WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Hawkman #2 by Robert Venditti, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Daniel Henriques, Jeremiah Skipper and Starkings & Comicraft, in stores now.
In the DC Universe, time travel can be a fickle thing. It's dangerous and unpredictable, and more often than not it seems to lead to catastrophic events. Throughout the years, we have seen many comic stories tackle the subject of time travel, from the Barry Allen-centric Flashpoint to Tom King and Tony S. Daniel's much more recent Batman/Booster Gold team-up adventure "The Gift," in Batman. Flashpoint famously saw Barry save his mother from death, only for the act to create an entirely different timeline where everything was much different. Similarly, in Batman, Booster saved Bruce Wayne's parents, inadvertently creating a much darker future for the DCU in the process.
Whenever the Flash travels back in time (whether in the comics or on television), and whenever any other DC character changes the past, the comics tend to follow the time travel rules established by the Back to the Future films. The future is constantly in flux, and whatever happens in the past can change it, for better or worse. However, this week's Hawkman #2 appear to introduce a completely different set of rules for time travel in the DCU.
In his new ongoing series, Carter Hall is on a quest to find answers about his past. After discovering that he was not only reincarnating over time but in space as well, Carter realized that his past was bigger than he ever thought possible. Now, he's scouring the globe, trying to find out who and what he is. This quest leads him to a British museum where he finds a large collection of Egyptian artifacts that once belonged to prince Khufu, one of his previous lives. But as soon as he gets there, something happens to Carter -- he's mysteriously transported back in time, where he comes face-to-face with Khufu in Ancient Egypt.
There, Khufu instantly looks at Hawkman and recognizes him as the creature from visions he's been having. As the two begin to fight. Carter tries to talk to Khufu, to explain to him that they are the same person, just separated by eons of alternate lives -- but he doesn't speak the same language, anymore. Their fight damages one of the columns of the exhibit, and it's then that Carter realizes the column in the museum has a secret compartment inside of it.
Once he finds himself back in the present, Carter finds the same column. It's been repaired, obviously, but it still has a secret compartment, where he finds something inside. Then, Carter says "Whatever this is, no one but I would know where to look for it."
Therefore, it was Khufu who left this mysterious object inside the column, after his confrontation with Hawkman in the past. This would indicate that the object has been hidden there all this time, and that Carter didn't know simply because he hadn't time traveled to this moment in the past yet. If that is the case, then Carter's mysterious trip to Ancient Egypt abides by a different set of rules, one that follows more closely with what we have seen in The Terminator and LOST. Whatever happened, happened, no matter what, when or where. It only depends on the sequence of events, and who experiences it in a linear manner.
Carter's present leads him to the past, and it brings him to a confrontation he didn't remember had occurred. Why? Because he hadn't lived through it yet, or because he had forgotten about it since he had cycled through so many different lives. This trip in the past didn't alter the present of the DCU -- instead, it set an entire sequence of events into motion, a sequence that will lead Hawkman in the here and now... as well as beyond that.
KEEP READING: Wait – Now Hawkman Is Part of the Marvel Universe, Too?