|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Kendra Saunders seems to be a typical college-age student with an affinity for cinematography, photography and world history. At times she can go through rapid mood swings and may act like she's not quite herself for some reason. She also keeps herself in excellent shape and is no stranger to partying when the mood strikes her.
Redtail appears to be a new costumed heroine on the scene, apparently operating in part out of St. Roch, Louisiana with a connection to Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Amid the superhero metahuman community, whispers suggest she was once Hawkgirl herself and had been killed but is now back under a different name. There are other things that are not quite the same as well.
The life, death and rebirth of Kendra Saunders is a complicated one, directly connected to Carter and Shiera Hall - otherwise known as Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The granddaughter of Cyril "Speed" Saunders and great niece of the Halls, Kendra's early life was simple enough until events were set in motion that would alter things forever.
When she was thirteen, Kendra and her mother Trina had been outside Austin, Texas working on a painting in the desert. They went out that way each Saturday but the arrival of a police car changed that. The officers were not honest ones and instead came up in an intimidating manner after leaving the car. Almost immediately, Kendra was made uncomfortable by the things they were saying and doing.
Guns were drawn and talk quickly turned to raping Trina, leaving Kendra by herself. It was a lie, as once they'd handcuffed Trina they spoke of raping both. Kendra fought back, getting a hand on one of their guns. Two shots went off, one hitting the cop in the shoulder, the other in his partner's head, killing him.
They escaped but Kendra was an emotional wreck because she thought she was responsible for the officer's death in spite of her mother's reassurances to the contrary. In spite of being told to forget about it and never think about it again, there was no way Kendra could push those images away. Nightmares came and went.
Meanwhile, Trina told her husband Michael about the incident. Unable to trust going to the local police with the information, they chose to seek their own answers in hope of finding justice when the surviving officer disappeared from the Austin area. Eventually they pieced together that he'd headed to St. Roch, Louisiana where he took a new name and became their police chief.
This was realized after a number of visits to the city, but by then the chief caught wind of their business and set a trap for them. When Kendra's parents went to the Craddock Hotel on a tip, the chief killed them both and left it to look like a robbery had gone wrong. The cover-up was easy. The significance of the location would later factor in, considering the history between the Hawks and Jim Craddock, the "Gentleman Ghost."
Left orphaned, Kendra's life quickly spiraled out of control. With nobody to turn to for help, she tried to kill herself and failed, ending up in a home for troubled youths. She soon fled it, ending up back on the streets where she engaged in the kinds of things one might expect a person in her situation to.
When she was sixteen, Speed Saunders finally caught up with her and, though there was considerable resistance at first, managed to get her off the streets and back on the right path. Over the course of the next two years things slowly improved, but Kendra remained haunted by the nightmares and feelings of guilt that would not go away. A part of her thought that if she'd just been good that day and let the officers have their way, her parents would still be alive.
Speed came home one day to find that Kendra's self-destructive tendencies finally got the better of her. She'd collapsed in the bathroom, an empty bottle of pills nearby along with a knife, blood around her. Not only did she overdose, she slit her wrists as well. There was no last cry for help, no messages to decipher - simply one more attempt to leave the world behind for good. This time she succeeded, declared dead on arrival at the emergency room.
A devastated Speed spoke a few last words to her, though he knew Kendra could no longer hear them. To his surprise, her eyes reopened. Immediately he knew something was different. They'd changed from green to brown and he saw something else in them: history, an old, old soul.
Dating back to ancient Egypt, Khufu and Chay-Ara's lives and souls were connected along with that of Hath-Set, a man who betrayed and killed them. Reincarnated many times over generations, each one ended the same way, with a version of him killing versions of them. Circumstances in the past had led to Shiera Hall's death at his hands and Carter Hall was somehow lost in another realm. What Speed saw was unmistakable. Shiera was back. Chay-Ara was back. Hawkgirl, especially, was back.
