If you thought Hawkman and Hawkgirl reincarnating was straightforward, strap in.
(Major Spoilers Incoming)
While the rest of the League is still recovering from the invasion of the ocean gods that attacked Earth and their encounter with the Legion of Doom during the Drowned Earth event, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl and Green Lantern John Stewart made their way to Thanagar Prime to seek answers from a being known as the Elder Martian about the new forces that were unleashed when the Source Wall broke. As the three heroes enter the planet’s atmosphere, they are stopped by Thanagarian Wingmen (think cops with giant metal wings and laser rifles). Before the situation is allowed to escalate however, the Wingmen are stopped by the new leader of the Thanagarian people: Shayera Hol aka Hawkgirl.
Wait a second. Shayera? As in the original Hawkgirl? What about the Hawkgirl with the League, Kendra? Aren’t they the same person, just reincarnated in different spots throughout time and space? I’ll touch more on this later, because this could have huge implications on not just Justice League, but on the current Hawkman series as well.
To continue, the two Hawkgirls come face to face and no one really says anything about it at first. They just continue as if this is a completely normal thing. Then again, this is the Justice League. Shayera reveals to the League that the Martian they hope can give them answers has died, offering her apologies to Martian Manhunter. While Shayera is clearly holding information from the League, it is her other self, Kendra, that cuts right to the point. She reveals that her wings have been glowing to form what she believes is a map. Kendra believes that this map could be the key to finding what the heroes of Earth need to fix the Source Wall and stop the end of the Multiverse. Shayera claims that she is unable to read the map, but offers for the League to be her guests at a festival that night. Later while preparing for the festival, the heroes have a moment to themselves for the first time in a long time. While Green Lantern marvels at the architectural possibilities that Nth Metal could provide, Kendra starts breaking down what I was thinking for the entire issue: How is any of this possible? As she states, if they actually are the same person, how can the two of them be there at the same time? Kendra states, “The laws of nature aren’t working here. There’s something else powering this world. Something…dark.”
At the festival, Kendra and J’onn discuss how he must feel now that he truly is the last Green Martian in the universe. In an attempt to cheer him up, Kendra invites him to dance, but J’onn refuses out of respect to his late wife. Before she can apologize, they are interrupted by Shayera. Manhunter excuses himself, as Kendra confronts her other self. She tells Shayera that she could tell she was lying when the subject of the map came up. Shayera admits to knowing what was going on, and that the pattern on Kendra’s wings was not a map, but something bigger. Shayera admits that she is frightened by what has been going on in the Multiverse and did not want to show fear in front of her people. However, Kendra refuses to believe that Shayera does not have more information. The two of them make physical contact for the first time, leading Kendra to seemingly have a revelation. She flies off to inform the other League members of what she learned: that the Elder Martian was alive and being held prisoner. Before the heroes can make their move, they are attacked by a face that readers of the New 52 era will recognize: Savage Hawkman. Hawkman is then order by his wife, Shayera, to kill Kendra.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the Thanagar story arc when it was announced. I wanted the focus to be on the heroes left on Earth tracking down the Legion of Doom, but I was wrong. The reveal that there were two Hawkgirls at once was enough to peak my interest, but the reveal of Hawkman made it even better. However, this is not the Hawkman that we see in his solo series at the moment. This Savage Hawkman was last seen in New 52 before Rebirth took effect. The last act he performed was sacrificing himself to kill the universal despot, Despero. So what was done to not only bring this Hawkman back, but make him act in such a villainous manner? And why is Shayera, one of the toughest and most stubborn heroes in DC, acting like a villainous ruler? I believe Kendra was right when she said that something darker was going on. Perhaps the planet is being powered by Dark Multiverse energy, or maybe they were changed by the energy from the Source Wall. Either way, this arc has my full attention now. As I mentioned above, this could potentially have repercussions on the solo Hawkman series. If more than one hawk can exist at the same time, that could change the entire course of that story. However, only time will reveal the answers to these questions, and I for one, will be waiting for the next issue until it finally comes.