Hawkgirl was the first girl into the boys’ clubhouse. True, Sandman skulked around town with his gal pal Dian and Dr. Fate kept Inza locked up in his Salem tower, but Hawkgirl was the first to take off a dress, put on helmet, and mix it up a bit.
ROD: For the record, fellow geeks, Shiera Saunders initially showed up in Hawkman’s first story, in Flash Comics #1, June 1940. She later dons some of Carter’s spare stuff in All-Star Comics #5, July 1941. That pre-dates Jeannie-come-lately Wonder Woman’s first appearance by 3 issues and six months!
DEANE: For a damn long time, that’s as good as it got. Hawkgirl was pretty much window dressing and was slighted for Justice Societymembership for Wonder Woman. Perhaps it wasn’t such a loss, as the Amazon was relegated to a secretarial position. For twenty years, Hawkgirl wore a Hawkman costume (with a halter top), complete with the same ugly helmet, and mumbled a lot while Hawkman slugged it out with Vandal Savage and the like.
ROD: It was nice that when Gardner Fox revived Hawkman for the Silver Age, it was felt that the pairing with a lady Hawk was integral to the concept, even if she now was a Thanagarian named Shayera. Hawkman became one of the first married superheroes. And, more importantly, from the opposite angle, that might make Hawkgirl the first married superheroine. Feel free to prove me wrong, folks!
Either way, while the Justice League eventually had to get over the ‘no duplication of powers’ clause to have Shayera join hubby on the roster, Roy Thomas brought the original Shiera back into his All-Star Squadron run as an important team member in her own right. That’s where I first remember encountering the GA version.
DEANE: Until ten years ago, when Geoff Johns and David Goyer revived the Justice Society, a new Hawkgirl joined the team- WITHOUT a Hawkman.
DEANE: The new Hawkgirl was a bit of a loner, had a troubled back-story, heard weird whispers in her ear about ancient Egypt and outer space, and kicked ass with a big fucking spear and spiked gloves. In short, Hawkgirl finally got out from under and, to everyone’s surprise, did quite fine without the Big Guy.
ROD: Not to mention, she became well-known on her own through the Justice League animated series. So much so that when Hawkman actually showed up there, he was practically an afterthought. Likely most toonheads didn’t even realize there WAS a Hawkman. You’ve come a long way, baby!
DEANE: Sadly, that original pitch has all but vanished from current Hawk-comics, but it was a good one and the one I chose to create.
ROD: While Deane went modern, I wanted the lady I dug from All-Star Squadron. I also was ticked that Mattel teased us with whispers of a GA Hawkman/Hawkgirl 2-pack that never materialized. And in a flabbergasting coincidence, our choices here also paired up nicely with our creations from our first Hawkapalooza.
DEANE: The DCUC Silver Age Hawkgirl figure served well for this project–
ROD: Say, mine too! Except I had to use Power Girl’s head.
ROD: For mine, I had to re-create a 1940’s halter top, which oddly enough was skimpier than what Shayera wore in the Bronze Age. And more of that Jane Russell ‘torpedo’ look too.
DEANE: Just as with the Modern Hawkman, I sculpted the raised talons on the boots and painted them gold. Modern Hawkgirl did take five sparrow-steps backwards by wearing high heels when kicking ass, but I decided that maybe today she decided to give her feet a break and wear the more sensible version (of red-and-gold-taloned boots).
ROD: My particular challenge came with the helmet. Originally I thought I’d mimic what I did with my one GA Hawkman– steal the helmet from the DCD version. And after carving out the painted on eyes to create a standalone mask, it turned out to be too big and bulky, especially on the strange flat profiles that DCUC women have.
Which gave me no choice but to sculpt the mask myself. However! I was able to steal the most difficult part, the head wings from the DCD helmet, and attach those.
As for the hair, well, I’ve made two Black Orchid figures now using the DCD Showcase Batgirl, and each time I’ve carved off Bab’s red locks and thought I’d find a use for them. And I finally did! That big hunk of plastic had to be attached with small brad nails drilled and inserted into the head, and then hair sculpted in to fill and make the join seamless. The only problem was those nails and the bulk of the hair inhibit the neck articulation, but whatchagonnadoo?
DEANE: Painted tape worked for the wrist wraps and I matched her helmet to the cover of JSA #3.
ROD: The paint job on the helmet and the hair had to blend in with the colours already existing in the plastic re-used parts, so that was a little tricky, as well as the eyes behind that tiny little mask. I’ve found you don’t want to put too much paint on DCUC faces because the paint seems to sit on the surface differently than DCD plastic; too much and it gets gloppy real quick.
When I first showed him pics, Deane called me on the golden belt buckle I gave her, since Carter doesn’t have that. I just figured Shiera is better at accessorizing than he is.
DEANE: Sadly, the current approach to modern comics is to re-invent themselves ever few issues and Hawkgirl has been given a variety of costumes in the past decade, so much so that it would be hard to provide consistent artwork to Mattel for a “classic look” Modern Age Hawkgirl. By the end of the series, I @think@ she wore Hawkman’s bandoliers and weapons belt with her uniform. In the DCnUniverse, she’s again on her own and with a weird bike shirt. I figure it’s only a matter of time before some Dude decides to have her leave the sports bra off…
ROD: Well, we haven’t seen Jim Lee’s version of Hawkgirl yet, so…
DEANE: …sigh. Dudes…