Once she was cleared to leave the hospital, Speed took Kendra back home and began to train her. Having kept Hawkgirl's wings and other equipment locked away proved to be excellent foresight. Though Kendra still seemed to be Kendra, there was something else inside that gave her strength, a purpose, something to live for. Speed knew - if Chay-Ara was back, Khufu couldn't be far behind.
For about half a year Kendra's life centered on her training, both with and without all manner of weapons. Not all of it was routine. She was troubled by pieces of memory that would come and go, most often in dreams but also during waking moments. Often, they tied into things read in history books, as if they held a more personal nature to her instead of just being words on paper.
Had she lived some of those things herself? She wasn't sure, but Speed had a hunch that the memories of Chay-Ara's past lives were mixing in with Kendra's own memories. Something about "old souls" and things like that, but Kendra pushed it away. It made no sense and she didn't want to hear it. She was Kendra, nobody else. But, how could she explain picking up a weapon for the first time, just knowing how to use it?
The plan was to continue training further but Speed came to learn that a sorcerer known as Mordru was trying to get his hands on a baby that had recently been born. He gave Kendra a task: find the baby in Vancouver, British Columbia, before anyone else did. It would be Hawkgirl's first mission. As it happened, she found the baby just as members of the Justice Society of America did. Confusion followed. She didn't know who they were and she nearly escaped with the child before they identified her, realizing she was related to Speed.
At that moment, Mordru made his appearance and stole off with the baby. Hawkgirl teamed up with the JSA to fight him and the reason for the magical mission became apparent as the baby was revealed to be Dr. Fate reincarnated and swiftly grown up by the end of it all. Awkwardness was felt around the JSA as she tried to fit in, not knowing Dr. Fate was Hector Hall - son of Carter and Shiera. He tread carefully around the subject, though he knew the truth behind Hawkgirl's situation. She wasn't ready to hear it further from him.
Hawkgirl aided the JSA in a number of missions, including one that saw her briefly transported back to ancient Egypt. Through events there, the present-day Black Adam - also connected to the Hawks in the distant past - was weakened and defeated by the rest of the team. As events further transpired, more bits and pieces of Hawkgirl's past began to show up. She'd remember something Kendra shouldn't have or call one of the team by a different name a previous version had gone by.
Circumstances came to a head when she bolted from the confusion and the questions from the others, especially once the scars on her wrists were noticed, angrily taking flight in an attempt to get away and clear her head. Instead she crossed paths with Zauriel of the Justice League. She opened up to the angel about everything, ending by telling him she thought she had a near-death experience. Zauriel told her what he believed, that she did indeed die and the soul inhabiting her body was in fact someone else's. The revelation was not taken well. Kendra could not, did not want to believe it might be Shiera's soul in her body, especially when Zauriel added that he believed her soulmate was returning and that was why things were happening the way they were.
Indeed, it wasn't long before circumstances led to her ending up on Thanagar. Told she was brought there to help save their world from the threat of Onimar Synn, it was also revealed her purpose was to help find Carter Hall and bring him back from where he'd been trapped - the same place Shiera's soul had been stuck in until Kendra's death. She began to learn more of the Nth Metal that made parts of her costume and weapons, along with its properties, and when she went to the Well of Spirits, dipped her hand in and opened up to let the past lives and memories flow, a hand took hers. Helping pull its owner up from the depths, it was true - Hawkman was back.
They and the JSA defeated the Sineater, but things were rocky between the two at first. Naturally he believed she was Shiera. Much to her chagrin and anger, he even called her that instead of Kendra. She roughly brushed him off and convinced him to step back and give her time to work through some things. He agreed, certain she'd come around over time. He could afford to be patient, and he was right. As they worked together more she came to love him again, but it was different than the other times.
War broke out in space between Rann and Thanagar and they were instrumental in bringing an end to the fighting. Hawkman stayed behind a while to help keep the peace while Hawkgirl returned to look after things in St. Roch. Again, sadly, another version of Hath-Set turned up during this time and he killed Hawkgirl after luring her into a trap.
