365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

T-shirt #49: Hawkman

T-shirt #49: Hawkman or Wings are Cool

Super-heroes with wings = cool.

The Angel, the Falcon, Dawnstar, Birdman, Man-Bat, Bumblebee, Red Raven, and Stingray among others.

And Hawkman.

Wings are cooler than big capes, though big capes are a close second (Doctor Strange and Batman being two of the coolest cape-wearers... though some people would add SPAWN to this list).

These loves, like a love for capes, all originate in childhood play. Toys with wings are very cool because flight simulation play is a very natural tendency, especially for boys. Freud linked flight dreams with sex, but then Freud linked everything with sex. There may be something to Freud's theories, but I think they may be outmoded. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I spent a lot of time simulating flight, thinking about flight and even wearing capes. (Big surprise.) I do not consider these cape wearing play times to be based in sex fantasies. These were flight fantasies. I wanted to fly. Besides, the futurists and science fiction writers promised that by 2013 (and possibly much sooner), we would all have our own jet packs and flying cars.


So, this all brings me to Hawkman. Today, I am wearing my Hawkman shirt, ordered before I started this blog but purchased since the blog began. And though the picture does not represent the color well, it is a very gorgeous golden color, another yellow-gold shirt for spring.

I am not sure that I am ready to make a top ten or top twenty superhero list yet (though this kind of categorization is partly what this blog is all about), but I am ready to make a distinction about my love for certain Silver Age DC heroes. Loving Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman is kind of taken for granted. I really loved the secondary heroes who were featured less often, such as The Flash (T-shirt #20),  Deadman  (T-shirt #43), The Atom, Adam Strange, Elongated Man, Phantom Stranger, Red Tornado, the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Hawkman.

Several of these heroes enjoyed their own titles (Aquaman, Phantom Stranger, Flash, The Atom) while others were paired in companion books (Hawkman/Atom, Green Arrow/Green Lantern) while others languished in special appearances only.

Part of what makes DC comics confusing for many readers is the mixed up history. For a long time, Marvel was more linear and simplified by comparison, though this is no longer true. Hawkman is a good case study in DC's ongoing continuity entanglements with its characters as there are multiple versions of Hawkman to choose from. The good news is that they all have wings. And wings are cool.

Hawkman started out as Carter Hall debuting in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. American archeologist Carter Hall is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian Prince Khufu killed with his consort Chay-Ara (Shiera Sanders, aka Hawkgirl) by the priest Hath-Set.
Later, when DC rebooted its Golden Age characters in the Silver Age in the early 1960s, Hawkman becomes Katar Hol, an imperial prince from the planet Thanagar who becomes a member of the the planet's Hawk-Police that leads him (and his wife/partner, Shayera Thol, aka Hawkgirl and later, more appropriately, Hawkwoman) to earth tracking a Thanagarian criminal. Katar underwent another reboot in 1989 with the prestige series Hawkworld by Timothy Truman, followed by the Hawkman volume 3 series that ran until 1996. DC has once again rebooted Hawkman with the New 52. Hawkman is now just Carter Hall, but it has yet to be established if he is an alien Thanagarian or a reincarnated Egyptian.

My first introduction to Hawkman came in the early issues of Justice League and then Hawkman #24, published in February/March 1968, featuring two stories among my favorites from those early comics: "The Robot Raiders from Planet Midnight" (isn't that the best title ever?) and "The Man Who Grew Wings."

I am reading the current Hawkman comics, even though I am not enjoying them as much as most of the other New 52 titles. Still, Hawkman has wings. And wings are cool.

FINAL NOTE: The toy comes from the excellent series Kingdom Come created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross and published by DC Comics in 1996. According to Wikipedia: "Hawkman: Now a literal 'hawk-man', he has become a guardian of nature, though also referred to as an ecological terrorist. The story does not specify which version of Hawkman this is, apart from "combining the spirit of the old with the otherworldly flesh of the new", which suggests Carter Hall in the body of the post-Zero Hour "Hawkgod". He is killed in the nuclear blast" ("Kingdom Come (comics)," Wikipedia, 2013).

Did I mention that wings are cool?

- chris tower - thinking about flying - 1305.09 - 9:12

One drawing courtesy of Elvin Ching/ ZeroPointFive

Art by Elvin Ching