News has been leaking about the fall’s emergence of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow heroes and one thing is becoming abundantly clear- Hawkgirl is going to have some serious identity issues. The story of Hawkgirl has gone through several iterations, spanning decades of DC Comics revamps. The original “Golden Age” Hawkgirl is tied to Hawkman through an ancient love story and is granted powers through her Nth metal accessories. Although the character went through an origin story re-tool in the 1960s, more recent revamps have the Hawkgirl character returning to some of those core ideas. As confirmed by Natalie Abrams in her interview with Ciara Renee, who will be portraying Hawkgirl in the DC TV universe this fall, Hawkgirl’s most recent identity is that of the 1999 Justice Society of America reboot—Kendra Saunders.
Kendra Saunders was a troubled girl, whose soul was replaced with the soul of the first Hawkgirl after committing suicide. Modern day comic cannon has her unaware of her true identity, still able to recall all of Kendra’s memories as her own. This is of course, with the exception of her fighting experiences. Renee also shared that these past life memories will, in fact, come back to her and that until that point, she will be what I would consider weak, awkward, and timid. Not exactly what you would call superhero-ish.
So this is interesting, and I daresay, thought provoking.
Kendra Saunders will likely be an emotional melt-down with wings for a good part of our first meetings with her. Hawkman apparently does not have the same kind of scattered continuity, or at least if the show is progressing with the same pattern of canonical storylines, Hawkman will know exactly who he is, who she is, and what his powers are. Understanding that having a duo such as this enter the DC TV universe each sharing the exact same background could be monumentally boring, I still have questions about these choices. Why? Well, Sara Lance is going to be a disaster too. The Canary died last season on Arrow and it’s not news at this point that she’s going to be resurrected this fall to join Rip Hunter and the other Legends. Being resurrected is going to come with some adjustment problems, and it’s likely that the effects of the Lazarus Pit will compound those issues. This means our two lady Legends are going to be emotional wrecks with baggage to deal with right out of the gate. It’s an odd choice, and especially considering the popularity of a newer, stronger depiction of women in these types of TV shows (yeah Supergirl, I’m looking at you). To have both women portrayed as emotional unstable in some way leaves me wondering if the same is going to be happening with our male heroes who have crosses to bear.
At the end of the day, I’ll hold off on my suspicion that CW has a slightly old-fashioned view of women and simply hope that these obstacles lead to stronger, more badass characters. Or, at the very least, they give them telekinesis so they can take their emotions out on everyone else.
Make sure to catch the Legends as they appear this fall in Arrow and The Flash!
The Flash premieres on Tuesday, October 6 at 8/7c on the CW.
Arrow premieres on Wednesday, October 7 at 8/7c on the CW.