BIG IDEA: “MACE” (with all apologies for the remedial art)
I’ve always liked the idea of veering away from straight-forward storytelling in superhero books. I think POV doesn’t get used nearly enough, and it’s a great device for making old characters gain new dimension via the lens. This idea isn’t for a book with this character’s name in the title at all. It’s actually a Hawkman book (“Hawkman’s Shadow”). I think the one thing people like the most about that guy is watching him fight. He just looks plain great in action; I’d even say more epic than most. He never seems to be able to keep a title afloat though, and that’s why he’s forever being revised and augmented. I think about Starman a lot when it comes to success in making a superhero book something bigger, and I see that Hawk would be a great candidate for something like that. With all the resurrection angles and such, there’s a limitless well to go back and forth to, and make a great big story. This is one I came up with, where the title character is central, but not main, to the book.
Jeff Sanders is having a very odd time. Six months ago, he was the gifted lawyer who reached partnership in a prestigious law-firm before hitting 30. After working ‘til the last minute at the office, he ran out without paying attention to make a dinner date with his fiancee and was plowed into by a car. In the hospital, he flat-lined. Seven minutes later, his vitals returned. He woke up in the hospital to find his parents and fiancee sitting in watch. He remembered everything about his life from the beginning to now, but with no emotional attachment whatsoever. He was in a room with loved ones, but felt no love at all. Upon his release, a new and big phenomenon in his home Midway City caught his attention and captivation- The Hawkman, a larger than life flying crime-fighter, who used archaic weaponry and soared on huge wings protecting the city from harm.
Immediately, he becomes rapt with this figure. He takes to the streets at night to spot him in action, and to his surprise he does so with relative ease. His fascination become compulsion and obsession. He is dismissed by the senior partners at his firm. His fiancee can’t take his emotional rigidity and endless distracted nature and leaves him. His parents distance themselves from him, too. He’s alone and GLAD.
On an excursion that will hopefully lead to a Hawk-sighting, Jeff is attacked by a pack of thieving thugs with bats and knives. In under five minutes, he manages to submit a beat-down to the whole group, using fighting styles he never studied. Also, he enjoys something for the first time since the accident. He sells his uptown condo and buys a warehouse, filling it with workout equipment, an old Triumph Indian motorcycle, a cot, and a hot-plate. He spends his evenings working out, his nights roaming the streets looking for action, and his days trying to sleep, despite the constant dreams of a man in ancient Egypt, a man on a horse with a mask, and lots of other out-of-time strangers. Plus, in many of the dreams, someone kills him.
He begins calling himself ‘The Mace’, and wearing a mask and helmet, carrying hand made old school weapons like sling-shots and bats with nails. He takes a grunt ‘heavy lifting and custodial position at Midway Museum, and becomes fascinated with the curator, Carter Hall, who has an inexplicably charismatic effect on him, and who seems to get him like no one else does. He’s also enamored of all the artifacts from various periods and finds them familiar.
What Jeff doesn’t yet know (but will shortly) is that Carter Hall IS Hawkman, a warrior who gets resurrected after being murdered in each of his lives by the spirit of the Egyptian tyrant that first murdered him. By his side is the always reborn Chay-Era, who was murdered at his side the first time. Jeff’s soul is that OF hers. When he finds out, he will run from his destiny, only to have fate intervene every time and put him in the path of the Hawk. He must somehow reconcile the fact that he’s supposed to be beside this hero, and die with him as well.
I would see it as the exploration of what a soul-mate really is. This is not, I repeat, NOT a big gay love story. It’s about the nature of total connection without immediate physical attraction. It’s about someone finding out they’re no longer who they thought they were. It would call for TONS of action, and for it to work and sing, there would have to be a big dose of comedy to compliment the strife and ire of the characters (some of which would definitely be the discomfort of the two over just how comfortable they are with each other). What happens when one starts dating and the other gets jealous? What happens when the one who does start dating is bored stiff every time and is so much more comfortable kicking asses with the other? What do you do when you KNOW someone’s going to show up and murder you? I think this could go in a lot of directions, but in the last issue, they HAVE to die.