Why Isn’t Hawkman Successful?

Over at the DC History Club we had a poll to select among Blue Beetle Hawkman and Huntress

Out of 32 votes Hawkman had a max of 8 currently 6 votes.

Since Hawkman wont be covered for a while in my club

I am copying / pasting the material I prepared in case Hawkman was Selected

Hawkman

Police Officer from the planet Thanagar, married to his partner Hawkgirl
Or
Reincarnated Egyptian with sometime partner with no memory of their previous love?

Katar Hol ot Carter Hall?

Shayera Hol or Kendra Saunders?

What to Read and Watch

Justice League Unlimited
Ancient History
Geoff Johns ties Thanagar and Reincarnation together

https://www.dcuniverse.com/videos/justice-league-unlimited/148

1960 Brave and Bold 34 42 Thanagar

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/8a0324c2-8da9-4fea-ab0c-21682cb24e7d

2002 Hawkman Geoff Johns 1 to 4 Reincarnated

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/81fcd59b-8f2a-4593-931e-199d46e615f2

2010.Blackest Night 8 page 27

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/2146dada-eb15-4169-b0bf-3f8c8a3c4a7e

2018 Hawkman by Robert Venditti Hawkman reincarnates in Space and Time

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/71510963-4281-4d54-8fb2-14783fcba68f

Thanagar is now a warlike planet
Unlike Brave and Bold 42
Blame
1989 Hawkworld by Timothy Truman

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/aad5f7a0-b808-4b61-9444-808d07c90ae7

Other Recommendations on.Best Hawkman titles

5 Likes

I’ve really only liked one Hawkman series, the aforementioned Hawkworld. I think my problem with Hawkman is that every solo series I’ve ever read of his seems hellbent on fixing his muddled continuity, that includes the current Venditti one. It makes the books feel more like editorial housecleanings than stories, and it makes me uninterested. That said, I do like the character in other things, such as Justice League appearances and guest spots. What I like about Hawkworld is that it just doesn’t bother with prior continuity. It gives our main character and setting a singular origin and then tells actual stories, instead of No Prizing its way through years of contradictions and continuity errors.

5 Likes

I think on the surface Hawkman look cool and seems like a good idea. The problem is there has really not be a “definitive” version or story of the character that draws your attention to him. He has been featured in a couple of live action roles (Smallville, Legends of Tomorrow), but in both cases looked rather silly. If they do him right in a feature film, and make him not seem so ridiculous, then I think you might start to see the meter turn up for him as a character.

3 Likes

Golden Age Hawkman was one of the nicest space-cops of all time.

4 Likes

I read Death of Hawkman-hoping that it would be interesting and would help me get into the character, but it just wasn’t that good in my opinion. It’s like the Inhumans with Marvel-you can push a character(s), but unless you have the writing to make them interesting, they won’t attract enough of an audience. They need someone like Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek or Mark Waid to sink their teeth into the character.

1 Like

That’s my feelings too. Hawkworld was great. It wasn’t even the same character. I thought it was great. Why they keep bringing back the Golden and Silver Age version is beyond me. It’s too far gone to get it all back now.

2 Likes

If Grant Morrison got ahold of Hawkman it would be even more confusing. Vendetti has done a great job this time around with decluttering Hawkman’s many lives.

5 Likes

Grant did write Hawkman, but DC decided to replace him with an original character. His history was too convoluted. A stand-in was created. Zauriel was a Hawkman substitute of sorts.

4 Likes

Preach

2 Likes

Hawkworld was the definitive version of Hawkman. It tackled the continuity problems in the Annuals. If you were a casual reader, you didn’t miss anything by skipping the annuals. If you were invested in the character, the Annuals were a bonus.
That’s how crossovers should be done.

5 Likes

Total agreement!

2 Likes

I actually really enjoyed the new Hawkman series. I think the writer is doing a great job handling everything especially when made part of the Infected. The newest storyline started off well and still looking forward to the newest issue. I think the biggest thing that hurt him was he was basically forgotten for amounts of years in the DCU and Kendra gained popularity. When he was brought back after Metal, I have always loved Hawkman as a character so I picked up the newest series. People have been tightening their belts in regards to comics for a while now. When I went to get my books at the shop, people were not buying a lot. You had some people who bought lots of stuff, but most people were waiting for trades when I asked. I have had a lot of books that I’ve liked that weren’t commercially successful. It’s just seems like it happens more frequently to me. Maybe I’m completely wrong… oh well…

4 Likes

I view him and Hawk girl as better supporting characters and lancers than leads.

4 Likes

Plenty of lesser supporting characters have had lasting series in the past though. Hawkman has never broken 50 issues. I know these did.

Starman
Azrael
Booster Gold
Steel
Deathstroke
Firestorm
Impulse
The Spectre
JSA (with Hawkman)

Even Vigilante broke 50 issues once. :man_shrugging:

You could argue Azrael and Impulse were successful due to connections to bigger characters, but the rest got by on their own. Hawkman is way more familiar to casual readers than Starman, but Starman was soooo good.

I guess my thinking is if a comic was good then that used to be enough. I’m going to have to agree that Hawkman failed this time due to people being more selective due to budgets.

2 Likes

Well, none of those characters’ runs make them really any different from Hawkman. They all had one or two respected solo series, and otherwise (almost) exclusively do well in a group setting. Hawkman has Hawkworld. Starman only has the James Robinson run. Spectre has the Ostrander series, Impulse has Waid, et cetera.

3 Likes

@Batwing52 That’s my point exactly. Except they had critically well received runs that lasted much longer.

3 Likes

Golden Age Hawkman wasn’t a space cop though. That was Silver Age Hawkman, right?

3 Likes

Terrifics starting out being a fantastic four knockoff was odd, but that was the New Age of Heroes thing overall

This run tried to give a definitive origin and while ok, isn’t the thing to get massive readers onboard. If you don’t care about a character, why would an origin story get you excited. It is popular with Hawkman fans, but like you’ve been saying, there aren’t much around. I also think 12 issues to tell the origin was too long for some, and then it became a year of the villain and then infected book.

3 Likes

I don’t think the Hawks are popular or successful solo characters because DC inexplicably thinks it’s necessary to overly complicate their history and the stories that are told about them.

Take them off of Earth, make them cops on Thanagar, and give them “homegrown” threats to fight, and voila, you’ve got a simple story that anybody can follow.

5 Likes