WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for Hawkman #1, by Robert Venditti, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, and Alex Sinclair, on sale now.
DC and Marvel are rivals in comic book sales, but the two companies can't seem to stop crossing over with one another. For months, one publisher will release a comic indicating the two multiverses are somehow connected, and the next month the other publisher will do the same. It's a fun, unofficial "confirmation" that while the respective universe have no effect on each other, in the end they're all comics.
The latest series to bring the two universes together is DC's Hawkman #1 by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch. It contains a super sneaky cameo appearance by a two prominent Marvel superheroes.
Carter Hall, the superhero known as Hawkman is trapped in a never-ending cycle of life, death and reincarnation. However, his most recent return in the Dark Nights: Metal event disclosed that his life didn't start in Ancient Egypt like we had been led to believe. In Hawkman #1, we learn Carter has existed, in one form or another, since the dawn of mankind. And once he realizes there is more to his shirt than even he knew, Hall seeks the help of Madame Xanadu in order to reveal the truth and make sense of his new life. What he receives is completely unexpected, and it leaves us with more questions than answers.
Given a vision of his entire timeline of endless reincarnations across both time and space, Hawkman sees his many lives flash before his eyes. There are familiar faces like Prince Khufu of Egypt, Silent Knights of the Middle Ages, and Katar Hol of Hawkworld. There are new faces, like Catar-Ol of Krypton. This all helps to explain Hawkman's new status quo and provide a compressed and streamlined origin story.
Then, there is the completely unexpected. According to this scene, Hawkman has previously been reincarnated as some of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe. One costume he had in a past life looks exactly like the outfit worn by Black Bolt of the Inhumans. Despite the green and yellow color scheme, he sports the same ridged wings under the arms. Another Hawkman also seems to have been the host of the Phoenix at some point, the bird motif of both characters working in harmony to create a costume that is distinctively Hawkman and Phoenix at the same time.
The final character isn't a Marvel one, though he does have a Disney connection; there is also a Hawkman in there who resembles the Rocketeer, just below Phoenix. Venditti and Hitch could have a lot of fun with this. While you shouldn't expect any Hawkman stories to take place on Attilan or involve the Phoenix Force, a guy who can basically be anyone throughout history offers the means for an easy easter egg. How long will it be before we get a reincarnation that looks like Nighthawk of the Squadron Supreme, Conan, or even Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law?