Metal #4: Where is Hawkgirl?

{SPOILER ALERT! This article discusses a recently publish book}

The Dark Nights: Metal series started its run back in August. It is a short-lived comic book serial that is destined to run for a total of 6 issues along with a buttload of spin-offs for a total 25 issues. The latest three issues in the overall run were the one-off titled “The Batman Who Laughs” #1 (11/15/17), the tie-in issue of “Justice League” #33 (11/15/17), and “Dark Nights: Metal” #4 (12/13/17).

From the start of the series my focus has been on my main super-babe, Hawkgirl and her most recent secret ID: Kendra Saunders. Actually, in this series, she has only appeared as Kendra and she has identified herself as being “Lady Blackhawk”. This was very surprising for a number of reasons.

The Blackhawk series had been around since the 1940s. There were 265 issues published between 1944 and 1984. The series was originally published by Quality Comics until that house was swallowed by DC in 1956.

From the late 1950s, there has been a number of Lady Blackhawks throughout DC history. By my count, there have been four Lady Blackhawks. The Lady Blackhawk numera una was Zinda Blake and she first appeared in Blackhawk #133 (1959). Natalia Reed, Lady Blackhawk #2, first appeared in Blackhawk (Volume 2) #1(1988). The third Lady Blackhawk appeared in Mike Costa and Graham Nolan’s Blackhawks #1 (2011). This mysterious Lady Blackhawk III appeared in 2011 (two years after the disappearance of Kendra) for eight issues between 2011 and 2013.

So, why would Kendra Saunders now be “Lady Blackhawk”? Of course, she does explain, in the context of this story, why she and the Blackhawk team have come together, but “Why is Hawkgirl now Lady Blackhawk?” (And that, by the way, is a rhetorical question).

Also, as far as I know, there has never been an association between the Hawks (Hawkman & Hawkgirl) and the Blackhawks team. That is except, perhaps, for the similarity between the chest emblems used by the two groups – the silhouette of the head of a black hawk on a yellow (or sometimes red) circle.

Then there is the fact that Kendra is supposed to be dead. The Kendra Saunders character was killed off in Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)…

…or, and it is complicated, she (Shiera Hall) remained an air elemental at the end of Brightest Day #18 (April 2011). Take your pick! Either way, she is gone.

So, seeing Kendra alive in Metal #1 (8/16/17) made my heart go pitter-patter.

Of course, there is no explanation as to how she is alive or where she came from. All we know is the story that was told by the unseen reader of Carter’s journal. A story, by the way, some parts of which I do not believe are repeated anywhere in past canon.

Here I am referring to the story-within-a-story told by an unseen narrator in Dark Nights: Forge, Dark Night: Casting, and Metal #1 – a reading from the journal of Carter Hall. Carter (aka Hawkman) is, of course, the past-life lover of Kendra Saunders/Shiera Hall.

And here I raise the question about something that bothers me the most: Who is Kendra Saunder? Is she Kendra Saunders or is she the body of Kendra Saunders hosting the walk-in spirit of Shiera (Saunders) Hall? (See, see, I told you it was complicated.) So far, those questions have not been answered.

As to the question of the status of Hawkgirl, my hopes were nearly dashed when she informed the Justice League that she had destroyed her wings and thrown out Nth metal. I mean, like who is Kendra Saunders if she is not “Hawkgirl? (And don’t you say Lady Blackhawk!).

The fact that Kendra appeared in all issues and in different spots she played a key role in advancing the plot was very uplifting. I felt like any moment she would reveal herself as the return of Hawkgirl. Alas, it did not happen.

Question: Why is Kendra having brunch with the Immortals in a secret lair underneath the Antarctic Lava Pits ? Answer: She is an immortal herself having been born and reborn through numerous past lives. BUT! That only works if Kendra is not “Kendra”, but rather she is “Shiera”. BECAUSE! It is Shiera’s soul that has been reborn over and over again. YET! Kendra announced that she was herself at the end of Blackest Night. (DAMN YOU, Blackest Night!)

And is there any connection with Kendra Saunders and the upcoming, new series “The Challengers” and “The Immortals”?

Then when Hawkgirl did that fake out thing with Batman in the tomb of Hath-Set I was all like “Oh, Snap!”

The other night I was up way past midnight. I was in bed with the covers over my head so I would not bother the wife while I was reading my Fire tablet. I downloaded from Comixlogy and was reading the latest installment of “Dark Nights: Metal” #4. Somewhere toward the end things got really crazy when Kendra flipped out in front of Dr. Fate and Wonder Woman. Was she chewing on someone’s brain?

Then I saw something that really freaked me out: Kendra was transformed into a dark universe-styled “Lady Blackhawk.”

And wait until you see what they did to Hawkman…

We are going to have to wait until next Wednesday and for the release of “Hawkman Found” and hopefully it will answer for me my main question: “Where is Hawkgirl?!!?”