Hawkman is the alter ego of Carter Hall, a modern hero modeled after an ancient Thanagarian.
Carter Hall was originally Joseph Gardner, an archaeologist who, whilst on a dig five years ago in Egypt, came upon an ancient Thanagarian tomb. There, he found an Asbsorbacron, which gave him recollections of the life of Katar Hol, a Thanagarian law officer who lived in the 1600 B.C. era. Gardner became convinced that he was the reincarnation of Katar Hol and Shayera Hol was the reincarnation of Katar Hol's wife, Chay-Ara Hol. Six months before he introduced himself to Shayera, Joseph Gardner had his name legally changed to Carter Hall, and set off to stalk Shayera. When he finally found the opportunity to approach her, Hall told her about the Thanagarian tomb and asked for help to deciphering some glyphs, which Shayera reluctantly obliged. Shayera also agreed to go on a date with Hall, partly to spite Batman and John Stewart, who both warned her that Hall was dangerous. In loco, Hall revealed the real reason behind his pretense ― He put on a harness of artificial wings, a hawk-helmet, and claimed to be "Hawkman".
He then told Shayera all about their past life; how they crashed on Earth, their tragic death at the hands of a jealous priest, and the Asbsorbacron. Shayera discredited his theory, dismissing that device as a defective ship's log that imprinted memories on him. Carter Hall pleaded with Shayera to touch the Asbsorbacron, and right when she engaged him, both were attacked by the Shadow Thief, who had been following Carter Hall, in the hope of being led to the Thanagarian technology. Hawkman, Shayera, and Batman defeated the Shadow Thief, and fought their way out of the collapsing tomb. Hawkman refused to accept that his memories were fake ― seeing as he knew a lot about Shayera ― and asserted that he truly loved her. He believed that they were bound by fate, and was willing to wait for her to come around.
Later that year, Hawkman helped John Stewart apprehend Gentleman Ghost with an Nth metal net that negated the villain's phasing ability. Lantern thanked Hawkman, but was clearly uncomfortable around him due to his obsession with Shayera.
Ultimately, the Hawks learned that the villainous Shadow Thief was actually Hawkman's "dark side" brought to life by the Asbsorbacron. Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and Stewart were captured by the Shadow Thief and forced to experience the memories of Chay-Ara and Bashari in ancient Egypt. Shadow Thief tried to persuade Hawkman to kill Stewart, but he instead freed him and attacked Shadow Thief, eventually reabsorbing the evil shadow into his body. Hawkman then accepted that he is not destined to have Shayera; instead, he believed that she is destined to be with John Stewart. Hawkman apologized to Shayera and flew away.
Powers and abilities
Hawkman has no superpowers, though his artificial wings give him the ability to fly. Hawkman uses a wide variety of medieval weaponry as well, as well as Thanagarian Nth metal.
While the information presented in the DCAU is inconclusive, the story of Katar Hol and Joseph Gardner does match two incarnations of Hawkman in DC comics.