WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Hawkman #7 by Robert Venditti, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Jeremiah Shipper and Richard Starkings, on sale now.
Hawkman has a reputation for having a confusing backstory. Between the archaeologist, the alien space cop and the reincarnated Egyptian prince, there’s a lot to take in and it never quite lined up in the past. However, the current run by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch has managed to streamline that entire process down by doing the unthinkable… they made it more confusing and added dozens and dozens more Hawkmen into the mix. This year, Carter Hall discovered that not only had he been reincarnating through time, he’d been reincarnating through space as well.
There was a Rannian Hawkman, a Kryptonian Hawkman, a Qwardian Hawkman and many, many more between his first incarnation and the current day, but the big reveal of this week’s issue is that the lineage of Hawkmen stretches back even further than we ever thought possible. With a brand-new origin, Carter Hall has a new mission and a new purpose, but in gaining that, he also has to confront a dark secret that led to his cycle of resurrection and the grave threat it represents.
Up until now, it was pretty much accepted that Carter Hall’s line of reincarnation started with Prince Khufu, his beloved Chay-Ara and the treacherous priest Hath-Set. Hath-Set murdered both Khufu and Chay-Ara with a dagger made of Nth Metal, which bound their souls together, forcing all three to continually reincarnate and re-enact their deadly rivalry. This origin isn’t undone necessarily by the changes made in Hawkman #7, but it is no longer the earliest incarnation of Hawkman nor the reason why he continues to reincarnate throughout the eras across time and space.
Hawkman #7 introduces us to Ktar, the very first Hawkman who serves as a general for the Deathbringers, a race of titanic gods that require mass sacrifices in their names. Ktar and his his ally, Idamm, are charged with collecting the individuals to be sacrificed -- when we first meet Ktar, he has just finished a campaign on Thanagar, which led to 12,000 prisoners being rounded up. The sacrifices are then taken to the temple world of Qgga, where they are thrown to the deaths in service to “The Lord Beyond The Void” so that he may one day escape into our universe and lead his Deathbringers on a path of devastation, but Ktar has been having second thoughts.