What’s the deal with Hawkman and Hawkgirl?

On January 5th, 2015, /u/IrateGinger asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Can someone give me an explanation of Hawkman and Hawkgirl?

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Normally when I write these I get to talk a bunch about what characters have done, what makes them tick, highlights from their careers etc. This time? Well sure, I’ll be covering a bunch of that but I’m also going to be mainly focusing on the main, many, many (many!) continuity changes and crazy updates DC has subjected the characters to in their nearly 75 years of publication. I’m going to basically focus on Hawkman but I’ll be covering Hawkgirl (and Hawkwoman, when she calls herself that) too at each point.

UntitledOne other thing that’s a bit different with this post is that I have a contributor! Reddit user /u/dmull387 has written a great coverage of Hawkman’s history and I’ll be including his commentary throughout! You can check out his Tumblr here. When I’m quoting him you’ll see the speech bubble to the right and the text will appear in this rather charming blue.

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Why doesn’t it matter that Wally West is now black?

So, normally on this blog I respond to question posed directly to me or posted around the web. Today’s post is a little different as I’ll be covering, on a point-by-point basis, all the arguments for why changing Wally West’s ethnicity in the New 52. Also, why most of them are ridiculous at best and racist at worst.

The-Flash-TV-Show-Wally-West

I think it’s important to note: I’m not a DC apologist, nor am I, by pointing out why some arguments are wrong, saying that everything DC does is right. Twisting the argument to this, as people often seem to do, is ridiculous and it’s perfectly possible to admit that a company like DC has a long way to go and that people opposing them starting to make those changes are wrong.

Furthermore, Wally West is my Flash. Yes, I’m a Golden Age nerd and love Jay Garrick, along with Barry Allen, Bart Allen and all the rest in the Flash Family Tree. However, I was born in the same year Crisis on Infinite Earths hit the stands and Wally will always be the true scarlet speedster – so this is not coming from a place of someone who doesn’t care, deeply, about the character.

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Climbing through the Flash Family Tree

On January 21st, 2015, /u/Cyber85 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Can you also explain the flash family tree because there are so many flashes and I get confused on which is which.

TheFlash-FlashFamily

The Flash family and then some!

OK, so this is a bit of a big one so we’re going to break it down into stages to make it more manageable. We’ll be covering three main areas:

  1. The New 52 Flash Family Tree(s) – simply, by Flash standards
  2. The pre-New 52 Flash Family Tree – this is where it gets complicated
  3. Even more members of the Flash Family – yep, it just keeps going…

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What’s the deal with the Anti-Monitor?

On January 19th, 2015, /u/Cyber85 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Can someone explain who the ant monitor is? I keep seeing that name pop around when I read comics.

The Ant!

Oh man – I love that people are asking about the Ant! He was a villain of the Teen Titans back in 1966! He was a thief so I guess he had to monitor stuff and…

Oh, you meant the Anti-monitor. Well, he’s (it’s?) cool too. Here’s what you need to know. :)

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“Could Green Lantern create Kryptonite?”

On December 8th, 2014, /u/IrateGinger asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Could Green Lantern create Kryptonite?

Just thought I’d expand on what /u/gamer4maker has already (most excellently) here:

Short answer yes with an if, long answer no with a but.

Basically pre-Rebirth, if a Green Lantern had enough willpower they could create any energy source known to man, including Kryptonite radiation. Since Geoff Johns took over the Lanternverse things may have changed a little. It’s never been explicitly stated, but it’s never happened, and it appears the rules have been changed.

Anyway, on with my answer!

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What is The Joker’s real identity?

On December 1st, 2014, someone – who has since deleted their Reddit account – asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

What is The Joker’s real identity?  (I bet DC can’t even answer this one.)

GalleryChar_1900x900_Joker_52ab8edcabce71.28062812

“Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” 

~ Joker, Batman: The Killing Joke, 1988.

While that certainly holds true – and his identity has never been concretely revealed – there’s a bunch of stuff we can talk about with this though! Firstly, there’s some staples that appear in most versions: Continue reading

At the time was Jason Todd heavily disliked because he wasn’t like Dick Grayson? How has his origin changed over the years?

On November 17th, 2015, /u/Stevezilla9 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

My question is for those who were reading when Jason Todd was Robin. At the time was he heavily disliked because he wasn’t like Dick Grayson? If so, looking back are you glad that they made him out to be a different kind of Robin rather than being a copy of Grayson? Pre-Crisis wasn’t he a redhead who was also an orphan from a family of acrobats?

Pre Vs post-Crisis Jason Todd origins

Well, I wasn’t reading as it was a little bit early for me – I was born in 1985 – but I think I can help you. Continue reading

Pre-Flashpoint, how did people think Barry Allen died during Crisis on Infinite Earths?

On October 27th, 2014, /u/dispenserhere asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

I have just started getting into reading the flash, and I thought i’d start with Volume 2, which takes place directly after Crisis on Infinite Earths with Wally West.

However I’m a little confused about the ‘in canon’ reason for Barry Allen’s death. My question is: Since most characters have no memory of the Crisis events, what reason do they have for Barry not being around? Do they know he died saving them?

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What’s up with Earth-D?

On October 15th, 2014, /u/switchfade asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Can someone help me? I’m trying to read about earth D! I found the concept amazing but I have no idea how to find out more

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DC history nerd here! I think I can probably help :)

First we need to go way way back to the 60’s. The decision to explain how the the 1940’s Flash (Jay Garrick, the guy with the metal hat) and the new Flash (Barry Allen) could both exist was to say they existed on parrallel Earths, and the two finally met in the seminal story Flash of Two Worlds (1961). This lead to the establishment of Earth-One, where the modern characters lived, and Earth-Two, where Jay Garrick and the Justice Society hung out. The JLA and the JSA the had annual adventures where they’d team up for, basically, the next two decades.

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