A special focus on Hawkman and Hawkgirl's many lives in many centuries from the beginning till now

Hawkman and Hawkgirl are said to have lived more than a thousand lives in different incarnations over the past centuries, and this section is dedicated to writing about the many sightings and possibilities of when and what lives they've lived for centuries over.

The beginning -- ancient Egyptian period (circa 1663 B.C -- 15th dynasty)

First, as the story was first presented in Flash Comics #1 Vol. 1, we had prince Khufu Kha-Tarr and princess Chay-Ara, the two noble figures of royalty who were best known for their being anti-slavery, and who had to fight to put a stop to the evil kingdom that Hath-Set, who became their leading arch-nemesis, came from. But while they managed to defeat said kingdom of the times, they were sadly slain by the cursed dagger used by Hath-Set, which he forged from Ninth Metal, when he snuck up on them in a temple in those ancient times, before being put to death himself by the rest of Khufu's army. (See also Secret Origins #11, where the story was retold.)

Thus began the cycle of reincarnation of these three individuals in many eras to follow.

Roman Empire period (100 A.D)

There is the possibility that Hawkman for one was reincarnated as a Roman legionnaire in the time of the Roman empire. And that he may have been slain by Hath-Set, who may have in turn been reincarnated as a soldier from a rival army. This possibility was suggested in the 26th issue of volume four.
Speaking of which, Hawkman # 25 volume 3 featured a gladiator named Abrihim Barabbas, who was transformed into an angelic winged warrior known as Gabriel. He died while fighting a demonic lion-man, which could very well have been a precursor to Lion-Mane, the crook who first appeared in Hawkman #20 vol. 1 in 1967.

Ancient medival England period (500 A.D)

In this era, a stable boy named Brian Kent, with the help of a falcon named Slasher, takes up the guise of the Silent Knight to battle the tyranny of his uncle, the sinister Sir Oswald, and to defend the honor of Lady Celia Penbrook. The story was originally featured in The Brave and the Bold #1-22, and was later updated in Secret Origins #49.

Medival England period, 11th-12th century (1079-1142)

In Hawkman #29 Volume 4, it's strongly hinted that Peter Abalard, a novelist, was a past life of Carter's. In this issue, Carter was showing Domina a love letter Abalard wrote his beloved Heloise.

Medival France, 14th century

In a conversation with Hawkwoman Shayera Thal, in volume 4's 16th issue, Carter mentions that he was an archer in ancient France, “some six hundred years ago.”

15th century period (1452-1483)

In this era, Carter lived a life as a bishop in medival England, as was told in Hawkman #26 Volume 4. He knew a soldier in that time named Thomas whom he thought had died in a battle, but who was reborn in the 20th century as a vampire named Gray, and who then tried to attack Hawkgirl and turn her into a vampire as well. Luckily, Hawkman was able to trap him in an office complex, where he used some blessed holy water to destroy both Gray and his gang of other vampires, and to heal Hawkgirl of any influence the vampire's attack caused.

(It's possible that even beforehand, Carter had been incarnated as an English knight himself, and the Stonechat Museum contains at least one suit of armor that suggests that.)

15th-16th century period (1483-1514, and 1535-1580)

Possibly a protagonist named Koenraad Von Grimm for starters, then he was reincarnated as a personal bodyguard of Sonam Gyatso, the Third Dalai Lama, who lived from 1543-1588. (Hawkman #37 Vol. 4) Carter said he spent “several decades” as Gyasto’s personal guard, though because his next life, as John Smith (the explorer from England who met the Indian tribe of Pocahontas), was born in the year that this previous life ended, it's not entirely clear.

16th-17th century period (1580-1631)

In Hawkman #18 Vol. 4, it's suggested that Carter may have been reborn as the British explorer John Smith, who met the Indian tribe of Pocahontas in his time. I'm sure this was just a suggestion though.

17th century period (1632)

An alleged sorcerer known as the Purple Pilgrim is sentenced to death by Judge Sanders. The Pilgrim responds by cursing him "and all who may come after you and bear your hated name." Viewing the man's punishment as unjust, a faction of the community decides "to cut themselves off from the colonies" and move to a completely isolated area known as Hidden Valley.

