Warning: SPOILERS for Hawkman #17
The Batman Who Laughs is spreading his terrible corruption throughout the DC Universe, and now it has finally spilled over into the pages of Hawkman. As one of the darkest and most brutal villains in DC history, it's no surprise he's making his mark on multiple characters. Now, he's taken DC's greatest warrior and turned him into something truly monstrous.
As the Year of the Villain event continues to unfold, The Batman Who Laughs's insidious influence will be felt, since he's still not done claiming DC's greatest heroes for his own evil-infected Justice League. With Commissioner Jim Gordon and the dark 'King Shazam' already corrupted, it seems the villain is in need of a tank. And while the DC Universe has some of the most powerful warriors in comics, fans know there's only one true warrior.
If even one of the Justice League's superhumans turned evil, it would be a massive catastrophe for the entire world. So there's no telling what The Batman Who Laughs can do when he's assembled his team. But what we do know is he's just added one of DC's oldest heroes to his roster. The reincarnating Hawkman, Carter Hall has been fighting evil around the world since the age of the pyramids. While his identity and name may change through his lifetimes, he's the same mighty warrior forged over centuries. With all that experience... he could be one of the most destructive forces in the Batman Who Laughs army. Sorry, make that "will be"...
In the pages of Hawkman #17, Carter Hall comes face to face with one of his oldest villains: Shadow Thief. Unsurprisingly, Hawkman finds this shadowy felon at the scene of yet another robbery. Despite Shadow Thief's new trick of sending Carter's own shadow against him, Hawkman eventually gains the upper hand. But in a blind rage, he throws himself at the Shadow Thief, beating him to the brink of death. Obviously, wielding a mace doesn't make for a peaceful-looking superhero, but Carter Hall has never been a murderer--and certainly not prone to the murderous rage readers witness. But even before most fans will ask if The Batman Who Laughs's influence is sinking its teeth into Carter Hall, he spins out completely.
Just as he's about to commit the murder, Hawkman is stopped by Shade The Changing Man. After sensing the fight from afar, Shade has come to calm his longtime friend. But the mysterious hero has never seen this bloodthirsty side of Carter before. To him, Carter is the same valiant warrior the readers know him to be, and recognizes some power is exerting control over him. Before he can cause any more damage, Shade teleports Carter to another location, where he undergoes a grotesque and terrifying transformation. No longer a hero awaiting his next life, but one hungering for "all this universe's lives."
As a shadowy presence consumes him, Hawkman transforms into the dark and twisted Sky Tyrant. A hideous, masked monstrosity, with an even MORE menacing mace! While the design is a thrill for fans ti behold, it's sure to strike fear into plenty of hearts around the DC Universe. The next issue, titled "Descent Into Madness," can only spell disaster for any who encounter the terrible Tyrant. Just how and when the Batman Who Laughs corrupted Carter Hall still remains a mystery, but the "madness" is sure to reveal itself as the Year of the Villain continues.
As one of Earth's greatest warriors, Hawkman has been counted on countless times to save the world from evil. Now, Carter Hall is the one Earth will need saving from (and the fact that Superman's too evil to stop him only makes matters worse). The terrible Sky Tyrant officially joins King Shazam and Commissioner Gordon as members of The Batman Who Laughs's intimidating "Secret Six." What havoc will this terrifying team wreak on the entire DC Universe? Will Shade The Changing Man be able to save his friend from this evil influence? Stay tuned to DC's Year of the Villain to find out!
Hawkman #17 is available now in your local comic book shops everywhere.