John and Shayera Together Again?
on October 11, 2013
A few updates ago, I said…
“… and the comic creators don’t seem at all interested in pairing John Stewart with Shayera Hol Hawkgirl (which is unfortunate, but a whole ‘nother article).”
Well, this is that article!
Shayera Hol is alive again in the New 52, thanks to… of all people, Rob Liefeld! Except, she’s not Shayera Hol, but Shayera Thal. See, “Hol” is Hawkman’s last name, and she’s not married to him in the New 52. Rather, she’s his ex-girlfriend.
This news seems to have gone over many people’s heads (including mine). I think there are a couple reasons for this. Firstly, the Hawks’ continuity is arguably the most messed up and confusing in the DC Universe, so when one is brought back from the dead, you may not know which specific version you’re dealing with. Another reason is that, The Savage Hawkman, the title in which she was re-introduced, did not sell well and was critically lambasted. Therefore, not many people actually read this.
To be entirely honest, I haven’t read it, either, so I don’t know all the ins and outs of this, but what I do know is DC has finally brought back the Hawkgirl people care about!
What do I mean by that?
Shayera Hol is the Hawkgirl from Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, and the best interpretation of Hawkgirl there has ever been. No contest. It kind of baffled me that DC didn’t bring this version back into comics. Doing what makes the least amount of sense isn’t that strange for DC Comics, though. Just to give you an idea of how much they bungle things, while Justice League was red hot, they ran a Hawkgirl comic series. That… actually sounds like a good idea, though, right?
It did not star the version of Hawkgirl from the show, but rather a completely different character, so I’m not sure why they even bothered. In the end, that series did not catch on.
For those who don’t know (which is likely very few of you), Shayera Hol is the romantic interest of Green Lantern John Stewart on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Make no mistake, though. That is not her only role. She is a very strong character and hero in her own right, and a legitimate member of the Justice League – the world’s greatest heroes. The relationship between the two characters is a hallmark of the show, and has become quite a popular and famous “ship,” spawning tons of fanfiction and fanart, like this fun piece by Lil-Hawk:
And justly so! It is incredibly riveting and engrossing, and I’m not one to usually go looking for epic romances in super hero stories. But hey! When something is really great, it’s just really great, and Green Lantern/Hawkgirl is hard to deny.
For years, people have been calling for Green Lantern and Hawkgirl to get together in the comic book continuity, but it is understandable why that was never done. In 1999, DC introduced a new Hawkgirl named Kendra Saunders, and this version occupied the Hawkgirl mantle during the heyday of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited while Shayera was dead. In fact, Kendra is the star of the aforementioned Hawkgirl comic series. As noted, she is an entirely different character than Shayera Hol, the Hawkgirl of JL/JLU, so pairing her with Green Lantern would have little rhyme or reason.
Fast forward to the New 52 reboot, and Kendra (or some modified version of her) has been shipped off to the alternate universe of Earth 2, and Shayera has been brought back in the regular universe… where John Stewart lives!
Shayera isn’t exactly the same, though. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a completely different costume.
I can’t say I’m a fan of the look. Not only are some aspects garish, such as those boob guards, but I was perfectly okay with how she looked with her yellow, green, and red costume. Two of Shayera’s main identifying features are her red hair and green eyes. To make her a blue eyed blonde seems rather… generic.
As for more differences, this Shayera is a princess (or something) from the alien planet Thanagar. Here is an excerpt from Shayera Thal’s entry in the Hawkman Wikia:
“Shayera Thal was the daughter of the Emperor of Thanagar, Thal Provis. She was formerly Katar Hol’s lover but after he “betrayed” her family he fled from Thanagar. Shayera pursued him to Earth and was intent on taking him back to Thanagar to stand trial for his crimes. Before she could take him, Emma Ziegler intervened and allowed him to escape. The couple didn’t make it far before being stopped by an unexpected intervention of intergalactic bounty hunters (keen on getting the Nth metal from Hawkman). This intervention caused chaos which Hawkman and Emma capitalized on to escape. They eventually captured the threats and demolished one of the Thanagarian spaceships. This plan ultimately backfires as Shayera was ready to make a temporary alliance with the bounty hunters in return for the capture of Hawkman.”
