SUPERMAN: James Gunn Celebrates Hawkgirl's Anniversary And Reveals Which Iteration Isabela Merced Is Playing

SUPERMAN: James Gunn Celebrates Hawkgirl's Anniversary And Reveals Which Iteration Isabela Merced Is Playing

Superman director James Gunn has celebrated the DC Comics debut of Hawkgirl, confirming which iteration of the character Isabela Merced (Madame Web) will play in the DCU (and it's exactly who we expected).

By JoshWilding - Jun 17, 2024 05:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Superman: Legacy

Like many DC Comics characters, a few different heroes have held the "Hawkgirl" mantle since the character was created in 1940. 

The first was Shiera Sanders Hall, with Shayera Hol and Kendra Saunders following. Later, it was established that Shiera was Kendra's ancestor; as for Shayera, she's a separate character who ultimately became Hawkwoman. 

We'd expected Superman's Hawkgirl - where she'll be played by Madame Web and The Last of Us star Isabela Merced - to be Kendra, and that's now been confirmed by DC Studios boss and filmmaker James Gunn.

"Today is the anniversary of Kendra Saunders' first appearance as [Hawkgirl]!" he said on Instagram yesterday. "While Kendra took flight in JSA Secret Files #1 in 1999 under writers James Robinson and David S. Goyer and artists Louis Small Jr. and Michael Bair, Hawkgirl first hit stands in 1940 as Shiera Sanders-Hall in Flash Comics #1 written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Dennis Neville."

"So excited for [Isabel Merced] to don the wings in [Superman]! (Art from Hawkgirl #2 by Adriano Lucas & Amancay Nahuelpan)."

In the comics, Kendra's story begins with her suicide attempt, which results in the spirit of her ancestor, Shiera Hall (the original Hawkgirl and the lover of Hawkman), merging with her body. This reincarnation gives Kendra the memories and abilities of Shiera, including the use of Nth metal wings and weaponry, which grant her flight and enhanced strength.

"I was a DC kid growing up," Merced previously said of being cast in Superman. "We had the action figures, and most of them were so old and used that the paint had come off… But I really adored Hawkgirl. I had Hawkgirl and Hawkman as part of my collection."

"Well, technically it wasn’t mine. It was my siblings and I’s collection. We had Hot Wheels too. We just had a really fun, enjoyable childhood with those. So, this is a full circle moment."

"James Gunn also curated a lot of my favorite childhood movies, like the Scooby Doo movies," the actress continued. "And to work with him and learn from him, he’s just got such a solid team and a solid way of just doing it. He knows. He just knows. And he likes me too, I think, so that’s awesome."

Check out Gunn's post below.

Superman tells the story of Superman's journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.

David Corenswet is playing the Man of Steel, while Rachel Brosnahan has been tapped to star as Lois Lane.

The cast includes Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner, Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho, and Gabriela de Faría as The Engineer.

Supporting characters include Sara Sampaio as Eve Teschmacher, Wendell Pierce as Perry White, Skyler Gisondo as Jimmy Olsen, Pruitt Taylor Vince as Pa Kent, Neva Howell as Ma Kent, Beck Bennett as Steve Lombard, Mikaela Hoover as Cat Grant, Christopher MacDonald as Ron Troupe, and Nicholas Hoult as Lex Luthor.

Milly Alcock is also expected to make a cameo appearance as Supergirl before taking flight in her own movie, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow.

Superman is currently set to be released in theaters on July 11, 2025.

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bkmeijer1 - 6/17/2024, 6:02 AM
Think the whole Hawkgirl backstory is kinda complicated, so I hope Gunn streamlines it. Could be Katar/Carter is Hawkman, Shayera/Shiera is Hawkwoman and Kendra is their daughter and becomes Hawkgirl
Apophis71 - 6/17/2024, 7:49 AM
@bkmeijer1 - I tend to feel if not delving into it much and only saying that Hawkgirl and Hawkman reincarnate (without going into details) when they die can be a way to go and make it work as most can get behind that concept even if they don't believe in reincarnation. Doing the spirit of an ancester merging with her after a suicide attempt thing is a lot tougher to pull off however.

Could just go with mother/daughter type stuff or a long line of Hawkgirl with multiple generations between the original and the modern day but...

...we'll see, liked in a general the way Arrowverse did the whole curse type thing that the two were destined to reincarnate constantly and always find each other thing conceptualy speaking even if in execution it was not without issues.

It will be interesting to see if they try and do a prequel project of the origin story of the first iteration of the characters however and how that is handled but if doing so should be it's own thing and not flashbacks to it here and there I feel.
comicfan100 - 6/17/2024, 8:27 AM
@bkmeijer1 - It's gonna be weird if Carter is her father. They'll probably keep it simple. Occam's Razor
bkmeijer1 - 6/17/2024, 12:52 PM
@comicfan100 @Apophis71 - they can take it in a lot directions, but I do hope they don't make it too complicated. Keeping it simple is probably best, especially to win over the general audience
Apophis71 - 6/17/2024, 1:01 PM
@bkmeijer1 - I agree, simple tends to be better, don't need to get into the weeds unless a narrative reason to do so.
comicfan100 - 6/17/2024, 1:45 PM
@bkmeijer1 - Yeah, I guess I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who's somewhat familiar with the Hawk's complicated comic book history.
bkmeijer1 - 6/17/2024, 4:33 PM
@comicfan100 @Apophis71 - I'm not all that familiar with the Hawks, so I hope don't complicate too much. Even if it's for narrative reasons. Let the Superman movie be about Superman.
dagenspear - 6/17/2024, 6:04 AM
Still think it's weird that she's so young.
JackBurton1 - 6/17/2024, 6:12 AM
@dagenspear - I saw her out in public around Halloween last year...she looks no older than 15....just a way too young look for me to be able to comment on her looks.
harryba11zack - 6/17/2024, 6:32 AM
the film is looking more like a black adam remake.
TheFinestSmack - 6/17/2024, 9:41 AM
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Toonstrack - 6/17/2024, 9:42 AM
One of my favorite heroines in DC.

Can't wait
TheVisionary25 - 6/17/2024, 10:31 AM
@Toonstrack - first got introducer to her in the DCAU and been a fan since.

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Toonstrack - 6/18/2024, 3:17 PM
@TheVisionary25 - dcau isn't Kenra but shayera is cool too
TheVisionary25 - 6/17/2024, 10:29 AM
Interesting since I thought we would deal with the alien version of the character in order to better serve or support Clark’s arc in this film or reconciling his human upbringing with his alien heritage but I guess not..

Granted , this version of Kendra could be Shayera Hol who came to Earth and adopted the identity so we’ll see.

Anyway , Isabela Merced is a bit younger then I thought they would go for but is a good actress still so she’ll pull it off!!.

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MuadDib - 6/17/2024, 10:48 AM
Holding judgment until I see work product.
DocSpock - 6/17/2024, 11:25 AM

I liked the Hawkman comic run in the 60s.

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