When Al Hawke was a young boy he watched his father, and much of his family, get carted off to prison thanks to the efforts of the Black Canary, otherwise known as Carolyn Lance. His father died in prison and Al swore he'd get revenge.

At some point in his life Al Hawke married a woman and together they gave birth to Jesse Reese. Jesse took his dad's car out when he was sixteen and was pulled over. They found blood in the back and this single incident pushed Jesse into law enforcement, away from his father's chosen profession.

Al Hawke is able to capture and eventually murder Black Canary, achieving his long awaited revenge. However, he is seriously injured in the process and is taken to the hospital. At some point between the Hospital and Prison Hawke escapes. He receives plastic surgery so as to reverse some of the damage as well as become unidentifiable. [1]

Later, he is forced to face the Canary's daughter, Dinah Lance. Dinah is angry and nearly kills him but instead saves him so that his son can return him to prison. [2]