The nobility aspect is… different, yes, but I don’t mind that. Judging from the bits I’ve seen from The Savage Hawkman, she still has a serious edge to her and is always ready to take matters into her own hands.
So, at long last, the opportunity is completely open for a relationship between Hawkgirl and Green Lantern in the comic continuity. The question is, will it happen?
There is one, big, violet impediment that stands in the way of that whole thing.
Peter Tomasi and Geoff Johns got John romantically mixed up with his long time nemesis, Fatality, a reformed serial killer turned Star Sapphire. While I’m not terribly against this relationship, I have to admit that I’m not deeply invested in it, either. It somewhat smacks of triteness, seeing as Hal Jordan already has his own Star Sapphire girlfriend.
Taking that into account, and the greatness of HG/GL on JL/JLU, I would prefer to see John Stewart with Hawkgirl, but it would be weird and sloppy to drop Fatality all of a sudden. I believe Green Lantern Corps writer, Van Jensen, has too much grace to suddenly discard something that was going on before his arrival.
Recently, I was talking to someone about Green Lantern Corps, and without even bringing up any of this Hawkgirl business, they believed the relationship with John Stewart and Fatality would not last. There is some credence to that thought. In some ways, Green Lantern’s relationship with Fatality reminds me of his relationship with Vixen on JLU. He does not seem entirely sold on the whole thing. He’s very hesitant and isn’t really sure what he wants to do. He’s clearly not madly in love. Rather, he’s confused.
There are a couple of other interesting points. One being that some view Fatality’s current condition as brainwashed. The Star Sapphires did something to her against her will to make her who she is now. And suddenly… she loves John Stewart? Is that really true love? Why does she even love him? When Green Lantern Corps #21 was released, some fans believed Fatality’s behavior toward John bordered on creepily obsessed. When a planet of 9.8 billion was at risk, she was not as concerned with that as she was getting John Stewart to say that he loves her.
That is going to strike anyone as… odd.
Could Van Jensen have purposefully written it to seem like something was not quite right? Is John Stewart so hesitant to admit his love for Fatality because… he can sense something is amiss?
Though I’m not necessarily rooting for John and Yrra to call it quits, there are legitimate openings for the whole relationship to fall apart. With the way the new creative teams are shaking up the status quo, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.
Aside from Fatality, another difficulty that presents itself with making a Green Lantern/Hawkgirl relationship happen is that these characters are from two completely different corners of the DCU. Green Lantern John Stewart is beholden to his writers and editors, and though Hawkgirl has no writers and editors, at the moment, I don’t know if it would be easy to just pluck her up from the Hawk corner and bring her into Green Lantern Corps. But heck, she really isn’t doing anything better. To my knowledge, she’s just floating around in limbo right now.
Considering how Green Lantern is a cosmic defender, and Hawkgirl is currently a space princess, from a storytelling perspective, it doesn’t seem difficult to have these two cross paths. Not at all.
I’d love to see the Thanagarians in Green Lantern Corps. John has already encountered The Khund and The Durlans. Thanagarians seem like they’d fit right into his cosmic escapades.
Will John Stewart and Shayera Thal happen? Who knows, but there are plenty of fans who would like to see it, so pay attention DC! It is an opportunity to considerably deepen both characters. I’m confident in Van Jensen’s writing ability to justly portray the Green Lantern/Hawkgirl relationship, while putting his own New 52 spin on it. Just change Hawkgirl’s costume and make her eyes green and her hair red again, and I’ll be all for it!
Here’s an interesting video that discusses John Stewart and Shayera Hol, and much of the lore behind them. It also advocates seeing more of them and getting them together in comics. Not all of the information is entirely correct, but I won’t nitpick, and the sentiments are nice!