Hawkman and Hawkgirl are working together again in Convergence, in a story that takes place right after the acclaimed Shadow War mini-series of the '80s.
Convergence: Hawkman, starring Katar and Shayera Hol, are being written by Jeff Parker, best known to DC fans for his work on Aquaman and Batman '66, with art by Tim Truman, who drew the popular Hawkworld mini-series that helped breathe new life into the Hawks in the early '90s.
In Convergence, the mega-event that takes over the DCU in April and May, this pre-Flashpoint, 1980's version of Hawkman and Hawkgirl have been captured inside a domed city. An evil version of Brainiac has stolen them from their own timeline — and has done the same to heroes and villains from throughout DCU history. During the third week of Convergence, the tie-in comics will focus on characters from the mid-'80s, around the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Newsarama talked with Parker about Convergence: Hawkman, how Shadow War directly ties into his story, and what Truman is bringing with him from Hawkworld.
Newsarama: Jeff, how did you get involved in Convergence, and why this story in particular?
Jeff Parker: Dan DiDio called and threw all these wild options at me and somehow I got my favorite version of Hawkman. Police enforcer from another planet who works in a natural history museum — now that’s just good comics.
Nrama: What appeals to you as a writer about Hawkman and Hawkgirl?
Parker: I really like the fact that the Hawks are a couple that make a good fighting/problem solving team. It’s a lot like what I’ve enjoyed in writing the adventures of Aquaman and Mera.
Nrama: Have you always been a fan of Hawkman, or did you have to do some research into his history?
Parker: This is one where the brunt of the attraction is from reading stories as a kid, usually reprints of Joe Kubert comics that I loved. That was the Hawkman I knew best, and since this is supposed to be that version, I didn’t need to do any research.
It’s interesting — Tim Truman is drawing that era of Hawkman, but adding in a little bit of detail you’d associate with his Hawkworld version, which fits neatly with the fact that this is a time and reality in flux.
Nrama: Yeah, what's it been like working with Tim Truman on these characters?
Parker: Like ‘wow!' He and Enrique Alcatena are amazing, and even better than they were on the already-great Hawkworld. So glad Marie Javins asked them to be part of this project, a real thrill for me.
Nrama: Where do we pick up the story of the Hawks in the first issue? What has just happened in their timeline when we meet them in this story?
Parker: This falls right after the Shadow War miniseries of the '80s, when we find that the Hawks’ homeworld of Thanagar has agents throughout the galaxy looking to undermine other civilizations. And they’re working on Earth, following Katar and Shayera Hol around, so they get pulled into the Convergence with the heroes.
Nrama: What is this Hawkman like? How would you describe him?
Parker: He’s noble but a little less stoic than before, generally on edge from being caught up in the world-changing scenario of Convergence.
Nrama: As you mentioned, you're using Shayera Hol. How would you describe her?
Parker: She’s more upbeat and assertive. It’s no secret that versions of Hawkwoman later usurped Hawkman in cartoons and comics. I try to infer that by beefing up her role.
Nrama: What's the main threat they come up against? These agents from Thanagar?
Parker: The Shadow agents break out a horrific threat from Hawkman’s past, and things go even stranger once they fly into the world of Kaman.
Nrama: Right — you're also getting to play with the concepts from that post-apocalyptic world. Was it one you were familiar with?
Parker: Yes, I’m a huge fan of that world. It was essentially Kirby taking the Planet of the Apes concept wider with every animal creature he wanted to draw and dropping in dozens of cool sci-fi concepts, any one of which could have been the basis for a book.
Nrama: Wiil we see Kamandi himself in your comic?
Parker: No, I figured Kamandi couldn't be everywhere in Convergence, so we see some freaky and deadly animal people.
Nrama: You're known for humor comics, but can you inject humor into a story of a character as serious as Hawkman?
Parker: Am I?
Nrama: Well, even Aquaman has its moments. Maybe I should say, you're known for humor in your comics.
Parker: I usually put in humor because it works well with tension — really, the only humor book I’ve done in quite a while is Angry Birds. I don’t think of Batman ’66 as comedy though a lot of people probably do.
All that said, [Convergence: Hawkman] isn’t a very funny story. It’s pretty intriguing though!
Nrama: I think that word would describe a lot of the match-ups in Convergence. To finish up the interview, Jeff, what do you think of the Convergence concept overall?
Parker: This is a well-crafted tapestry that allows for battles you never thought you’d see, and the creative teams have really poured themselves into it, to do justice to those earlier versions of the DC heroes.