TV Legends: The Big Lie Behind Hawkgirl on Justice League

TV URBAN LEGEND: The creators of the Justice League TV series hid Hawkgirl's betrayal even in the story bible for the series.

As you may or may not know, TV series typically have what is called a "story bible." The idea of the story bible is to lay out to people who will be writing for the show to know what the deal is with the show. Who are the characters? What are their respective deals? What is the setting of the show? Stuff like that. This way, people who want to write for the show could be given this reference document and know what's what.

In the case of something like Justice League, however, the story bible was also very valuable for another reason.

You see, Justice League, like most other animated programs based on DC Comics characters, also inspired comic book series that were based on the series.

In the case of Justice League, the book was called Justice League Adventures...

Now, on the Justice League cartoon, there was a character called Hawkgirl, who was a different spin on the classic comic book character by the same name...

She was accidentally trapped on Earth and ended up joining the Justice League......

or so it seemed.

In reality, she was here as an advance scout ahead of an invasion of Earth by her people, the Thanagarians.

The problem with that is that they did not want to spoil their big twist, so they actually decided to essentially LIE about the character in the story bible and give her a fake origin and everything.

Ty Templeton, the first writer for the comic book series, noted at the time, ""My favorite in the bunch, actually, according to the series bible is Hawkgirl because she has a really cool origin story this time out. Instead of coming to Earth with her husband to become cops, she's brought to Earth against her will."

So Templeton made her a big part of his first issue (art by Min S. Ku and Dan Davis)...

That story bible origin, of course, was covering up her REAL origin.

Note, though, that Dan Slott thought that the way that they sort of under-developed her character in the story bible was specifically a hint that they WERE hiding stuff, so that informed how he wrote HIS issues of Justice League Adventures. Slott noted at the time, "For example-- I get this vibe from the story bible that BIG PLANS are in the works for Hawk Girl (and Thanagar). Because of that, I've kinda steered clear of her character and her background in my issues-- because I don't, as you put it, "want to jump the gun." That would bug me to bits if I ended up getting her continuity all wrong-- so I play her JUST as she has appeared in the story scripts and aired shows. Conversely, my pal Ty Templeton sees her as the most interesting character in the group BECAUSE her back story isn't written in stone yet. That's why he made her the hub of his first issue."

Their intent, of course, was not to trick the people writing the comic book based on the show, but rather the fact that they knew that the story bible details likely WOULD be made public, so they wanted to hide the truth about the character from people who might discover the bible.

It certainly made for an awesome twist on the series!

The legend is...


Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV. Click here for more legends specifically about animated TV shows.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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