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Chasing the Past: Reflecting on the latest adventures of Hawkman

Hawkman’s newest journey will resonate with new and old fans.

Hawkman soared out of the recent Dark Nights: Metal event and made his return to the DC Universe. His latest adventures are being piloted by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch, who in Hawkman: Found set up his mission: to find his place in the universe. He is quickly learning answers and gaining insight in his new monthly series. Venditti and Hitch are pleasing long-time fans and new readers through excellent writing and beautiful art. They are literally giving the Thangarian hero some new lives thanks to Hawkman’s quest: chasing the past to find out who he is now. Many readers will undoubtedly empathize with that mindset.

New and old readers know that Carter Hall or Hawkman is all about the past. Carter Hall is a historian, archaeologist and lived multiple lives spanning thousands of years. This is where Robert Venditti comes in with a twist: Not only did Carter have reincarnations on Earth, but he had them on other planets too. Hall reincarnates throughout time and space. This forces Hawkman to look beyond Earth to figure out who he is.

We have all been or will be in Hawkman’s wings at some point of our lives. Attempting to find ourselves by looking into the past and remembering who we used to be. For us, it could be in the form of talking to someone we knew or looking through an album of old pictures. For Hawkman’s, it’s finding artifacts of his past lives. These are the clues he needs to find his true place in the world. This journey is one of Hawkman’s major point of existence.

As a student of history, I empathize with Carter Hall. It’s not an easy task to mine the past and figure out how it resonates today. Hawkman has a wealth of sources, but even that can be overwhelming because you don’t where to start. When you have the pieces to begin your search, you find that it leads to more clues and questions. This is the enjoyment of the task. I enjoy finding pieces of history and connecting them to others to find answers. In this process, you also learn from your mistakes. By studying history, you realize what works for you and what doesn’t in finding the information you need. For Hawkman, this takes in the form of relying on his skill set as a historian and archaeologist, rather than just being a Thangarian warrior. He traces down leads and clues with help from fellow experts (i.e Madame Xanadu and the Atom).

Carter Hall is doing what he is meant to do. Finding the past as historian and archaeologist for his own answers.

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