Hath-Set/Anton Hastor

Hath-SetThere’s still one character present in the recent crossover between Arrow and The Flash, and despite we first see him in Legends of Today, he’s named only in Legends of Yesterday: in the flashback showing us the first life (and death) of Hawkman and Hawkgirl, we also learn Vandal Savage‘s true name, which happens to be Hath-Set…who in the comics is another character entirely. The villain portrayed by Casper Crump, in fact, is a mix of two different characters: on one side, the evil immortal Vandal Savage who wants to reshape the world to his own image, on the other, the just as evil ancient priest Hath-Set who’s a relentless nemesis for Hawkgirl and Hawkman. Having seen the first already, let’s take a proper look at the second.

Hath-Set was born in Egypt, during the 19th dynasty. A powerful priest, who worshipped also gods like Set the God of ChaosApophis the Destroyer and Ammit the Bone-Eater, Hath-Set had great influence in the reign of Ramesses II, and used it mainly for personal privilege. The priest could have everything he wanted in the kingdom, using his connection to the gods to scare people, to increase his power and wealth. The only thing that Hath-Set couldn’t have among the ones he desired was the love of Chay-Ara, the only woman who rejected him, the bethroted of the heroic prince Khufu. Jealous of the two’s love, Hath-Set was only waiting for the right occasion to hurt them as much as he could, and when Khufu brought to the Temple of Horus a new, unknown metal (the Nth Metal, collected by a crashed starship from planet Thanagar), the priest found the perfect instrument for his revenge, realising the mystical properties of the material and learning to use it to channel his own magical power. On a fateful night, during one of Khufu’s meetings with Chay-Ara, the evil priest ambushed the couple, and stabbed hath-setcomics1them both using a dagger made of Nth Metal. Before the dying lovers could exhale their last breath, Hath-Set prayed his dark gods, and casted a cruel curse on them, wanting to provent them from ever be together in this life or in the next one: from that moment, Khufu and Chay-Ara would have been denied the afterlife, and they would have been trapped into an everlasting circle of reincarnation; in every life they lived, they would have found each other, and lost each other, suffering all the pain of a broken heart for thousands of years. In order to make sure his gods listened to his words, Hath-Set cursed himself as well: also his ka (his immortal soul) would have been bonded to the world, and would have been irresistibly attracted to Khufu’s and Chay-Ara’s new incarnations, and he would have hunted them down with the sole purpose of killing them. After his first death, Hath-Set reincarnated, he found his reborn enemies, and slaughtered them again. And again, and again, for centuries, in a neverending circle of hatred.

Usually, Hath-Set’s memories awoke before Khufu’s and Chay-Ara’s ones, so he had all the time to look for the couple and plan his next cruel murder. At the beginning of the XX Century, Hath-Set was reborn as Anton Hastor, and used the knowledge of his previous lives to become a renowned scientist and archaeologist. In the 1940s, he found out that both the prince and the princess had reincarnated as archaeologists, Carter Hall and Shiera Sanders respectively, and organised and excavation in an ancient temple to lure them to Egypt. While working on the excavation, however, Carter’s memories awoke, and using his old Nth Metal armor and weaponry he became the heroic Hawkman to protect Shiera; the woman’s ancient soul awoke soon after, and she joined her beloved as Hawkgirl. Hastor failed to kill the two winged heroes during their first meeting, but he had time. He used hath-setcomics2his wealth and resources to collect a number of scientists from all over the world, and he built a colossal flying machine able to destroy an entire city, planning to put an end to the ongoing World War II emerging as the sole victor: Hawkman and Hawkgirl, along with the All-Star Squadron, battled him, and when Hastor kidnapped Hawkgirl, a furious Hawkman killed him with his crossbow, putting an end to the priest’s new life. Hath-Set, however, had improved his magic over the millennia, and had learnt yet another trick: now his soul, always bound to the world, didn’t need to reincarnate anymore, and it could move freely even without a body. As a disembodied spirit, then, he had the power of possession, which he used decades later on Hector Hall, the son of Carter and Shiera: in the following battle, Hath-Set was defeated again, but at the cost of Hector’s life, thus inflicting to his hated enemies a pain such as they never felt before. Soon after, Hath-Set possessed the body of one of his descendants, a woman called Helene Astar: Hawkman and Hawkgirl believed that Astar was the latest incarnation of their nemesis, and the one responsible for Hector’s mind-control, and battled her on the Himalayas, eventually killing her, believing to have ended Hath-Set’s menace for yet another lifetime. They would have soon learnt how wrong they were…

Hath-Set is a cruel man, a power-hungry priest who uses his many talents, his influence and his wealth for his own profit. Greedy, jealous, possessive, Hath-Set wants everything he can lay his eyes upon, and is ready to annihilate whoever prevents him from obtaining what he desires. He’s a powerful sorcerer who has access to an ancient magic, channelled and powered by the Nth Metal, and he is a master of curses who can also control Egypt’s natural elements (to create sandstorms, summon locusts etc.); with the years, he learnt to escape the cycle of death and rebirth he himself had started, and is now able to roam the Earth as a disembodied spirit, possessing mind and body of his many descendants. Hath-Set poses an extremely dangerous threat to the world, and in particular to the two people he hates the most, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, whose happiness is for him an unforgivable insult.



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