Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On Hawkman:

This is probably going to get me in trouble, but I have to say this.

I don't like Carter Hall.

Now I'm going to disclaim this by saying I've yet to read Hawkman, so I'm solely going off of JSA at the moment.

But based on his behavior in JSA: I don't like Carter Hall.

He's arrogant and domineering and a jackass. The spirit of his wife is in his grand-niece, but she doesn't remember it and is justifiably a little freaked. This part of the situation I can sympathize with. That's not an easy situation.

So anyway, he's unintentionally freaking her out and in retaliation, she kisses Sand, hoping to start a relationship with someone who isn't her creepy great-uncle. Carter sees it through the window when he goes to apologize. Fair enough, at this moment, I'm sympathizing with all of them. Carter for seeing the woman he still thinks of as his wife kiss another man, Kendra for her confusion and general freaked-out-ness, and Sand for having to be the mature one and turn down the very attractive woman he has a crush on because he knows she's kissing him for the wrong reason.

Now if Carter had confronted them then, I would have been okay with it. But no, he has to go undermine Sand's authority (authority offered to him) at every move, and make sniping verbal attacks on the guy. The guy who, 50 years as a sand monster not withstanding, is *25* years old. That's around Dick Grayson's age.

And this bothers me. You see, I consider Carter one of the older heroes. And I don't think older heroes should be in direct rivalry with the younger ones. I mean, I was irritated by Ollie's behavior toward Kyle, and Ollie never forgot he was dealing with "a kid". In Carter's case, he's actually treating an ex-sidekick Dick Grayson's age as a full out rival. Not as a kid who happens to have won Kendra's affection, but a full blown rival.

See, that bothers me in some because of my own issues. See when I was growing up most of my friends were younger than me. And my mother would often tell me when we fought that sometimes no matter who's "right", it's the responsibility of the older person to be the grown-up of the situation. In this case, Carter continues acting like a spoiled teenager, leaving the kid to be the grown-up of the situation and try to run damage control/apologize/back down.

So it's not event that Carter has decided to see a *kid* as a full rival (won't ever see Clark or Bruce doing that...), he's also forcing said kid to act like the grownup. Not to mention acting unprofessionally when that kid is ostensibly the group leader.

Then there's the whole thing with Roulette, where she puts Sand and Carter in the event to go save Kendra and the antidote for one. We have Sand visibly affected, on his knees, clearly sweating and probably feverish. It hasn't kicked in for Carter. That's when Carter decides to snipe more at him regarding Kendra. When his "rival" (who is Dick Grayson's age, an ex-side kick I must remind again) is already somewhat incapacitated by the poison.

Not to mention, later taking the antidote. Meh, this part's unfair of me, because as far as they knew Sand's silicon form would have protected him. But you know what, I can't see a situation with say Ollie and Kyle, or Bruce and Kon, where the grown-up would have let the kid give up the antidote on the off chance their powers could protect them. (Especially if they'd already been physically affected).

And to add insult to injury, according to the JSA Secret Files and Origins, Sand's 5'11 and *162* pounds. He's tiny! No wonder the poison hit so hard. I'm not sure why this irritates me. But it just makes Carter into more of a jerk. He's not only maliciously treating a kid Dick Grayson's age as a Rival, verbally attacking when the kid is out of sorts, and making the kid act like the grownup...this kid that's his rival, could probably be carried off by a stiff breeze. He could snap him like a twig! Now he's just a bully!

And he yelled at Courtney for suggesting voting later on and was a jackass in Black Reign.

But mostly, it's the above incident. I'm irrational in my dislike. I'm glad the character exists, and I like the role he plays in JSA, but I really really love disliking him.

Edited to Add: And he looks smelly. :-)


  • At December 28, 2005 5:03 AM, Blogger Ragnell said…

    You are more rational than I am. I just thought he looked smelly.

    But now I hate him for all that stuff too.

  • At December 28, 2005 10:00 AM, Blogger Melchior del DariĆ©n said…

    Yeah, HM's a scowling, stuck-up wanker. Like he's the only one in the DCU who's got to deal with some personal pain?

