Hawkman: Everything You Need To Know About Aldis Hodge's Black Adam Character

Carter Hall is Hawkman

I believe that it is safe to assume that from just the mere sight of Aldis Hodge as James Lanier bursting into his house to come to his daughter’s rescue in Blumhouse's The Invisible Man, we knew that this guy (who actually got his start playing Samuel L. Jackson's nephew in Die Hard with A Vengeance) was destined to play a superhero. Even if I am only speaking for myself in that regard, thanks to a recent update to the main cast of Black Adam, at least I can say my prediction was correct. The 34-year-old actor will star as Hawkman in the highly anticipated DC movie.

The December 22, 2021 release, which also stars Dwayne Johnson in the anti-heroic title role, will mark the big screen debut of the winged warrior following multiple appearances on both live action and animated TV series, such as Super Friends, Smallville, and several series from within the Arrowverse. Hawkman has also gone through a convoluted variety of reinterpretations since his debut in the Golden Age of comics, the most notable of which would be have to be Katar Hol - a Thanagarian warrior prince whom DC has put through the retcon machine a dizzying amount of times as well.

Because we cannot be certain at this time exactly which iteration Aldis Hodge is intended to portray (and to avoid any further confusion when attempting to trace his history), we have decided to focus primarily on Carter Hall, the original Hawkman, for this piece. These following six essential facts about the premiere name behind that unmistakable battle armor should give you the right idea of what to expect from his DCEU debut in Black Adam, starting with the most basic explanation of how he came to be such a badass.

Before Carter Hall was Hawkman, he was Khufu

Hawkman Is The Reincarnation Of An Egyptian Prince

Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dennis Neville, Hawkman was introduced in the first ever issue of Flash Comics in January 1940. He first emerges (or, more accurately to the narrative, re-emerges) to fight evil when a wealthy, American archeologist named Carter Hall discovers that the reincarnated soul of the ancient Egyptian prince Khufu exists within him, imbuing him a slew of astonishing abilities to help him defend the Earth.

Hawkman fighting a winged ape

Hawkman Can Actually Communicate With Birds And Other Wildlife

Among the fascinating, otherworldly powers that Hawkman possesses are underwater breathing (thanks to Poseidon), spiritual blessings (having been a priest in a past life), a millennia’s worth of memories and knowledge and (most aptly) talking to various species of animals after years of learning the studying the ways of the hawk and languages of other well-known beasts. These do not, however, count for the skills that Carter Hall acquired prior to learning his true self, such as archeology, mastering various weapons (including the more archaic battle axes and maces he is best known for wielding) and a keen talent for scientific invention.

Hawkman flying

An Anti-Gravity Metal Allows Hawkman To Fly

Carter Hall’s inventive skills would come in handy when constructing the device that makes his defining ability to fly possible: a belt and boot combo made from a metallic substance known only as “Nth Metal,” which allows the user to defy gravity by their own mental control. He also laces the metal within the man-made, feathered wings he wears on his back to help him better navigate his flight pattern. In addition to being able to float, Hawkman can even use the Nth Metal to accelerate his healing factor and sustain himself for long periods of time - which, essentially, makes this substance an equivalent to Marvel’s vibranium, even though DC introduced its magic metal first.

Hawkman and the Justice Society of America

Hawkman Is A Founding Member Of The Justice Society Of America

Speaking of beating others to the punch, while most people consider the Justice League to be the ultimate collaboration of DC superheroes, they were not the first to do so, as the original formation of the Justice Society of America came about in the Golden Age of DC comics (1940, to be more precise). The founding members of this team (none of which headlined their own comics at the time) included Jay Garrick as The Flash, Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and, of course, Hawkman. Another key contributor of the JSA’s initial lineup was Sheira Sanders, a woman who was particularly close to Carter Hall.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl

Hawkman And Hawkgirl Fight Alongside Each Other As Partners

Sheira Sanders would eventually become Sheira Sanders Hall after falling in love with Carter Hall, as it is her destiny. Like Hawkman, she is also the reincarnation of an ancient royal figure who imbues her with the necessary abilities to fight evil as Hawkgirl, and whose soulmate is, indeed, Prince Khufu. As long as their curse to be repeatedly reborn in a new body lasts, these two will be partners in both profession and romance, giving the term “love birds” a whole new meaning.

Hector Hall as Doctor Fate

Hawkman And Hawkgirl Are Parents To A Later Incarnation Of Doctor Fate

Another superhero involved with the foundation of the Justice Society of America is Doctor Fate, a powerful sorcerer who (like pretty much any other costumed crimefighter you can name) has appeared as various characters in DC comics. One of the latter individuals to helm the moniker is Hector Hall, who happens to be the son of Carter Hall and Sheira Sanders Hall. Although Doctor Fate is among the JSA characters said to appear in Black Adam, I imagine that it will not Hector’s iteration we will see, especially considering the fact that his mother is not even going to be a part of the movie, which is another story altogether.

What do you think? Has our breakdown of the one iteration of Hawkman with the simplest history made you even more excited to see Aldis Hodge tear the screen up with a battle mace, or is the discovery that Hawkgirl will not be joining him in Black Adam underwhelmed you to the idea a bit? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for additional information and updates on the upcoming DCEU movie, as well as even more in-depth looks into the legacies of your favorite comic book characters, here on CinemaBlend.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.