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In the Flash/Arrow crossover Legends of Today/Legends of Yesterday, we're introduced to Vandal Savage, Hawkman (Khufu), and Hawkgirl (Shayera). The three of them are bound in a repeating cycle where the Hawks reincarnate, and Savage hunts them down and kills them. At one point, we see the origin of this cycle, back in ancient Egypt.

My question is related to what we see there. In their death, Shayera prays to Horus for help. Meanwhile meteors are raining down upon them. Then the Hawks die, and Savage becomes immortal. What exactly caused the reincarnation and immortality cycle? Did Horus answer Shayera's prayer? Did the meteors somehow cause the Hawks' reincarnation? Did Shayera/Khufu/Savage cast a magic spell?

What caused the Hawkman/Hawkgirl reincarnation, and Vandal Savage immortality?

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It was the meteorite

Savage reveals in the season 1 finale that the meteorite contained Thanagarian technology, which mutated Khufu, Shayera, and Hath-set:

Savage: Your blood is the key to unlocking the Thanagarian technology.

Kendra: Thanagarian?

Savage: The alien species which gave the three of us our powers. They sent three meteorites containing technology beyond human understanding.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 16: "Legendary"

This echoes a conversation between Ray, Professor Stein, and Savage expert Dr. Aldus Boardman in the pilot episode, where they speculate that there was some mutagenic radiation in the meteorite:

Boardman: My theory is that the three of you were exposed to the same radiation by the meteorites.

Kendra: We share the same power.

Boardman: And every time he kills you, it passes to him. That's what maintains his immortality.

Professor Stein: That's impossible.

Ray Palmer: Unless the meteorites contained a mutative element; like the particle accelerator that caused your powers.

Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 1: "Pilot, Part 1"

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This origin is based on the Smallville-verse, where the Egyption priest Hath-set was trying to kill the Hawks in each reincarnation. In the CW-verse it seems that Vandal Savage and Hath-set have been combined!

Typically Vandal Savage is a neanderthal bathed in some kind of radiation from a meteorite that made him immortal and granted him some level of super-intelligence (as seen in Green Lantern Vol. 1 #10).

As a side-note we find out that there was another who did the exact same thing and becomes Vandal's opposite, The Immortal Man who changes identity after every death.

From the comicbook origin described above, I think it's fair to assume that the Hawk's have taken on the nemesis role for Vandal. And is why the Hawk's forget the memories of their original/previous life upon their reincarnation.

Vandal's typical powerset:

  • Healing factor (varies according to the writer..)
  • Slightly increased strength, stamina & speed
  • Enhanced intellect
  • High pain tolerance (learned over his time as an immortal!)

Notable aliases through his lifetime:

  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Caesar (Apparently Brutus' murder attempt failed too!)
  • Genghis Khan
  • Blackbeard
  • Vlad the Impaler
  • Jack the Ripper

After Jack the Ripper, Vandal became scared of being noticed throughout history and started to operate in the background. He aided various war efforts such as the Napoleonic wars and the 3rd Reich.

  • The hawk origin isn't original to the CW-verse. I'm pretty sure that something similar was present pre-flashpoint in the comics, complete with someone trying to kill them in each reincarnation. Wikipedia reminds me that this was an Egyptian priest called Hath-Set, who reincarnated with them each time. Savage and Hath-Set have been combined for the purposes of the show, it seems. Probably a good idea to not have too many immortals running around – LogicianWithAHat Dec 3 '15 at 13:05
  • Yeah. The Hawk's had the same thing in Smallville, which isn't part of this current verse. – PiousVenom Dec 3 '15 at 15:34

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