Arrowed: Hawkworld

The feature inspired by great cosplay and fan art where I imagine various DC properties taken to the small screen and wonder aloud just what their shows would be like. Today's pitch: Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
Hawkgirl cosplay by: Gina B Cosplay; photo by FirstPerson Shooter; edited by The Nerd Church Podcast (DeviantArt page)
Hawkman cosplay by: Aaron Grigg (Flickr page)

I believe with every fiber of my being that the Hawkman/Hawkgirl franchise has suffered every time the two characters have been apart. Rather than give top billing to either character, the TV show should just take the Hawkworld title, ensuring it's about the PAIRING, and not any one character. And if it's gonna be Hawkworld, then it really needs to be about the space cops version of the idea, and not the Egyptian reincarnations. The 90s Ostrander series is actually a good template for television. TV already knows how to write cop dramas, and the militaristic uniforms designed by Tim Truman have the realistic grit that would sell the idea of winged men and women to the studio execs, but as you can see above, more classic feathered looks are pretty cool too. Katar and Shayera don't even have to be a couple, as per that series, just partners, though my preferred iteration is the sexy married couple from the Silver Age. Maybe it's something to work towards.

And of course, the show would spend at least SOME time on Thanagar where the Hawks' higher-ups and family, Byth, Hyathis and Ambassador Kanjar Ro. On Earth, our heroes would liaise with a local police department, which would account for the rest of a fairly large and complex cast. Villains? The Hawks don't have a particularly large rogues' gallery. Byth is perhaps the template. There are aliens among us and the heroes must help Earth root them out. It's an alien conspiracy story, with crime of the week episodes and plenty of subplots on two (or more!) worlds. Adam Strange would be introduced at some point to set up the season 3 Rann-Thanagar War. Because obviously.

But perhaps you have different ideas. There HAVE been quite a number of different versions of these characters after all.


Eric TF Bat said...

The problem with the Hawks is always going to be the wings: nobody has ever made wings look anything other than silly. Consider Hawkman in Smallville, or Manny the angel in Constantine, or probably countless others.

So the way I see it, there are three possibilities. First and least likely: find a way to make feathered wings look reasonable. Second: follow the 90s-era method and make them out of metal, as simple as possible. Third: do it as a comedy.

Jeff R. said...

I'd be tempted to steer into the pre-origin trend and do Hawkworld (or "Thanagar", even) as out-and-out science fiction that never goes near Earth except maybe to cross over with another DC show. Between the internal class struggles, war with Rann, and interactions with every other DC present-day space property, there'd be enough material there for something.

And yes, Metal wings. Nth Metal wings.

(Can't say I like the new format, but maybe it'll grow on me.)

Siskoid said...

Yes, as a sort of sci-fi Game of Thrones, it could work!

As for the new look, barely minutes old at this point, I was looking for something that could feature more articles at a glance, without scrolling. When you've got 6000+ posts, that kind of thing becomes an issue.

American Hawkman said...

As my handle should show, I have strong, borderline insane, feelings about this. :) First off, Hawkworld is a very good template. You almost HAVE to use it to get a Shayera with a distinct attitude, anyway. :) Adapting the mini as a whole, with the first issue of the regular as a two-part opening episode is the way to go. The Dale Cooper-style Katar from the mini falling in love with Earth culture is a strong narrative choice too, as is giving Shayera the "spying on Katar for back home" subplot. First season arc being "find Byth", with Byth empowering the Shadow-Thief along the way is the way to go. Add in Gentleman Ghost sniping at Katar for reasons Katar isn't sure of (because he's the reincarnation of Carter Hall.), Shayera's poor, doomed boyfriend and Mavis Trent, and have Brandon Routh guest star as Ray Palmer, striking up a friendship with Katar as he tries to adapt Thanagarians tech. Good stuff, and worthy of several seasons.

Siskoid said...

I knew I could count on you, and apologize for taking this long to Arrow it! :)

American Hawkman said...

