Full Name: James Proudhawk
Not many of the stories of Pulp City’s Supremes contribute to clichés as easily as the story of James Proudhawk, the mighty Native American hero. But that is usually the least of the concerns of the Villians that James is tracking.
To understand the present, first you need to look to the past. Two major points in Pulp City’s history link inextricably to the almost-extinct tribe of Avaje, and the man who may be its greatest son.
First, the tribe used to dwell where Twilight Hills are today. The Blood Watch claims that the presence of their angry spirits lingers and causes the new gates to Necroplane open.
The second event occurred on the day when Stoner Hawk was born in the sweat lodge of his grandfather.
James Proudhawk was born in a little reservation about fifty miles northeast of Pulp City. His mother worked nights at the casino, so Jimmy spent most of the time with his grandfather, a proud man who never felt like he belonged in the twentieth century. Old Proudhawk, now nearing seventy years of age, was a sight to behold. His wiry frame moved gracefully as if the years under the scorching sun had not affected him. When tracking pumas with his little kin, he was able to outrun the wild cats. None could match his eye when he shouldered his old Winchester and took down moving prey from two-hundred yards. Grandpa was Jimmy’s role model, the only person he would never argue with. When Grandpa said “Get out of here, don’t let them break your wings, go to the city, get an education”, as surprised as he was, James did not dare to defy the old man’s words.
Pulp City was a jungle full of predators old-man Proudhawk would never understand. They were not the noble beasts he tracked they had tracked together. They were foul and deceitful snakes, hiding in the tall grass of gestures, smiles and compliments waiting only to strike. School became less and less important as the young man started adopting the ways of the reptiles in human guises that surrounded him.
James spent countless hours in Pulp City’s clubs and bars, sometimes not seeing sunlight for weeks. Without a regular job, he would chase odds and ends, mostly physical labor, but that would barely pay for the booze he drank deeply. When he entered the dreamy world of drugs, he began accept low-rung crime jobs to feed his habit. Whether breaking the fingers of a junkie in debt or helping to ‘establish’ the territory of a local hustler, James and his intimidating physique were up to any job. Jimmy was an all-or-nothing kind of guy, so he quickly became a dealer himself and the one that would always personally make sure the stuff he was selling was the best on the market, or at least got him the best prices.
After months of living on the edge Jimmy found himself in the real trouble. One of the junkies he had as customer turned out to be a dirty cop who was very trigger-happy, and with a bullet just barely missing his head, Jimmy had to snap the neck of this misery of a man. He needed a very good lawyer, and all good lawyers, even the ones that were his customers, were pretty expensive.
Proudhawk never saw it coming. Paying off his debt took him out of Pulp City and back to his hometown where he and another goon were supposed to ‘convince’ the landowner to sell a precious lot needed to complete the right of way for the highway. As he confronted his own grandfather, shame and guilt washed over him. He gasped for every breath, the burden too heavy to bear under the piercing eyes of the man he adored. The world slowed down as a slideshow of his crimes rolled front of his eyes. The dull bang of a gun woke him up. The smoking barrel of his fellow goon’s revolver, the staggering old Proudhawk, and the rush of the blood to his head sent James Proudhawk over the edge.
He roared and jumped at his former ally. He took a bullet in the chest, a second, and then a third before he got to the shooter and like a mortally wounded bear he literally tore the man in two with his bare hands. James collapsed to the floor of the sweat lodge, and with a dying grasp, he reached out for his grandfather, then the world blacked out.
When consciousness returned, Jimmy opened his eyes only to see a crouching ghostly silhouette of the old Proudhawk by his body. He took him by the hand and led to the highest summit of the reservation. The trip to the otherworld was his rite of the passage, the blood washed off his hands in a cleansing journey. The anger of his last years was replaced with focus, the weakness of a drugged body and mind exchanged for the strength of stone as his communion with nature and the spirits of his tribe transformed him into a whole new being.
Jimmy walked out of the dream after what seemed to be only a couple of minutes, but it was years in the netherworld. He could not bear the Proudhawk name until his redemption was complete: he became Stoner Hawk, a stigmatizing name that would always remind him of his past and his purpose.
Years have passed and his first steps towards redemption have recently caused him to change his Supreme name to Stone Hawk.
Back in Pulp City, the den of snakes, Stone Hawk usually works alone or joins forces with Ace of Wraiths, who assisted at his grandfather’s birth and skilled him in the ways of the gun. Jimmy’s powers come from communion with the Earth, as he is able to call on the powers of stone and shape it in different forms and reinforce his body with its durability. His skin becomes covered with the sandstone and his hands turn into deadly weapons. There is a peril, though, as in the stone dwell all sorts of malicious spirits that beg Jimmy to stay inside and lull him into the sleep that never ends: the stoner slumber.
But for today, Stone Hawk’s resolve is strong and he does everything to make his grandfather proud again.