When Hawkman made it back to Earth and found out what happened, he lost it. Unable to track down Hath-Set, desperate and unable to bear going without Hawkgirl in his life, he turned to magical means in an attempt to bring her back. Dr. Occult was the only one who agreed to this and a ceremony was performed involving her body and the age-old dagger that had first been used to kill Khufu and Chay-Ara. It worked. Hawkgirl was returned to him, but with a twist: Kendra seemed to be no more, Shiera herself having come back to Carter.
Only, as part of the ritual, Kendra did also come back to life, her own body and soul hers again. Dr. Occult realized this and hid her away from the others, sending her back to Speed Saunders. In ways it was a repeat of the past, starting over in a sense. Kendra was confused about what happened, the last memory being of her passing from this world again, yet somehow death was cheated one more time. Speed even noticed her eyes had gone back to their original green. At first there were gaps in her memory of the past year, large parts of it a blank. A dream here and there hinted at being Hawkgirl, her involvement with the JSA, Hawkman and all the rest. For a while that's all they were, just dreams. Speed treated it all with caution, not wanting to jeopardize her recovery. Besides, everything she'd had, the wings, the weapons, the costume, it was all Shiera's now. Hawkgirl was Shiera, as she should have been.
Whether she was a hero or not, Kendra preferred to live a normal one for once, spending time with Speed and, yes, doing some training again just to keep in the right kind of shape. She passed her GED and signed up for some courses at the local community college, focusing on film study and world history, especially ancient Egypt. At first she wasn't quite sure why she chose the latter. Maybe it had something to do with the dreams. She wasn't Hawkgirl any longer, but she had been. That couldn't be erased like it'd never happened and it was as if a part of her was unable to completely forget. She just couldn't put it all together, like a mental block was in the way.
More disturbingly, as one month turned into another, Kendra simply couldn't forget Shiera. That soul had been in her body for about a year. Combined with the strange properties of the Nth Metal, there was still a bond the two shared. Bodies and souls may have been their own again, but something in Kendra's subconscious remained connected to Shiera. It was nothing she could focus on or control but every so often she felt as if something happened elsewhere, be it a strong emotion or something connected to a fight.
After over half a year of time on her own with Speed, she sat down with the old man for a long talk and admitted she was having trouble with the dreams and her past. Something was felt, a nudge in certain directions, things she had to pursue. Try as she might, she couldn't escape the pull that was tugging her away from the mundane life she'd grown accustomed to. More than that, St. Roch called to her. There, she knew, were not only the answers she still sought about the murders of her parents, but questions only Carter and Shiera Hall could help answer.
He listened and told her she had to do what she thought was right for her so she made plans to go back to the city that seemed to be the center of everything she needed to find out. The biggest, most immediate question now is what will happen when she gets some answers.
Aggressive: Especially in a fight, Kendra distances herself from some other hero types by not pulling her punches. She'll be careful with attacks that could kill the average person, but if she's up against an animal, monster or some other inhuman thing her goal is to end it by any means necessary. The spear has a pointy end for a reason and she doesn't toy around with her prey. Away from fights, it shows up in being strong in how she deals with others. Often, a tone of certainty and confidence will get her things others beating around the bush won't, but it can backfire sometimes by leaving a person unwilling to cooperate with her.
Anger: Kendra's been affected by a number of things over the past few years, beginning with the incident outside Austin that led to her parents being murdered. Add in time spent on the street, a failed suicide, a successful one that led to her coming back to life with Shiera's soul inside, and various problems fitting in with the Justice Society of America and anger has been one of the things that's driven her. The key is directing it into something productive, something Speed's had success with in helping her channel it into her training and fighting abilities.
Blunt: If one thing's for certain, Kendra will let someone know where he or she stands with her. She has no qualms about speaking her mind and saying exactly what's on it, especially since she's not an overly chatty person to begin with. It leads to her often being short with people whether she means it or not and if it hurts a few feelings along the way, it happens. She's not above apologizing if needed, but the alternative is to grow thicker skin around her.
