If ever there was a character appropriate to an event such as Convergence, it is Katar-Hol, Hawkman. For a character of such seemingly simple concept (a man with artificial wings and a mace, really how difficult can it be?) over the years the history and continuity around him have grown notoriously convoluted. He has gone from archeologist to reincarnated Egyptian sorcerer to alien policeman to a combination of the above, along with his wife Shayera, Hawkwoman. On a world made of clashing realities and warring continuities, Hawman is right at home. Thus it is perfectly appropriate that Convergence: Hawkman #1 is authored by Jeff Parker, whose experience with Aquaman, Batman ’66, and soon with Justice League United make him well used to different tones and realms of comic magic.
Parker’s writing has always had something of the strengths of a television scriptwriter, with a deep feel for episodic pacing and the rhythms of plot beats and character development. These skills do not fail him here. This version of Katar and Shayera are from the moment just before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Space police officers, they live on Earth in the guise of archeologists, and have been trapped in Gotham by the descent of Braniac’s dome. However, unlike many of the city’s imprisoned heroes, they are not dependent on metahuman abilities, but on technology and training that are not drained by the dome’s dampening field.
This proves crucial as Gotham’s population loses faith in the now powerless heroes in their midst. Katar and Shayera, like the police officers that they are, realize that public morale is a crucial factor in the maintenance of order, so they reveal themselves to an excited and appreciative populace, promising to act as champions of justice and hope. Unfortunately, they are not the only natives of Thanagar trapped under the dome. Shadow Warriors from that world, engaged in preparations for an invasion, were imprisoned as well. The Hawks, who bear the title Enforcers in their home culture, confront these invaders, only to learn that they have abandoned dreams of conquest and are now using advanced technology to probe the local fabric of time and space looking for an escape. What they have seen presents them with a dilemma, for in searching into the future of their timeline they discover the Crisis in which all the multiverse will collapse and their timeline will be altered forever (in that such a word has meaning in the context of a Crisis).
Shayera and Katar discover this sober truth just as Telos lowers the dome and issues his challenge to combat. And now they must face the fact that they face destruction from their captor, but destruction from their destiny as well. For even if they achieve victory and return to their timeline, the Crisis awaits to alter their history. So it transpires that these noble Hawks face a war not of the body or the mind but the spirit. How to fight and win and achieve justice, when destruction is promised at every decision? It is a dilemma whose convolutions are worthy of the history of Hawkman.