1895 - Carter Hall is born.
1909 - 14-year-old Carter first journeys to Egypt with his family.
1913 - 18-year-old Carter begins studying Archaeology.
1916 - WWI begins while 21-year-old Carter is attending school in Egypt.
1917 - 22-year-old Carter completes his studies while fighting in the war.
1919 - WWI ends.
1921 - 26-year-old Carter returns to the US to teach & plan for his major excavation. He meets Shiera Sanders.
1929 - 34-year-old Carter discovers the tomb of Khufu. He learns that he and Shiera Sanders are the reincarnation of an ancient Thanagarian Pharaoh and his Queen. They becomes Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
1939 - WW2 begins.
1941 - After the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Justice Society is formed, including 46-year-old Carter, who is elected chairperson.
1945 - WW2 ends.
11 years ago - 56-year-old Carter returns from Ragnarok with the rest of the Justice Society and joins the Justice League with Shiera Hall.
10 years ago - 57-year-old Carter battles the newly hatched Northwind, helping him return to Khandaq.
Hawkman is a longtime favorite character for us. He's intensely awesome; basically the Justice League equivalent of wolverine, but he also spent a very long time as the poster boy for broken character continuity. Watching him slowly regain his relevance is one of the most fun parts of the character.
An extremely popular golden age character and founding member of the Justice Society, he joined Green Lantern and the Flash in being re-imagined with a more science fiction backstory in during the comic book renaissance of the silver age. No longer just a man exploring his reincarnation from an Egyptian pharaoh, he was now an alien from the planet Thanagar. This new origin served him well during his run in the Justice League, until the successful Hawkworld series reset his timeline, suggesting that the alien version of the character had only JUST arrived on the planet, which meant that the longstanding Justice League member had to actually be the ORIGINAL Hawkman. Several attempts to resolve the logical consistencies of that plan complicated it past the breaking point, making the character all but unusable
Geoff Johns', at the height of his continuity fixing prowess, introduced the idea that The Egyptian pharaoh that Carter Hall was reincarnated from was actually Thanagarian. Now a product of constant reincarnation and a combination of all the variant versions of the character, He was still convoluted, but at least there was a single connective thread that made the character work, and they were free to use him again.
We made a few very deliberate choices to simplify and clarify his story, the very first being some changes to the Thanagarians. Their Nth Metal based technology has always had properties that bordered on magical, so we decided to make them more mysterious. The Thanagarians are now a lost civilization, having disappeared from the galaxy in the thousands of years since Carter's ancestor crashed in Egypt. The Nth Metal tech wielded by Carter is a legacy of a lost people.
Carter is a WWI veteran and egyptologist who lead the Justice Society before they were trapped in Ragnarok. When a few of then escaped, Carter and Shiera are the only survivors to continue their heroic career, joining the Justice League.
We've effectively removed the idea of a modern Thanagarian version of the character, and limited Carter to a single reincarnation, but the end result is an elder statesman and warrior that deserves to be recognized as one of the greatest legacy characters in the DC Universe.