Fall of 2015 will be a great season for the CW channel returning with all of its great shows, particularly Flash and Arrow. Following the midseason debuts in 2016 we will see a new show, The Legends of Tomorrow. It features all of the heroes and villains we know and love: Arrow, Flash, Sara Lance, who is brought back from the dead as the White Canary, Captain Cold, his partner Heatwave, and Firestorm. We also see Jay Jackson, a character new and fresh to the DC Universe. And last, but not least, Hawkgirl.
Hawkgirl’s origin is unarguably the most complicated out of the team. Before becoming Kendra Saunders, Hawkgirl had been reincarnated many times, and her first life in the 19th century was the reason why. In Egypt, after a Thanagarian ship crashed in the desert, Prince Khufu, Nabu and Teth-Adam discovered remains, as well as an almost-dead female passenger, who later passes on. The Nth-metal from the ship was studied, and had been discovered to possess anti-gravity abilities, and the Thanagarian metal could even respond to one’s thoughts. The metal was used to create weapons used by Khufu, relics, a knife and even a battle glove. However, the metal had a side effect on the relationship between Khufu and his lover, Shayera. The metal both enhanced and cursed their love. It cursed them which prevented them from enjoying a peaceful afterlife, dooming all their future reincarnations. Inversely, these effects of the metal not only made their love much stronger, but also set a curse that would inevitably repeat for many generations.
Every time Khufu and Shayera met in their future lives, they would be killed by the reincarnated Hath-Set, who had killed them the first time when the apex of their true love was reached. Another part of the curse would include, that in a few reincarnations, Hawkgirl would not remember any of her past lives and would only receive information through flashbacks. However, this curse is met with a few perks such as, knowledge of Thanagarian tactics and weapons.
Hawkgirl has had very little media representation for her character(s), but we do see her in her the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons. While she is not the same reincarnation we will see in The Legends of Tomorrow, Shayera Hol adds an interesting aspect to the mix of things and appears to be different than Kendra Saunders. Shayera Hol comes from the planet Thanagar itself, and had been working undercover, while assisting in creating the Justice League. Her wings are organic and present at all times unlike Kendra’s, and her battle weapon was the Nth metal mace, as Kendra’s is predicted to be. It appears Kendra’s Hawkgirl form is different, whenever Kendra is provoked her true Hawkgirl form emerges. It will be interesting to see how Guggenheim, Kreisburg, Berlanti and other producers deal with flight, costume design and wings for Ciara’s character. Kendra’s backstory is much different than Shayera’s. She committed suicide and after dying her great-aunt’s soul, a former reincarnation, entered her body thus changing Kendra to Hawkgirl.
Unlike most DC characters, Hawkgirl’s been present in history during many ages and her presence could be parallelled to that of a goddess. With her long complicated history, her Thanagarian knowledge, battle skills, and overall charm, Hawkgirl’s presence on the screen will be refreshing to all viewers. With Ciara Renee cast to play this character we will see more representation for Black women and hopefully new ways to creatively present strong female characters. No matter the time period, the crisis, the reincarnation of Hawkgirl, we know her uttermost attention will be to do all she can to make sure things are right. Hawkgirl is the heroine for not just this century, but for all centuries.