  • At December 28, 2005 11:02 AM, Blogger CalvinPitt said…

    I'd have to say that in the world of comic fans and their hatred of specific characters, that was definitely rational. It's well reasoned, though out and backed up with examples.

    And of course Hawkman is smelly. He's a bird-person. You know what birds do to cool themselves off sometimes? They urinate on their legs. That can't possibly smell good.

  • At December 28, 2005 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been collecting Hawkman Trades and just recently wrote why I enjoy him
    . Hawkman really is an aquired taste, but once you find a reason to start in on him you never go back.

    That and he's really two seperate people. The debonaire Carter Hall and then the smash monster known as Hawkman. It's shown in the early pages of Hawkman. Green Arrow convinces him he needs to take the helmet off every once and awhile (It's odd he listens to Green Arrow because he just spent the previous story arc expressing his dislike of him, I guess that just shows you can respect people and still not like them). That when he starts going out with different people and trying to give Hawkgirl space. He even has a talk with the Atom that convinces him that he shouldn't be with her.

    When he puts on the helmet he's not just a man anymore, he's a hero. He dosn't have to deal with the thousands of year of loss and pain. He dosn't have to realize his wife and the woman he loves really don't have true feelings for him. He dosn't even have to realize that to most people he's a joke. Because when he put on that mask he only knows one thing,

    He's a hero.

  • At December 28, 2005 11:58 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ragnell: He does! And unwashed!

    melchior: I don't mind angst, even destructive angst (for all my complaining, I do like Batman), but Carter's taking it out on Sandy the fucking Golden Boy. And that's not really a fair match by *any* criteria.

    calvinpitt: Thanks, to be fair though, most of my "examples" are based around one instance. However, from the bits of the Hawkman series I've glimpsed, it doesn't seem especially out of character for him.

    mallet: I like what you've written a lot, but my basic problem is that in the example above, Carter was as much in the mask as out of it andI've trouble with the notion of a hero that would treat another one, specifically one so much younger like that. If he'd had his beef with Kendra, that'd be one thing, but he was golden toward her. He just kept taking it out on the kid instead. That, to me, makes him a bully.

    That said, I do find Hawkman interesting and I hope he doesn't die in the coming events. But I don't like him.

  • At December 28, 2005 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well in above example you also state how simaler to dick grayson he is (sand), and poor Dicky usually has to be the adult with his older mentor. Dicks the one who wants to talk things out with him and stays by him when he does stupid things. Just because heros are young or old don't really mean anything. I have to tell my dad and my younger sister to stop making Race jokes. Honestly do really expect him to take it out on her? It's just a normal human reaction to hate people who "move in" before those they're moving in on. Women getting mad at another woman for stealing her man and visa versa with men. I actually looked at it as making him more human, he really does have problems and emotional baggage.

    As far as Black Regin goes I was also peeved at his treatment of Stargirl. But he payed for his actions and realised the error of his ways, besides he gets to slide because "Do what you do best." line and the flaming green mace of smashy.

  • At December 28, 2005 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It could also be I ridiculosly fall in love with anyone who has wings and therefore would defend them untill I die.

  • At December 28, 2005 12:29 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Heh, darn you for rationally combating my dislike.

    There's a difference though. Dick might have to be the grownup with Bruce a lot of the time, but Bruce has never specifically targetted Dick as a rival. I can't even imagine a situation where they'd go after the same girl, but if it did happen, I can't see Bruce making it so much of a personal attack. Besides, it's...not okay exactly, but understandable how family can make one have to act older than he/she is.

    But the problem here is that Carter's *not* family. He's a JSA-er who's known Sand since he was a child, but he's not family.

    And while men and women may both attack the "competition", I've never thought it was right. I don't want Carter to attack Kendra of course, but his problem was with her behavior, he should have taken it up with her.

    And yeah, he got to redeem himself a little in Black Reign, but not enough.

    Maybe it would have helped to see the Kendra-Sand-Carter talk that Carter mentioned after the Roulette thing. Or if gods forbid, he *apologized*.

    The wings are cool though.


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