Thursday, April 30, 2009
Hawkman's Villainous Tarot
In my post about the Power Of The Atom issue the other day, I made mention of Scipio's (of The Absorbascon) Villainous Tarot. In short, it is a matrix one can use to classify a superhero's foes. So, inspired by a similar post by Frank over at the Idol-Head of Diabolu, I am going to try to run through the Tarot for Hawkman, who is often accused of having no viable villains. This is just a first pass, and really want to get your input about my choices and what other choices you would make.
I put Sands here because he always seems ready to just screw with Hawkman, and taunting that there is no way Hawkman can touch him. His main gimmick is a gadget, yes, but the way he handles it I think he fits more in this category.
Crime Lord: CAW / Kristopher Roderick
This one could go either way. CAW, as far as I am concerned, is criminally (no pun intended) underused. It's nebulous enough that you can go in pretty much any direction you want, like SPECTRE from the James Bond novels and films. As for Roderick, well, even putting aside the fact that he is Hath-Set reborn, this evil collector of antiquities fits the role pretty nicely as well, what with his hiring of other villains to do his dirty work.
Opposite Number: Golden Eagle
This one seems pretty straightforward, yes?
Twisted One: Byth
I think the idea of Byth as the opposite number works better in a Silver Age, uptopian Thanagar setting, but the idea of Thanagarian criminal who commits crimes for the sheer thrill of it still holds weight. The shape-shifting alien monster forms also helps add to the "twisted" motif.
Mental Challenger: Gentleman Ghost
The Ghost, besides being easily the most popular of Hawkman's foes, is also one who seems to play the long game with him. Gentleman Ghost has lots of time on his hands, after all. Dealing with the Ghost is just as much about figuring out what he is up to as it is actually stopping him, and I think that fits this category nicely.
Physical Challenger: Lion-Mane / Copperhead
Lion-Mane is a bruiser, through and through. An encounter between Hawkman and Lion-Mane should be a knock-down, drag-out. And Copperhead, well, what's a better physical match-up than a raptor and a snake?
Gadgeteer: I.Q. / Matter Master / Fadeaway Man
I first put only I.Q. here. Building gadgets to help commit crimes is his schtick, and he is very good at it. Reading over Scipio's post, and his comments about Flash's Rogues, I decided to add Matter Master and Fadeaway Man on here as well. Neither one is too tremendous a threat on their own (Matter Master mainly because of his own incompetence, it seems, as you'd think someone with his gimmick would be better at his job), but they fit the motif. Matter Master and Fadeaway Man make good foes, but I.Q. has stronger standing as a long term threat, in my opinion.
Sexual Challenger: Tigress
Tigress is more of a rival to the current Hawkgirl, but of the very few female foes of Hawkman, she gets the nod here. There is the potential for sexual tension in combat with this tough cookie. Plus, red hair.
Evil Genius/Manipulator: Hath-Set
I combined these two together, mostly because they were the last two on the list and they both had the same character. No matter what body his soul is inhabiting, Hath-Set is the ultimate manipulator. Everything he does is part of some grander scheme to gain his revenge on the Hawks. Obviously this does not fit as well for a Thanagarian Hawkman, but I think you can swing it, still.
Well, that's what I came up with -- what do you all think? I'd really like to hear other suggestions or what characters belong in what categories. If nothing else, I think this demonstrates that Hawkman does have a pretty decent set of basic enemy types, and that with a little thought and care, one could very easily plot lots of stories using these villains.