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|First appearance||Stormwatch #37 (July 1996)|
|Alter ego||Jack Hawksmoor|
|Abilities||A vast array of powers linked to a city environment|
Jack Hawksmoor is a fictional character, a superhero and member of The Authority in the Wildstorm Universe and of Stormwatch in the DC Universe. He first appears in Stormwatch #37 and was created by Warren Ellis.
Fictional character biography
Hawksmoor was described in The Authority #1 as the "God of Cities", though a 2008 solo series called him the "King of Cities" by contrast with a future race of city-empathic figures who were Gods of Cities. As a child, he was repeatedly abducted and surgically modified by humans from the 70th century, the result of which is he is linked to whatever city he finds himself in. These future humans modified Hawksmoor to provide him with the ability to combat a threat from the distant future, a gestalt being that was the entirety of Kansas City from the 70th century. Hawksmoor defeated the being by merging with—and transforming—the city of Tokyo into a giant humanoid being, battling and destroying the invader. (Jenny Sparks: The Secret History of The Authority #3)
Jack Hawksmoor began quietly fighting crime in the city, later moving to strike higher, at politicians and corporations. He caught the attention of Stormwatch's Henry Bendix, who offered him a place in Stormwatch Black, the covert operations team of Stormwatch, alongside Jenny Sparks and Swift. Hawksmoor helped remove power-mad, super-powered cops, stop biological warfare in a small American city, solve the murder of ex-Stormwatch member Undertow and he personally fought and killed the insane, murderous, illegitimate son of a revered American president.
Jack had a tough time with Stormwatch, as the organization's orbital fortress was simply not large enough to support his unique biological systems. Medical assistance was not very helpful.
Hawksmoor was part of the mission against the Changers, a super-powered group out to change the world. During this mission, he was forced to kill teammate Rose Tattoo in order to stop her from murdering. The action failed, as all the Changers ended up murdered or dead.
After Stormwatch was destroyed by alien life-forms, Hawksmoor went into hiding with Jenny Sparks and Swift. There they recruited Apollo, Midnighter, the Engineer and the Doctor, the latter two being spiritual successors of two of the members of the Changers.
This team later became The Authority, whose first action is the reaction to a devastating supervillain attack on Moscow. This was where Jack learned his powers had increased, bonding him to cities much faster than usual. For example, Moscow let him know she was hurting through a painful nosebleed.
The Authority operated on a ship called The Carrier, which was large enough to qualify as a city, thus keeping Jack healthy.
After helping in various invasions, such as from Sliding Albion and God's own worms, Jack was there when Jenny's unique life came to an end. He inherited leadership of the team, leading it through many more dimension-crossing misadventures. He helped assert the team's independence, even once threatening Bill Clinton. For a while, when the team was replaced by evil forces, he lived brain-damaged and homeless, unable to convince anyone who he was. He was rescued by his teammates and restored to his normal self.
The team broke up in 2005 and was restored in 2008 by Jenny Quantum. Jack still completely subscribes to the team ideology to fight for a finer world, no matter what it takes.
Despite his deformed genitals (which had made a Secret Service agent vomit), Jack is a womanizer, and he has an open on/off relationship with the Engineer.
It is noteworthy that Jack used to consider killing a last resort. When he was fighting the bastard child of an American President mentioned above, he said "Damn you for making me do this, you filthy bastard," just before hanging him. With tears welling in his eyes, he asks Stormwatch control to teleport him out of the place.
The 2008 Number of the Beast Wildstorm miniseries described the devastation of Earth, and set the scene for a new Authority ongoing series, World's End, by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. In this series Jack is confined to the ruins of the crashed Carrier. Like the ship and the ruins of London into which it crashed, Jack is left wrecked and disfigured, crippled and hooked to IV drips, reliant on a depowered Engineer for care.
In an alternate reality, Jack became Stormwatch's Weatherman. Even though this alternate Jack was slowly having his alien parts removed, he still had many powers, such as being able to detect the atoms-wide dimensional breach the regular Stormwatch was using to spy on him.
In another, Jack was female and pregnant. Jack Hawksmoor actually met this version during an evacuation while the earth was in peril.
Powers and abilities
He is physically unable to survive outside of an urban environment for long; however, when he is within an urban environment, he has vast, vaguely defined superpowers linked to the city, such as superhuman agility and strength, and telepathic control, such as animation and possession, of infrastructure and architecture, and allowing him to experience precognition and psychometry as if he and the city were one being. In some instances, he has transformed an entire city into a humanoid battlesuit and used it to fight. Jack treats individual cities as if each were their own being. Jack does not need to eat, as he can convert air pollution into nourishment. He can also transport between cities, originally inside a womb-like construct, though this may have changed. Also, he doesn't always estimate the time for womb-transport correctly.
Jack tends to use the artificial transporter mechanisms of his team's headquarters to facilitate transport from city to city, as seen in Wildstorm Summer Special.
His powers and weaknesses are entirely symbiotic; the larger or more populous the city, the greater his abilities; and, conversely, if the city is damaged, he becomes less effective or develops an injury. Jack has been shown commanding cities to literally swallow people whole, sometimes Jack has caused parts of the city to erupt, damaging enemies. He also has showed to be able to fix damages and renew cities parts.
Even though there is almost nothing left inside him that could be considered human, he is visibly distinguished only by his red pupils and ribbed/metallic (depending on the artist) soles of his feet (the latter has the deliberate result that he does not need to wear shoes, hence he can go barefoot and always be in contact with the city's streets and sidewalks). In his original appearance in Stormwatch, a government agent vomited at the sight of Jack naked, implying that his genitals were horrifically deformed. However, Hawksmoor has had multiple sexual relationships throughout his subsequent appearances, and such an issue has never been depicted.
Jack Hawksmoor is one of the superheroes without costumes, although he is usually dressed in a stylish black suit with a white shirt.
The concept of Jack Hawksmoor came from the observation that almost all superheroes usually operate in a city - possibly because large buildings such as skyscrapers provide a sense of scale to the actions of superheroes such as flying or fighting large monsters. Some of his powers (superhuman agility and the apparent ability to stick to walls) are based on the classic urban superhero Spider-Man.
- Ellis, Warren; Bryan Hitch (2000). The Authority: Relentless. Titan Books Ltd. p. 192. ISBN 1-84023-194-7.
- Costa, Michael; Fiona Staples (2009). The Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor. DC Wildstorm Comics. ISBN 1-84856-186-5.
- ""Hawksmoor", by Mike Costa". Comic Book Script Archive. November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on January 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
They call me the King of Cities, but now you know. I'm not their king. I'm their slave. (Issue #4)- proposal notes "He may be the King of Cities… but perhaps, also, he is their slave as well."