Well, it's certainly appreciated. :) Hawkworld would just be great as a series. It's essentially Law and Order, with a healthy dose of the Mos Eisely cantina and some 24 mixed in for good measure. I'm actually really surprised that, say, Syfy hasn't taken a run at it.

Andrew said...

What if we split the difference between Carter and Katar, SHIELD/Agent Carter style? Half the season we get Thanagarian space-cop shenanigans. The other half is our favorite reincarnated Egyptians both fighting what passes for their rogues gallery (all empowered with lost/stolen/smuggled alien tech) and crossing over with Flash and Arrow.

Mostly, I want to see Hawkman/Green Arrow arguments written by someone more talented than the Smallville staff.

Anonymous said...

The new site look is frightening me maaaaan! The room is spinning! Make it stop!

(It's actually nice, but I fear change.)

How I would do Hawkman and/or Hawkgirl. The problem is that, while visually neat, flight is a pretty dull power to focus on. Therefore, shift the focus to something else already in the Hawkman concept.

DC Comics has a number of ancient heroic ages; what if there was a great warrior from one of them named Katar Hol, who once bested an evil sorcerer and took his "enchanted" wings. Then shift him to the present. This puts the focus on his warriorness and time-lostedness rather than "behold, a man who can DEFY GRAVITY!" (If you like, you can set Katar Hol's heroic age on Thanagar in the ancient past.)

The big problem with this is, for all the spins they've tried on Hawkman and Hawkgirl, it keeps coming back to the wings: if you've got a character with wings, how do you not make the wings central to every damn thing the character does? Visuals like those are always going to dominate, and they are likely to drive the storytelling.

Anonymous said...

... perhaps the wings and armor are not part of what he normally wears, he only puts them on when he's going to war? Like the fire on the top of Flaming Carrot, wings mean Hawkman means business.

Siskoid said...

The new site scares me too, Anon, if that's any comfort.

Also scary: Comparing Hawkman to Flaming Carrot.

Your point about the wings is well taken, and I'd imagine a TV show version would have them strapping on the wings when necessary, but lots of scenes without them. But I don't think the focus SHOULD be the wings - which has perhaps been a problem with how the character's been written, I don't know - not when there's so much else to focus on. My favorite is the fact this is a crimefighting COUPLE, but there's all the alien stuff, the cop stuff, etc. as well.

American Hawkman said...

Yeah, the wings basically have to be a minor feature to really get at what makes Hawkman cool. My own version of the script has Katar in wings for about five minutes of the first episode, for instance. (Much cooler to have Katar as the oddball in Thanagarian society than as the grim face of it.)

Doc_Loki said...

I agree with all those who were suggesting doing the wings in style of the Hawkworld era comics - feathered ones are always going to look dumb, but purely mechanical ones, a la the Falcon's in "Winter Soldier" can look badass. They also should follow Falc's lead and have them retractable, which makes them a less visually dominating element when not in use.

Plotwise, the Ostrander era is definitely the way to go, although I'd run a change up on the reincarnation theme: Katar and Shayera come to earth, and learn that they're not the first hawkpeople, but they're not the reincarnations - although hereditary villains will mistake them for such. The resolution can go one of two ways - Thanagarian Chariots of the Gods, or the introduction of the latest human incarnations. Or both, I guess.

Anonymous said...

The wings should be retractable and they only pop them out for flight.

Unknown said...

I like Hawkworld in general for the basis of a series, but I think the sci-fi angel should be downplayed. Hawkworld could simply refer to the class struggles going on in a major city, which was Chicago in Ostrander series. They could go with the reincarnation version. Have Carter and Shiera as partners on a big city police force who discover Nth metal weapons they use to become Hawkman and Hawkwoman. They could slowly reveal the back story of Thanagar and the Ancient Egyptian reincarnation as the series proceeds. For starters it should just be a straight crime series where the main characters find mysterious weapons. In fact I think they should each find an Nth weapon that can morph into various weapons and separates and covers their bodies to form the armor with retractable wings.


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