Later on, a would-be thief discovers Hidden Valley and the legend of the Purple Pilgrim. Claiming to be a descendant of the 17th Century villain, the new Purple Pilgrim appears to renew the old feud with the Sanders family when he murders four members of the clan. Choosing his targets on the basis of their wealth, the Pilgrim also loots their properties in the course of the attacks. After Shiera is attacked and kidnapped, Carter trails her to the Purple Pilgrim's safe house in Hidden Valley to rescue her, and convinces the reclusive community that they have been duped. This story was first told back in Flash Comics #86 Volume 1.

18th-19th century period

A flashback panel in the 4th issue of volume 4 indicates that Carter may have once been reincarnated as a black slave, at the time slavery was being legalized in the old US. Some later issues also featured this too, with Shiera also seen in a previous incarnation as a black slave, and together they fled from a plantation ruled by Hath-Set's incarnation of the time.

19th century western period (1865-1892)

Issue #7 of volume 4 revisions the old DC western hero Nighthawk, first seen in Western Comics #5 in October 1948, as having been Carter back in those times, and Sheira as having been the female gunfighter named Cinnamon, first seen in Weird Western Tales #48 in September/October 1978. The two of them would meet cute in St. Roch (time setting being around 1898, to say the least) and pair up for many other adventures, the first one being to help out Cyrus Evans, the ancestor of Oliver Evans, who was falsely charged with slaying his boss, the owner of the estate that would in time become the Stonechat Museum in St. Roch. (Issue #18 also contains some more of that story.)

Not only that, it even indicates that Nighthawk once met the bounty hunter Jonah Hex during his adventures in the old west. As for Hath-Set, it would seem as if he'd been reincarnated, most eerily enough, as Matilda Dunney, the real culprit responsible for the death of Evans' boss, unless what Dunney actually was was an ancestor of Helene Astar, one of Hath-Set's own descendants who'd tried to menace Infinity Inc. during the 1980's.

Special section: Western Incarnation Profiles

Late 19th-early 20th century period (1892-1917)

Carter lived a brief life as a detective named Jimmy Wright, and Shiera as a femme fatale named Sheila Carr, as told in Hawkman #27 Vol. 4. Wright tripped to St. Roch to investigate a case involving a local crime boss at the time named Big Louie Moretti, one of Hath-Set's incarnations from then, and ran into Carr, an old flame of his, who was serving as a moll for Big Louie's mob. When he finally traced Big Louie, he found that the gangster had engineered their meeting, claiming a past hatred of both Jimmy and Sheila. Helping Sheila escape, Jimmy suddenly realised who she was - the woman he has loved through all his many lives - and they were united for a few seconds before being gunned down by Moretti, who was none other than an incarnation of their old enemy, Hath-Set.

An interesting aside, there is a supporting character here called Sam, a friend of Wright's, who may be intended to be Samuel Dashiell Hammet, the famous mystery novelist who wrote the classic Thin Man and the Maltese Falcon. The writer of this issue, of course, is Ed Brubaker, who began as a mystery/suspense novelist himself, and no doubt wrote this issue as a tribute to the works of Hammett.

20th century period (1920 and onwards)

The prince is reincarnated as Carter Hall, historian and artifact collector, and it was here that, after coming upon a Ninth Metal dagger in his collection and his exposure to its magical effects, that his memory for starters was restored, and eventually, his princess, reincarnated as Sheira Saunders, was restored too. So too in fact was Hath-Set's after a run-in with Carter, after which he tried to menace the two lovers, but luckily, they defeated him.

The rest, as they say, is now history.

Extra notes: Possibility of being a Japanese Samurai, either in the 13th or 19th centuries, seen in Hawkman #18 Vol. 4; Spanish swordsman, seen in Hawkman #9 Vol. 4; Aztec Warrior Priest, though it could also be another South American culture that isn't Aztec; Chinese Soldier; man from Tibet, all seen in Hawkman #12 Vol. 4. You could even include a scene from Hawkman #18 Vol. 4 that seemed to show Carter incarnated as a small bird, of all things, and Hath-Set as a vicious owl. Whenever that takes place isn't clear though.

"The past and present must work together, not independently. One learns from the other -- rejecting the bad, accepting the good." -- Hawkman, Flash Comics #67 Volume 1.

(Special thanks to David Endicott for providing some extra info/details for this section.)

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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