Walter Simonson: Hawkgirl's New Writer
By Gearalt Finlay
Walter Simonson is a name long associated with quality comic books. Water has come back to mainstream comics to write Hawkgirl. We caught up with Walter and talked to him about the changes readers can expect as the title changes from Hawkman to Hawkgirl.
Gearalt Finlay: Is Kendra still Hawkgirl or is there a new Hawkgirl?
Walter Simonson: Kendra is still the Hawkgirl of the title. We're picking up the pieces of her life a year after the end of the Rann/Thanagar War and other events in the DCU that altered her world.
Finlay: Will Hawkman still appear in the series?
Simonson: That would be telling. But, terse non-answers aside, Kendra's life in the title to this point has very much been about her relationship with Hawkman, and his absence in her life is in itself a thing not easily set aside. She's still wrestling with the consequences of their somewhat complex relationship.
Finlay: Will the series continue to be based in St. Roch, Louisiana?
Simonson: Yes. If anything, we hope to expand St. Roch's presence in the comic so that the city and the shadows of its history loom over the book like that 'pale, portentous ghost of death.' Oops, sorry. I'm quoting the opening of an old Russian novel there. But I do want the stories to reflect the shadows of the city almost as though the city were a character itself.
Footnote: For those who are curious, the novel is 'Breaking Point' by Michael Artzibashef.
Finlay: Will the series ever show the devastation that has occurred in Louisiana in the real world?
Simonson: I don't what to dwell on what happened in Louisiana but
we do make reference to the hurricanes in the first issue of Hawkgirl,
and there are peripheral effects from the storms that are still affecting
both St. Roch and our opening storyline.
Finlay: The series has had its share of horror characters and religious
characters will that continue?
Finlay: Will Hawkgirlcontinue to be a member of the JSA?
Simonson: Wasn't the JSA sucked up by some multi-national corporation
and incorporated as a part of the military-industrial complex? Or maybe
not. Howard tells me Kendra's not a joiner. As usual, I'm clueless. All I can
tell you is that I'm not writing the JSA!
Finlay: With the one year leap, how different will Hawkgirl's life be?
Simonson: In some ways-as in the continued absence of Hawkman for instance, her life is quite different. In others-such as her work as Hawkgirland at the Stonechat Museum-it's sort of the same, although perhaps she's trying to fill the void of Hawkman's absence a little too furiously. It's a bit like anybody's life after the loss of someone close to you. You try to move on but it's not easy. The past is always there with you and that's probably never been truer about anybody than it is in the case of the Hawks.
Finlay: Have we seen the last of the Golden Eagle?
Simonson: At this moment, hard to say. Or maybe I'm just not saying.
Finlay: Hawkman has historically had difficulty maintaining sufficient sales to support a monthly comic. How will Hawkgirlattract more readers?
Simonson: The current run of Hawkman seems to have inspired a number of devoted fans. I'm hoping we can keep most of them and add some new ones as we explore and expand Kendra's life. I'd like to do it the way the comics I read myself did it, by telling cool stories about interesting characters. I think Kendra is already interesting as a character. There are a lot of possibilities inherent in her current situation for stories well beyond anything that we already know about her. The notion that she has a dichotomous nature-part Kendra and part Shiera-and the fact that Kendra has a child somewhere-seem to me to be a part of a rather unexplored core of the character that I'd like to know more about myself.
Finlay: With both of you being writers and artists, is there any chance we will see you changing roles on and issue or a story arc?
Simonson: We haven't talked about anything like this but my feeling is that there isn't anything that's off the table as far as discussing future possibilities for the title. Howard and I have been pals a long time and we're both interested in doing a comic that stays unpredictable. And maybe a little dangerous.