This is about a recently published comic book – Justice League (vol. 5) Annual #1. Spoiler-alert! In this issue, something mind-blowingly weird happens to Hawkgirl. Since before the current JL series, there has been something different about her. For a year now, going back to Dark Nights: Metal #4 (February 2018), when Kendra took a bite out of the astral brain of the Anti-Monitor and Wonder Woman helped retransform from her Lady Blackhawk form, she has been going through some other transformations. Also, I think that she has been the star of the show in the, so far, eighteen issues and one annual of the 4th series to bear the title “Justice League”.
After coming under Barbatos’s influence, she underwent a process known as “Nth Metal Fusion”. Kendra’s bond to Nth Metal was merged into her being. She claims to have had a past life as a Thanagarian. This becomes a handy plot device for merging all versions and incarnations of Hawkgirl (Kendra = Shiera = Shayera). I think it works. Especially with what comes out in the issue prior to the Annual.
In one issue, she is nearly killed by the Joker. He tried to decapitate her with a chain saw.
In another issue, Luthor tries to kill her. It is in this issue that Hawkgirl comes into contact with the Totality – the very essence of all existence, knowledge, and reality.
After that, there is something very different about Kendra. For one, her feathered pinions are replaced by a pair of shiny bronze and silver-colored wings made of Nth metal. We later learn that her wings are some kind of a map of the Totality and that they are retractable.
In Justice League #15, Kendra travels to Thanagar Prime and comes face to face with Shayera Hol, who is now the Empress of Thanagar and is without a “Hawkman”. Kendra is, of course, the lineal descendant of the golden age Hawkgirl of the 1940s and Shayera is the latest version of the Silver age Hawkgirl that first appeared in the 1960s. I thought that the latter died in the Rann/Thanagar War (2006) and I do not recall the explanation for her reappearance.
In this issue, Kendra is nearly killed by a “Savage Hawkman”. This less than a whole clone of Hawkman is a version of the character who appeared in a short-lived series by the same name in 2013.
Now comes the spoiler part – the two women realize that they have shared memories and these memories primarily involve their relationship with Carter Hall/Katar Hol (aka Hawkman).
Then in issue #17, something very crazy occurs when the new guy, Starman, shows up on Thanagar-Prime and does something freaky by pulling something out of Shayera and putting it inside of Kendra (Shiera). Shayera asks Starman: “Did you just rip out my soul and give it to her?”
I feel like the writers are fixing something that should have been fixed years ago, but I am not complaining as this makes the Hawkgirl character even more complex.
The even crazier part comes in the Annual and (spoiler alert!) Kendra/Shiera/Shayera sacrifices herself to save the multiverse from destruction by helping to plug a hole in the Source Wall. There I said it! Yet how that happens and what happens after that you will have to read for yourself in Justice League (2018-) Annual #1 (January 2019)