To properly put this entry in context, I think I need to explain something. When it comes to angry heroes, I prefer the characters who wear their anger on their sleeve. The reason I like a character like Hawk more than a character like Batman is because I enjoy seeing them actually communicate their feelings instead of hiding it and brooding. Plus, reading about a character like Hawk haul off and beat the tar out of someone is very fun to me. It can be an emotional release in a way that reading about Batman isn’t, since Batman is always holding back those feelings.
Anyway, onto Hawk, the Avatar of War.
Hank Hall and his brother, Don, were given their powers by the Lords of Order and Chaos (celestial beings who represent those concepts). Hank Hall was made into an Avatar of War by the Lords of Chaos, and Don Hall was made into an Avatar of Peace by the Lords of Order. They were given these opposite roles because their ideals are just as opposed, Hank being an angry brawler and Don being a calm pacifist. The two used these powers to fight crime and became the super hero team Hawk and Dove. The two even joined up with the Teen Titans for a time. Their career continued until Don Hall was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths story. Needless to say, Hank Hall was not pleased.
The Lords of Order soon chose Dawn Granger to replace Don, and she teamed up with Hank Hall from there. The two had a shaky partnership at first, but they soon grew to trust one another.
The duo of Hank Hall as Hawk and Dawn Granger as Dove is the iteration that appears in the New 52 DC Universe, though they reference the original team of Hank and his brother on multiple occasions.
There was also a story called Zero Hour where Hank becomes the villain known as Monarch, but I admittedly have never read the story. As a result, it doesn’t really sour my perception of Hawk.
Hawk’s powers include enhanced speed, immense strength, and quickened healing abilities.
He has anger issues in abundance, and, as I said, that’s one of the reasons I love him. He has little tolerance for criminals, and takes pleasure in pummeling them. He’s not exactly altruistic or an optimist, but he still refrains from killing. He’s honest with who he is. He doesn’t really express any discontent with it, and he shows no sign of wanting to improve it.
He is just Hank Hall, the Avatar of War. He is a thoroughly fun and cathartic character to read about.
And with that, we conclude our entry on Hawk. Check back tomorrow for the electrifying Number 7!