ComicsVerse talks to Rob Venditti about HAWKMAN. If you want more NYCC content, head to ComicsVerse on all socials, and the website, of course. The transcript has been edited for accuracy.

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ComicsVerse (CV): I read online that you called Hawkman a scholar. I’m curious as to why he’s considered a scholar.

Rob Venditti: I think of him as a scholar because he’s an archaeologist. And when you think about a character who reincarnates, why would they want to become an archaeologist? Why would he have that background? It’s because he’s lived all these lives and experienced all these cultures. Some of which don’t even exist anymore. He’s taken it upon himself to preserve those cultures and to make sure that the knowledge of them endures. He’s not somebody that just became this ultra-skilled warrior or any of those kinds of things, that’s certainly true, but he approaches it from a perspective of an appreciation for history and the things that he’s done because he lived it, he knew those people.

It doesn’t mean he’s not going to fight. The way I describe him is, he’s not going to be the first guy, he’s not going to hit you first, he’s going to hit you last. You don’t want to make a fight with him. And he’s not going to be his first impulse to do that but if you push him to that place, then the warrior comes out and it’s game on. And you don’t want to be part of that. But I always try to approach him as a thinking man first. He’s trying to figure things out before just smashing ’em.

CV: And I also heard there’s a little bit of a bromance with another character who’s got a little bit of a story in Hawkman as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that as well?

Rob Venditti: Yeah, issues five and six we’re bringing back the Atom, Ray Palmer, which is a friendship that goes back decades with Hawkman and so Hawkman has discovered in our story that he doesn’t just reincarnate across time, he reincarnates across time and space. He’s reincarnated into all these different places, he was a Kryptonian at one point, he was a Ranian, he’s obviously been a Thanagarian. Well, we find out in issues five and six in one of his past lives he existed inside the Microverse.

So he goes inside the Microverse where Ray Palmer is sort of living, exploring and protecting. They go on an adventure together that isn’t just about teaming the two of them up and doing that nostalgia thing, it’s very much about Hawkman trying to unravel the mysteries of his past. There are more clues for him waiting in the Macroverse and the Microverse that only Ray Palmer, his genius, physicist friend can really help him understand. And so, while there is a friendship that we’re bringing back and we’re very excited about that. It’s all done in service of pushing our story forward.

CV: Now, you had mentioned before the interview about doing this for 14 years. I’m curious, doing this so long, do you ever feel a little bit of fatigue as far as writing stories? What keeps you motivated, inspired, creative to do this for so long and I’m assuming for 14 more years to come.

Rob Venditti: I hope, yeah. I’ll come work for you if everybody else fires me. So I haven’t been writing for 14 years but I’ve been in comics for 14 years. I worked in Publishing before that. I’ve been writing since, really since about, I would say 2012 is when I started working for Valiant. But yeah, maybe 250 comic books I’ve written at this point.

CV: That’s a lot.

Rob Venditti: That is a lot and I don’t really consider myself to be an idea factory, you know, like some people are like tv sets you can just turn them on and it’s ideas. I don’t really see myself like that but just the way my mind tends to work that just about the time I’m done writing one thing I have an idea for the next thing. And I’m more of a long-form storyteller. Like with Hawkman, this first year is kind of one big, long-form story that’s divided up into individual chunks.

Self-contained single issues. But that big long-form story when I think that way it helps me sort of plan it out and be able to do those things as I go. I don’t know, it’s like in a way it’s another way of asking that question where do ideas come from and I really don’t know the answer. I wish I did, I’d make it happen more often. But I’m lucky enough to be able to have the next one when I need it so hopefully, that doesn’t run out.

CV: Now Hawkman’s a bit of an established character. What do you hope to bring with essentially your run, you creative take? Is there like a specific goal, a specific idea that you want to get across with the character? It might even be that scholar thing. What, what is it?

Rob Venditti: For us, it’s really the idea of bringing it all together and saying that he doesn’t just reincarnate across time. He reincarnates across time and space. And using that to make him a central figure of the DC Universe. In some ways, he is the living historical document of the DC Universe. And when you think about what that means, that he has a past life as a Kryptonian or a Thanagarian, or he’s been alive since the dawn of man on Earth, what that connects him to.

Really makes him a figure of central importance and really valuable in the sense of the wider DCU. Because again, it’s not stuff you read about in the book. He lived it and so what that’s going to mean on a more global level, we’re going to start to see not just in our series, but in other series as well as we start to connect those dots.

CV: Alright for our last question. If someone wanted to pick up Hawkman, why should they buy the series?

Rob Venditti: If you like adventure, you like super heroics, it’s very much an Indiana Jones type story. But presented in a way that we’re bringing superhero stories into it. And making him the Indiana Jones of the DCU. So he’s not going to normal Earth down places. He’s going to the ruins of Gorilla City or he’s going to Thanagar, Dinosaur Island, or the Microverse and all these places just unique to the DCU.

And I really feel like what Brian and I are doing with the story, what he’s bringing to it with his own creativity, it’s a type of adventure story that I don’t think you’re going to find anywhere else on the stands. It really is a unique series in that regard. So if you like those kinds of stories, definitely give it a shot.

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