Superhero Saturday: Avery Brooks as ‘A Man Called Hawk’

Before he was the captain of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, actor Avery Brooks was “A Man Called Hawk”, which premiered on ABC on Saturday, January 28, 1989.

A mid-season replacement, the series was a spin-off of “Spenser: For Hire” (1985-88) starring the late Robert Urich as Robert B. Parker’s titular Boston private investigator who can solve crimes as well as cook, box, and quote poetry.  The character Hawk was Spenser’s equal yet opposite: an hired gun who works on both sides of the law.  Despite their different codes, Spenser and Hawk remain among friends, with the latter always there to provide back-up for Spenser with his .357 Magnum.

Now comes “A Man Called Hawk”, where the fighting nomad Hawk resides in Washington, D.C.: taking on the cause of the helpless and oppressed against the system led by ‘The Man’.  He may still be an enforcer, but Hawk is an urban “Equalizer”: a one-man “A-Team” who’s unlimited and unstoppable.  Like Marvel’s Luke Cage and B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) of “The A-Team”, Hawk becomes a hero-for-hire with his own brand of justice against crime and corruption.

“A Man Called Hawk” featured acclaimed actor Moses Gunn in the recurring role of Hawk’s mentor Old Man, as well as guest appearances of future stars such as Angela Bassett, Charles S. Dutton (“Roc”), Samuel L. Jackson (aka Marvel’s Ultimate Nick Fury), and Chris Noth (“Law & Order”, “Sex and The City”, “The Good Wife”).

“A Man Called Hawk” lasted only 13 episodes, but the series did enjoyed a brief run in syndication on cable network TV One.  The bad guys may be good, but Hawk is indeed the baddest dude of them all: the best at what he does.


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