Filed Under: Projects I’ll Never Get to Do

Posted: June 4, 2010 in Braak

All this talk of superheroes has renewed my interest in writing a series called something like Legends of Hawkworld:  a kind of sword-and-science alien pulp adventure that takes place on Thanagar (“Hawkworld”), hundreds of years before anyone has to give a shit about Hawkman or Hawkgirl.  It’d be some kind of wild, cosmic fantasy epic, that I could write without having to have to puzzle out the complicated continuity of Hawkman himself.

Which is good, because I don’t really LIKE Hawkman.  Or Hawkgirl, really.  I’m more interested in alien planets and cultures than I am in those two.


1)  Stories reflective of that early Conan civilization — a time just after the disappearance of Thanagar’s blood-thirsty monster gods, in which ancient super-science masquerades as magic, and monsters threaten the glittering towers of civilization.

2)  The wars of consolidation, in which the disparate nations and cultures of Thanagar are brought together; were they always so fascist?  Was Thanagar conquered by a maniacal despot?  Was their planet drawn together by the mutual desire to conquer other planets?  Did a kind of cultural revolution sweep across their world, or something?

3)  What’s the deal with the hawks?  Seriously, those guys are, like, obsessed with them.  You know that Thanagarians don’t ACTUALLY have wings, right?  They all just build their own personal wings and hawk helmets that they can wear around town.  The WHOLE PLANET does this.  Hawks.  Seriously.  Was it always like that?  Did there used to be other birds, like finches and bluejays and pelicans?  In Thanagar’s distant past were there tiger-people, or something?

4)  How long did it take to exorcise the demons of Thanagar’s ancient past?  How much influence did their monster-gods really have on the formation of their society?  Also:  man, there must have been a lot of tension between Thanagar’s upper classes (who live in floating cities and have fake wings) and their slave-classes (who are aliens that live in earthbound ghettos and, notably, do NOT have wings).

The society reflected here looks an awful lot like feudal Japan, and I think that’s a really strong model for some neat stories; taking some of those Japanese samurai stories (Seven Samurai, Yoshitsune, BLIND SWORDSMAN ZATOICHI!!!!) and recasting them in a slightly-alien, hawk-oriented setting.

This would be a fun, maybe twelve-issue miniseries.

  1. Jeff Holland says:

    I remember something from Hawkworld, some recorded speech by Katar Hol’s dad (who made the wing technology the Hawk/police force used) for why the planet was so into bird imagery, but it’s not coming to me right now. But it’s in there, so go look (I have it, I can lend it).

    Side-note: I recently read the trade of the last Hawkman reboot, and holy shit, it was like Geoff Johns was going out of his way to make Carter Hall a monstrous prick. I kept waiting for there to be some kind of counter-balance, like “Yes, but his douchey behavior serves THIS point” but it NEVER CAME.

    (I dunno, maybe it got addressed in a later chapter. Anyone ever read past issue 7? And if so: why?)

  2. braak says:

    Well, the official line (or, AN official line) is that Thanagar used to be a society without any kind of crime or anything, and then some crazy hawk-based thieves showed up and started being all, “Hey, crime is awesome!” and so they had to invent a hawk-police force to stop them. But that happened in the 80s; it seems implausible to me that the hawk-obsession is only one generation old. For real, are we saying that Thanagar has only been “Hawkworld” for a hundred years?

  3. braak says:

    Who do you even send comics pitches to? Warren Ellis had that thing about how to WRITE them, but not where they go–should I just write to Dan Didio? No, that’s too impersonal. Maybe I’ll just swing by his house. A couple times. A day.

    Yeah, that ought to do it.

  4. Jeff Holland says:

    I’ve heard he can be swayed by guys in trenchcoats holding boom boxes that play Peter Gabriel.

    I may have heard this from Joe Quesada.

  5. Erin says:

    “Did there used to be other birds, like finches and bluejays and pelicans?”

    Come on: why would there be finches on an alien world? It’s another planet, with its own evolutionary history and its species. You don’t really think it’s just full of Earth creatures, do you?

    Except for hawks, of course. Hawks exist on every planet. Also humans.

  6. braak says:

    I was assuming it was exactly like earth, except without a Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction Event, so all of the animals are birds and dinosaurs. Has DC ever mentioned anything about why the Rannians, the Thanagarians, and Humans all look kind of the same?

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