A blast from the past
The first Hawkman I ever knew was the guy from the Silver Age -- Katar Hol, who along with his wife Shiera, had come to Earth from distant Thanagar, a futuristic planet patrolled by a force of winged 'hawk police', of which both Hols were badge carrying members. (Their 'badges', in this case, being their great big wings that were supposedly made out of 'nth metal', although as Joe Kubert drew them, they looked pretty damned feathery to me.)
The Silver Age Hols were pretty goddam goofy folks, as I've explicated at length in this essay. Somehow or other, these frickin' alien infiltrators managed to snag cushy jobs in Midway City as museum curators, which greatly facilitated their covert careers as masked (and winged) vigilantes, because unlike most other superheroes of the time, they weren't content to simply wade into thugs and criminals with their bare hands and feet, oh no. They literally went all medieval on crime's collective ass, swiping maces and swords and spears and polearms and ancient friggin' crossbows from their museum's exhibits and employing them with insane (but never deadly) abandon against any outlaw injudicious enough to cross their flightpaths.
All of this weirdness came about due to the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl characters being largely based on their Golden Age forebears. The editors of National Comics at the time wanted to conserve as many of the characterization elements of the original Hawkman and Hawkgirl as they possibly could, and that included the basic costumes, the great big wings, the names, and the penchant for beating the jesus out of their bad guys with medieval weapons. Mind you, all this made a great deal more sense for the first set of Hawk-heroes, who were an archaelogist and his wife who were actually the reincarnations of... okay, never mind, go read the other essay if you want all that.
Suffice to say, the Golden Age Carter and Shiera Hall had slightly more sensible reasons to be whipping around the night skies of Midway City bashing the christ out of anyone who looked at them cross eyed with an arsenal clearly borrowed from the History Channel, than alien cops from a futuristic world who had traveled here to 'learn Earthly police techniques' would.
Despite the Silver Age Hawkman's innate and irrefutable coco-puff level craziness as a character, I liked him just fine, probably because I was something like 9 years old the first time I read one of his adventures, and also because he was generally drawn by Joe Kubert in his solo strip. Also, there's just something very viscerally satisfying to a pre-adolescent comics fan about a guy with great big wings who swoops down out of the sky and clocks the bad guy in the melon with a gigantic spiked club, dude. I mean, that TOTALLY rawks. This was a character whose powers were kind of dumb and pansy-ass (I mean, basically, he flies, and he hits people with clubs, and, well, sometimes he talks to birds, too, I mean, jesus help us all, but yeah, he really did) but he was a member of the JLA and folks like Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman and Green Lantern and the Atom all seemed to have a lot of respect for him, and he looked really cool in his own mag with that insanely bad ass Joe Kubert art, and I wasn't very discriminating back then, and a flame that burns in the heart of a 9 year old can never truly be extinguished, so, yeah... mock me if you must (or even if, y'know, you just find it to be a cheap thrill) but I really like the Silver Age Hawkman.
Now, you can go over here and read Mike Norton's excellent and very thorough write up of the current Hawkman REV that will be coming out in the upcoming ORIGINS set. And if you do that, you will note that every single new version of Hawkman has super-strength somewhere on his dial.
Now, super strength is a wonderful power and certainly, this new prevalence of super strength for Hawkman helps to explain why somebody in the new Justice League comic book referred to Hawkman as a 'tank'. And it makes the character much more something to be reckoned with by the standards of your generally moronic Modern Age fan, who pretty much feels that all male characters should be able to knock down a building and all female characters should wear thongs, fish nets, and halter tops at every opportunity. And I also understand that the character has been ret-conned and we are now supposed to accept that he has always been able to somehow harness the anti-gravity effect of his nth metal wings (or harness, or whatever) to effectively give him super-strength (by letting him negate the weight of huge objects and thus lift them into the air), and nowadays, the nth metal just straight up somehow augments his physical strength itself, making him Mighty, Mighty.
And that's okay; it won't keep me from liking the character when I see him in JSA or JLA, and it wouldn't keep me from reading his own title if they'd just get an actual writer back on it again.
But here's the thing -- this ain't my Hawkman.
My Hawkman doesn't have super-strength.
Now, it should be noted somewhere that the ORIGIN Hawkman is actually the second version WizKids has given us. The first version was so horrifyingly and appallingly bad that, well, we must never speak of it, except to say, his BEST ATTACK VALUE, on his OPENING SLOT, was an 8. An 8. I mean, Jesus Fucking Christ, why not just do a sculpt of him in a pinafore and a sun bonnet and call him Hawbecca of Sunnybrook Farms, if you're going to give him a fucking EIGHT. There are nameless thugs with higher attacks. A Hawkman with an 8 attack is all but useless; on an average dice roll of 7, the best he can hit is an opposing figure with a 15 Defense Value or less. The Penguin could beat this version of Hawkman into unconsciousness with a jelly donut. He's useless, pointless, and stupid... and yet, this version of Hawkman, with no powers showing on his dial besides Charge and Close Combat Expert, is much, much closer to being an accurate representation of Hawkman as he was depicted in comic books throughout the Golden and Silver Ages, than any of the ORIGIN versions will be.
Because, as I've already mentioned, in the Golden and Silver Ages, Hawkman did not have Super Strength. Oh, sure, the folks in charge of the character are saying NOW that, retroactively, they've gone back and given him Super Strength, so in any flashbacks to the 40s or 50s or 60s we might see from now on in a Modern Age comic, the artists can depict him doing superstrengthy stuff and It's All Right, Mama, It's All Right. But this is a ret-con. The Hawkman I read about as a kid did not have Super Strength. He was, as stated, very much like the original Hawkman WizKids gave us, except, you know, he had a waaaaay better attack. And maybe some Toughness. And a little bit of Flurry, so he could pummel someone twice in one turn (since he often carried gigantic medieval weapons in each hand, as he's depicted doing in his original WK sculpt). And I don't know, a range attack, for all those times when he had a crossbow, or ninja throwing stars, or something, would have been nice.
But mostly, for a real Silver Age Hawkman, the first version WK gave us would have been fine, if he'd just had, like, a single slot with an 11 attack, with a steady decline in attack values of 10-9-9-9-8, and then KO. That would have been fine.
Instead, WK gives us a new Hawkman, and, yeah baby, he's heavy duty rock and roll and no mistake. But he's still not MY Hawkman.
This... THIS is my Hawkman.
No Super Strength here, but my Hawkman, the Silver Age Hawkman, didn't pick up Volvos and hit people over the head with them, anyway. This guy has a great attack, lots of Charge, some Flurry, reasonable damage for a mesomorphic medieval maniac with a mace, some Toughness, some range strike... he's pretty much the whole package. And, he's got the JLA Team Ability, so even after he gets knocked down his dial past his best stat values, I can still use my homegrown JLA TA to keep him in there pummeling for a while. He's my guy. The Hawkman the World Awaited, or, at least, that I've been looking for.
And, what is he? He's a stinking prize-only Limited Edition, available exclusively to people who go to tournaments and win prizes at them. Can't get him out of a booster. The best I can hope for is to find him as a single at one of the local shops, where he'll probably cost (if I'm lucky) $10 or $15.
This just annoys the CRAP out of me.
Ah, well. At least WK actually made a version of one of my favorite characters that I actually like.
These days, that in and of itself is very nearly a miracle.