Brave: It takes a certain kind of person to put on a costume and go risk one's life against threats others can't deal with. A psychologist might suggest it takes a specific mental state as well, but the fact remains Kendra has been one of those people to endanger herself to keep others safe. It may be questionable to suggest someone who actually killed herself could be brave, but she was given a second and now third chance to do things a better way and she's taking advantage of it.
Confusion: A number of strange things have taken place in Kendra's life, most recently dying and coming back to life with someone else's soul inside, joining up with a group of heroes, helping bring back someone who immediately saw her as his soulmate, fighting with him then coming to love him, finally dying and coming back to life yet again. This time around, she seems to know she's the person she ought to be but there are still conflicting memories of her past and a connection to Shiera Hall she's scarcely aware of. Some days it's hard to tell just what's real and what's a dream, or if those dreams of the things she did actually happened. She's a conflicted young woman in need of answers.
Heroic: Deep down, Kendra is a good person and will lend a hand to someone in need instead of leaving it to become someone else's problem to deal with. Part of it goes back to the times where she was the one who needed help and never got it. It could have left her bitter with a "Why should I bother when nobody lifted a finger for me?" attitude but she chose to go the other route instead. Of course, her heroism was more apparent during her time as Hawkgirl.
Loner: It's been said if you want something right, do it yourself. To an extent, Kendra follows this mantra. More than that, she's just accustomed to having no other option. Until her time with the JSA, much of her life has been spent in some form of isolation from the rest of the world. She's made some strides in letting others into her life but her default preference is to go it alone. At times she can come off as withdrawn, intentional or not. She isn't the best at sharing her problems with others and one reason is a part of her is afraid that if she did, others might think less of her afterward. Speed Saunders is the one person she feels closest to but he's her grandfather, after all.
Youthful: Kendra's been through a lot but it's easy to forget she's not quite legal to drink, though she has before. She's had experience as a heroine, not a lot compared to others, but she's prone to moments of immaturity or defensiveness. It may show up as sarcasm, a harsh comment, a demand to be left alone, or simply going off to do her own thing, maybe to watch a few cartoons. Anyhow, patronizing her is not a good idea. Anyone who does will be lucky to come away with just a tongue lashing.
- 2012-02-28 - Someone Likes Birds - Kendra's scouting out things in Metropolis. She meets Pilot, who takes an interest in her upon noticing an item of clothing. Meanwhile, Kendra feels some strange things going on thanks to a few dreams and memories she recalls.
- 2012-03-01 - A Chat With An Arrow - Continuing her visits to different universities, Kendra meets Roy at a community center.
- 2012-03-03 - Like Seeing A Ghost - Now in St. Roch, Kendra has her first encounter with Shiera since they both came back to life. 'Nuff said!
- 2012-03-03 - Crossing Paths With The Other Hawk - After Kendra met Shiera, she sought to flee St. Roch. Before she can, here comes Carter. Things are learned.
- 2012-03-08 - Donut Get on Kendra's Bad Side - Supergirl stops a bus from falling onto civilians, meets Kendra, and has hot cocoa with her at a donut shop. Kendra takes offense at an irate Supergirl-heckler.
- 2012-03-31 - I'm Not A Clone - Kendra visits Gotham City in search of a little trouble. What she finds is Batman and he's not pleased with what he learns.
- 2012-04-02 - Return To St. Roch - Spurred by the Batman encounter, Kendra seeks out the Halls to talk about important things. By the end of it, Kendra and Shiera have a tense conversation and the seeds of a path for Kendra are planted.
- 2012-04-05 - Rumble In Club 90s - Back in Bludhaven, Kendra goes to a club to unwind. What follows puts her instincts - and Dick Grayson's safety - to the test after he thinks he recognizes something in her.
- 2012-04-16 - Slobo Gone Wild - Filming around Bludhaven, Kendra catches an incident with Slobo as Pilot arrives.
- 2012-04-28 - Two Hawkgirls Are Better Than One - Hath-Set captures the Hawks. Kendra gets her wings. Violence ensues.
- 2012-04-28 - Wounds Tended To, Then A Decision - The Hawks plus Kendra return to their headquarters. With Hawkman elsewhere, the women talk about very important things.
