The DC television universe is adding yet another classic iconic character to its roster of heroes, as Hawkman has been cast for the CW’s upcoming Legends of Tomorrow series. Stepping into the role of the winged warrior will be German actor Falk Hentschel, who will aslo play the role on The Flash and Arrow, before appearing in Legends, which is set to debut mid-season. Hentschel was most recently seen playing a Hydra agent last season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as the Johnny Depp movie Transcendence.
The version of Hawkman they’re going with is the original Carter Hall version, who, in the comics, was the latest reincarnation of the Egyptian Prince Khufu, a man who is fated to be reborn again and again throughout time along with his soulmate, Kendra Saunders (better known as Hawkgirl, played by Ciara Renée). Like Kendra, Carter can access the powers of the Hawk God, Horus, transforming him into the winged warrior known as Hawkman. This is different from the classic comics, where Carter created artificial wings using an ancient technology called Nth Metal. Hawkman first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940, along with the Jay Garrick version of the Flash, who is also debuting in the DC TV universe this season, played by actor Teddy Sears.
The comic book Hawkman has a rather complicated history. The Golden Age version, which appeared from 1940 till about the early ’50s, used the ancient Egyptian/reincarnation angle to explain the hero’s origin. When the character was brought back in the Silver Age in the ’60s, along with new versions of The Flash and Green Lantern, he was given a new origin: instead of using ancient Egypt as their template, this version was an alien policeman from the planet Thanagar.
Unfortunately, unlike the new versions of the Flash and Green Lantern, who were given new costumes and new identities under the mask to instantly differentiate them from their predecessors, alien Hawkman and Egyptian Hawkman were both named Carter Hall and both wore almost the exact same costume. This, of course, led to years of confusion and instances where the two different versions of the characters were fused together. (The Justice League Unlimted animated series took this approach as well.) So although it looks like they’re going with the original version of the Hawks, don’t be surprised if the alien world of Thanagar doesn’t end up figuring into their story somehow as well. With DC CCO Geoff Johns overseeing these shows, expect all the comics lore to ultimately figure into it all.
IMAGE: Phillip Tan, Savage Hawkman #1, 2011