved Messner-Loeb’s WW book at the time. So when I read the real wings Hawkman in that issue I was flummoxed. So I thank you for covering these.

    Hawkman needed a continuity smooth down and Zero Hour was a great vehicle. But boy, they seem to have got it all wrong.

  7. One of my old sketchbooks has an amazing Steve Lieber Hawkman from this period. I told him to go full Kubert on it, and it’s gorgeous. Should dig it up and put it online.

  8. Well, you guys made it through Godspawn. I’d love to tell you things get better from here but…Spider-Man animal totem storyline was pretty much the best comparison you guys could do, so that sums that up. Despite me really liking the design of the “new” Hawkman, it feels like Messner-Loebs was left a mess and her just tried to clean it up as best he could at the time. Putting Carter/Katar into Wonder Woman’s Justice League after Zero Hour probably didn’t help matters much either. Hard to tell stories about a character when nobody really knows anything about him yet, right?

    Kudos to Bass to referencing “Night Begins to Shine.” Easily one of the better moments from Teen Titans Go, and such a catchy little song.

    What, no mention that post-Zero Hour Hawkman gets his very own Total Justice action figure? Yeah, probably intentional.

  9. I reached allll the way back to 2013’s Who’s Who episode X and 2015’s Secret Origins Podcast #11 to compile a greatest hits compilation of my Hawkman experience. Then I didn’t feel like rereading it for relevance, so here’s the short version.

    1966 Hawkman & Justice League of America shorts, weekday afternoons on UHF . Super Friends. Both also made me think the Atom was a bigger deal than he ever was. Super Powers figure; the absence of which should have clued me in on the whole Atom non-thing. Badass house ads for The Shadow War of Hawkman. Appearances in Justice League International circa Millennium. Missed the start of Hawkworld for lack of comic shop, then inflated cover price.

    I definitely recall buying the gold foil gimmick cover Hawkman #1 and not liking it enough to continue, at least partially from its clearly taking place in the middle of a story begun in the previous volume. Somebody decided in the 1990s that they didn’t need to carefully orient new readers at entry points like a debut issue, and I feel we’re still paying the price for that. The Bloodlines tie-in annual at least explained what was going on there, as the previous volume had left Katar, Shayera, and Count Viper in each others’ bodies. The quickest path to a successful relaunch is to intentionally misidentify all of the lead characters and carry over a convoluted story arc from a semi-obscure 30-odd issue series and then have the entire creative team leave half a year later.

    As part of my remedial course in DC history around 1994, I bought a slim trade paperback collecting the Joe Kubert-drawn Hawk stories of the early 1960s, which revealed to me that I find Gardner Fox scripts to be exceedingly dull. I got back issues of Shadow War that were much better, but did not live up to the ads. The ongoing series that launched out of the mini traded Alfredo Alcala inks for Don Heck, so you could immediately see the overall sharp decline in quality between the two editions.

    I picked up the Hawkworld mini-series in trade paperback, and Katar Hol’s turn as a junkie corrupt cop who murders a would-be benefactor while detoxing basically ruined the character for me. I couldn’t forgive him, even as I compiled a set of the Hawkworld ongoing series. I read the first year’s Byth mercilessly bloated arc, and a few more besides, but it just didn’t grab me. There was the annual that tried to tie the Golden and Modern Age Hawkmanses in the least organic ways possible, plus that issue where they explained away the Post-Crisis Hawk appearances as Thanagarian spies under false identities to gain the JLA’s trust. It was one extravagant, unnecessary lie after another, papering over history with Post-It notes, as told by a string of indistinct, undesirable spokespersons. ’90s Hawkman was the Trump presser of continuities, and that more than anything inevitably rendered the character toxic.

    In all of his incarnations, Hawkman looks cool and has wicked weapons. William Messner-Loebs had converted me into a hardcore Wonder Woman fan, so I had high hopes he could finally get Hawkman over in the same way. I’m not a fan of Steve Lieber on his best day, which these weren’t, and the bleak, violent stories were misaligned with Loebs’ writing strengths. After decades of Hawkman being a poster boy for white conservative super-heroes, his suddenly growing his hair out and claiming to be part Cherokee left a foul taste in my mouth. I loathed all that Downsider Dr. Moreau stuff with the terrible wannabe cyberpunk juxtoportmanteauonanations. The collapse of Thanagar and revelation that all nth metal was derived from an enslaved god reeked. I ultimately was wishing they’d just kill Katar and let Carter Hall take over.

    I blame editorial for most of this. I believe one of Zero Hour‘s stated purposes in interviews was to “fix” Hawkman, and I believe everything down to his post-event redesign was courtesy of Dan Jurgens. I believe Loebs had marching orders to resolve all the Downsider stuff and to work in the Golden Age Hawks. It was all plotting by committee bulletpoints.

  10. I have a (hopefully) fun question for the next episode. In this episode, Siskoid mentions “stupid powers” so in the tradition of imagining yourselves with superpowers, if you could give any “stupid super power” to each other, what would you give? XD

  11. In Hawkworld #23 it was retconned that the Hawkman that was in the J.L.I. he was a Thanagarian spy pretending to be Carter Hall jr. that married a human woman to infiltrate the J.L.I. as Hawkman & Hawkwoman & during Invasion she found him out & he killed her , then Martian Manhunter killed him .

  12. It’s the rare exception when an out-of-continuity story transitions to being in-continuity well. The only example I can think of doing that well was “Truth” featuring Captain America, which added a fascinating history to the hero’s origin without adversely affecting him, and inspiring other interesting stories.

    Hawkworld … did not. I loved the mini and the series, but I’ll say it, in terms of DC continuity, it was a mistake to do it. Which pains me because I legit enjoy those versions of Katar and Shayera. But it saddles the characters with unnecessary baggage.

    It’s also frustrating that overall, I think the stories are entertaining. But the conclusion of this arc completely unsettled me. Merging Katar, Carter, AND Shiera? Biological wings? Struggling and sometimes tormented by those combined memories and more? It just wasn’t fun to read, even in the “give the hero obstacles to overcome” sense. I’m also hard-pressed to remember why I didn’t drop the book.

    Great coverage of the issues, guys! Till next time!

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