- 2012-05-03 - Cutscene: Hawks Have A Baby?! - The Hawks finally agree to give Kendra her wings.
- 2012-05-04 - Wish Upon a Star - Kendra finally gets her wings, and a family.
- 2012-05-06 - A Midair Chat - Kendra takes to the air for the first time as Redtail and ends up speaking with Hawkman about recent events.
- 2012-05-11 - Seeing Red - Kara meets Kendra again, this time with her wings. Redtail talks about plans for killing her parents' murderer!
- 2012-05-25 - Cutscene: Heroes Crisis - New Earth: Darkness Steals - New Earth: The darkness steals heroes from the world.
- 2012-06-10 - Heroes Crisis: Final Battle, Round 2 - The Crisis comes to a head as a collection of two universe's heroes face off against Time Trapper and the Labyrinth itself!
- 2012-06-11 - Cutscene: Heroes Crisis - Ending: Behind the Scenes - The One Yahweh looks upon the world to witness a raging Lucifier Morningstar, a lying Satan, and of course the heroes that help piece the world back together again.
- (SC: 2012-07-10 - Attempted Bombing at Star Airport)
- 2012-07-12 - Paying the Songbird - A text message from Kendra, draws her and Roy together for a late lunch. However, there is a price to pay when you taunt the songbird.
- 2012-10-02 - Furthering the Investigation - Oracle gets in touch with Redtail and Arsenal with info on the murder of Redtail's parents.
- 2012-10-16 - It Goes Bump in the Night - Redtail and Arsenal with Oracle backing up goes to visit an 'old' friend of the corrupt St. Roch Police Chief. The warning is clear, things go bump in the night, and you are the bait.
- 2012-10-20 - Cutscene: Death of Chief Nedal - Redtail finally gets to face her past, the one that set about the terrible events that would mean the end of all she knew. (TV: 2012-10-20 - St. Roch Police Chief Dead)
- 2013-03-05 - Children of the Corn - At a convention, two unlikely groups meet.
- 2013-03-10 - Night at the Museum - Stopping for a visit at the Stonechat Museum, at least Kol is really there to see Kendra.
- 2013-03-14 - Raging Bull - In the ring of life, Kendra and Helena like to show each other just how tough the are. It takes Kol and Oracle to break them up before Kol finally gets his 'this is not a date' with Kendra.
- 2013-03-24 - How Do You Know? - Hope is off to save the world again and accidentally gets caught by Kenzie. The two teens go to storm an AIM research center and bite off a little more than they can chew. Luckily, they get some timely help.
- 2013-04-03 - Jokerbots Wild - A baseball game is interrupted by the Joker with his new toys - six deadly jokerbots. Birds of Prey to the rescue!
- 2013-04-26 - She is NOT KFC - Traveler pulls together Deadpool and Redtail to hear a plea for help.
- 2013-05-15 - Sixteen Birds in Five Fighting Rings: Part 1 - Croc Hunters - Catwoman and the Birds of Prey investigate teen disappearances. Daggett and Killer Croc involved?
- 2013-05-20 - Sixteen Birds in Five Fighting Rings: Part 2 - Fight for Your Life! (and Ratings) - Catwoman, Zinda, Arsenal and Redtail get a tip from Oracle about where Killer Croc is taking the kidnapped teens. And become part of the show!
- 2013-05-21 - Sixteen Birds in Five Fighting Rings: Part 3 - Showdown in Gotham - It's a major fight when members of the Birds of Prey join up with Commissioner Gordon to take down Roulette and Daggett's underground kidnapping fighting ring!
- 2013-05-26 - Less than Grace-ful Apology - Supergirl apologizes to Grace about attacking her. Why does every talk with Grace Choi devolve into fighting, sex or drinking, or talk about it? Because... Grace.
- 2013-08-15 - Whose Mummy Is This? - Fundraiser is held. Mummy attacks. Kendra fights it off. Maddie appreciates.
- 2013-09-14 - My City Bats - Batman visits St. Roch to assign a mission to one unhappy Hawk.