Even Powers, every now and then, brings in some character from the comics, despite being very different from the original source in general. In the episode Aha Shake Heartbeat the young superheroine Zora has to make a public appearance with Retro-Girl, and her agent wants more action in the show: Mrs. Stocklin so hires a former supervillain, Red Hawk, portrayed by J. Teddy Garces, to attack Zora during the celebration, so that she’ll hit the spotlight once again. Red Hawk comes from the comics, even if he’s quite different: in the show, Stocklin calls him “Danny“, revealing a different secret identity; he is also a Power, able to glide and to turn his hands into hawk-like talons…while in the comics he has no superpowers, despite donning a mask and a costume. And, of course, he was a hero, not a villain. Let’s see together.
In a world inhabited by Powers, superhuman beings with astonishing abilities dressing themselves in fancy costumes and fighting crime (or committing them) on the streets, there were some regular people who didn’t renounce to the battle just because they were normal humans. Among these, the greatest of them all was Red Hawk, a caped crusader who compensated his lack of superpowers with harsh training and a number of powerful gadgets. In his private life, he was Clinton Broderick, a wealthy philanthropist famous in the entire country: Broderick gained popularity thanks to his many humanitarian projects, and eventually entered politics, becoming a Congressman. By night, however, Broderick donned the costume of Red Hawk and patroled the alleys of New York City. His activity was born as a solitary one, but eventually Broderick took in an orphan and raised him as a son, training him to become his sidekick: when the boy was ready, Red Hawk named him Wing, and the two became a dynamic crimefighting duo, whose lack of superpowers didn’t prevent them from kicking some evil Power’s butt. During the 60s, Red Hawk met other masked heroes who spent their life fighting crime like him: the nearly invincible Super-Shock, the mystic-nunchaku-wielder Dragonfist, the atomic-powered Nucleus and the warrior amazon Ultrabright. Along with them, Red Hawk founded one of the most powerful superhero teams ever, Unity, fighting as one to have the good guys triumph over evil. For years, Unity protected the world from threats too dangerous too be faced alone by a single hero, and became extremely popular. These were probably Red Hawk’s best years, but as all good things, even the experience with Unity came to an end.
First, the dynamic duo broke apart, as Wing declared his love to Red Hawk after solving a particularly difficult case, and tried to kiss him: the Hawk, shocked, gave Wing a serious beating, broke his arm and sent him to the hospital; then, when his (ex) sidekick regained consciousness, he paid him to leave the city and keep silence over everything he knew about him and Unity, and never saw him again. Following this, internal tensions started mining Unity from the inside, and eventually the team disbanded. From that moment, Unity became a for-profit organization led by Ultrabright, selling merchandise of superheroes and managing the rights of their image. Red Hawk continued his heroic career as a solo adventurer, but time wasn’t merciful with him, and the older and fatter he got, the more it became clear for him that the most he could aspire to was keeping his position as one of the public images of what remained of Unity (as well as mantaining his political career as Clinton Broderick). Then, even what remained of his life crumbled: as many others before him, Red Hawk had used his fame as a superhero to pick up girls; differently from the others (at least most of them), he had a particular liking for very young ones. Somebody ended up filming one of his sexual encounters with a minor, and Red Hawk’s name was dragged into a major pedophilia scandal; the only one who stayed at his side during the whole mediatic assault was Ultrabright, but she just wanted to defend her company’s interests, avoiding Red Hawk’s merchandise to be debased by the scandal: he was alone. Broken and depressed, hiding in the secret cave he used as a lair, Red Hawk was approached by an old friend, Super-Shock, who revealed to be the one who had made the video, and who gave it to the press. He then killed Red Hawk who, with his life ruined, didn’t even tried to put up a fight with his godlike ex-teammate. The Powers Division found his corpse in his cave, surrounded by his keepsakes: an old glory buried in his past.
Clinton Broderick is a man who has everything: money, beauty, fame, social recognition…and a secret life as one of the most popular superheroes ever. As Red Hawk, he has no superpower, but he’s an absolute master of nearly any known martial art, and he possesses an arsenal of advanced gadgets making him ready to face virtually any opponent; his strength, speed, reflexes and stamina are at peak human levels, and make him on a superior level to olympic champions. Pretty arrogant and egomaniac, with some sexual perversion to hide from the public eye, Red Hawk is one of the most loved heroes from the old generation…a depressed glory who slowly realizes that his time has passed, and that in the new world there’s no place for him anymore.