Hawkman


Hawkman

Infobox comics set index


caption=Carter Hall as Hawkman
"Hawkman" vol. 4, # 1
Cover art by Andrew Robinson
publisher=DC Comics
debut="Flash Comics" #1 (1940)
creators=Gardner Fox
Dennis Neville
characters=Carter Hall
Katar Hol
Fel Andar
Charley Parker
seealso=
cat =
subcat = All-American Publications
hero =
villain =
sortkey = PAGENAME
addcharcat1= DC Comics superheroes
:"For other meanings of the term, see Hawkman (disambiguation)"Hawkman is a superhero in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dennis Neville, the original Hawkman first appeared in "Flash Comics" #1 (1940)

Several incarnations of Hawkman have appeared in DC Comics, all of them characterized by the use of archaic weaponry and by large, artificial wings, attached to a harness made from the special Nth metal that allows flight. Most incarnations of Hawkman work closely with a partner/romantic interest named Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman.

The Golden Age Hawkman was Carter Hall, an archeologist who was the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince, Khufu. He and Hawkgirl used the same tools displayed in his museum to fight crime.

Like most Golden Age heroes, Hawkman disappeared from print after World War II. In the Silver Age, DC introduced new versions of several characters. The new Hawkman and Hawkgirl were police officers from the planet Thanagar who stayed on Earth to help human police forces, and the Justice League, deal with supervillains.

Since DC’s continuity was rewritten in the 1985 series "Crisis on Infinite Earths," Hawkman’s history has become muddled with several new versions of the character appearing throughout the years, some associated with ancient Egypt and some with Thanagar. These versions of the character have starred in several series of various durations.

Publication history

Hawkman first appeared in "Flash Comics" # 1 (1940), and was a featured character in that title throughout the 1940s. This Hawkman was Carter Hall, a reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince, Khufu, who had in the modern day discovered that the mysterious "ninth metal" could negate the effects of gravity and allow him to fly. He donned a costume with large wings to allow him to control his flight and became the crimefighter, Hawkman. An archaeologist by trade, Hall uses ancient weapons from the museum of which he was curator in his efforts.

Hawkman was a charter member of the Justice Society of America, beginning with "All Star Comics" #3 (Winter 1940). In issue #8 he became the JSA's chairman, a position he would hold until the end of the JSA's run in All Star Comics. He was the only member of the JSA to appear in every adventure during the Golden Age of comic books. He romanced his reincarnated bride, Shiera Sanders, who became the crimefighter Hawkgirl. His first three adventures were drawn by creator Dennis Neville (who modeled Hawkman's costume on the hawkmen characters in the Flash Gordon comic strip by Alex Raymond), then by Sheldon Moldoff, and later by Joe Kubert, who slightly redesigned his mask in "Flash Comics" # 85 (Jul 1947) and then, one year later, replaced the winged-hawk-like mask by a much simpler yellow cowl in "Flash Comics" #98 (Aug 1948).

Along with most other superheroes, Hawkman's Golden Age adventures came to an end when the industry turned away from the genre in the early 1950s. His last appearance was in "All Star Comics" #57 (1951).

Later in the decade, DC Comics under editor Julius Schwartz decided to revive a number of heroes in new incarnations, but with the same names and powers. Following the success of the Flash, Hawkman was revived, this time as an alien policeman from the planet Thanagar, though his powers were largely the same. Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, this Hawkman, Katar Hol, came to Earth with his wife Shayera in pursuit of a criminal, and remained to fight crime on Earth. They adopted the named Carter and Shiera Hall and became curators of a museum.

This Hawkman became a member of the Justice League of America, where he often verbally sparred with the iconoclastic liberal hero Green Arrow. In the 1960s it was revealed that the original Hawkman lived on the parallel world of Earth-Two, and that Katar Hol lived on Earth-One. The JLA and JSA had an annual meeting throughout the 1960s and 1970s during which the two heroes often met.

The Silver Age Hawkman had his own series for a few years, but with declining sales it was merged with that of the Atom. "Atom and Hawkman" lasted only another year or so before cancellation.

In the late 1970s in "Showcase" and "World's Finest Comics", Thanagar went to war with the planet Rann (adopted home of Adam Strange). This led to Hawkman and Hawkwoman severing ties with their homeworld, and later fighting "The Shadow War of Hawkman" (written by Tony Isabella) as Thanagar tried secretly to conquer the Earth.

The landmark 1985 series "Crisis on Infinite Earths" resulted in a massive revision of much DC continuity and led to many characters being substantially rewritten. Hawkman was to suffer some of the greatest confusion as successive writers sought to explain his various appearances. In the revised timeline there was a single Earth which had witnessed the JSA in the 1940s and the JLA decades later. Successive revisions sought to establish exactly who had been Hawkman and Hawkwoman at different stages. For the first few years the pre-Crisis incarnations were still used, during which time they were prominent across the DC Universe and joined the latest incarnation of the Justice League.

Then DC decided to reboot Hawkman, in a limited series (which later lead to an ongoing series) entitled "Hawkworld" originally by Tim Truman, and later John Ostrander and Grant Miehm. In this series, Thanagar was a class society which conquered other worlds to enrich itself. Katar Hol was the son of a prominent official who rebelled against the status quo. He and his partner Shayera were sent to Earth and remained there for some years until Hol was apparently killed.

This created a host of continuity errors as the new Katar Hol was established as having only just arrived on Earth, raising the question as to who had been around previously. In an attempt to resolve the problem it was established through retcons that the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl had also operated throughout the 1940s up to the 1990s, and that Nth metal came from Thanagar. They had remained active and then joined the original incarnation of the JLA. Moreover, yet another Hawkman - Fel Andar, a Thanagarian agent - had been the one who joined the Justice League during the 1980s, pretending to be a hero but secretly seeking to infiltrate it.

The series "Zero Hour" muddied the waters further by merging the different Hawkmen into a "Hawkgod", who had his own series briefly during the mid-1990s, and who had a small role in the alternate-future series "Kingdom Come". After the demise of this series, Hawkman's continuity was considered by DC to be too complicated, and he was absent from comics for several years.

In the late 1990s, the "JSA" series untangled Hawkman's continuity, establishing him as Carter Hall, a man who - along with Shiera - had been reincarnated dozens of times since his life in ancient Egypt, and whose powers were derived from Thanagarian Nth metal, which had been retroactively renamed from "ninth metal". The Katar Hol of the "Hawkworld" series had also come to Earth during the 1990s, as established. The 1980s imposter spy went back to Thanagar. The Hawkgod was later revealed to be the avatar of the Hawk aspect of the Red from which Animal Man receives his powers and merely thought that he was Hawkman.

Also during the miniseries "Identity Crisis" it was established that Carter Hall had voted for the mindwipe of Dr. Light (indeed, he had been the one to initially suggest the idea) and it is from this that his enmity with Green Arrow stems (as Green Arrow felt mental reprogramming beyond the scope of any vigilante group's rights, and, in fact, those of any government). With this new continuity, Hawkman was again reincarnated and given a new series in 2002 entitled "Hawkman", written by James Robinson and Geoff Johns, with art by Rags Morales. However in 2006, the series was retitled "Hawkgirl" with issue #50 and given new creative team Walter Simonson and Howard Chaykin. This series has been cancelled with "Hawkgirl" issue #66 in July 2007. Hawkman was a major character in the Rann-Thanagar Holy War] series, which stemmed from events in Countdown. During this time his continuity was further changed (See Carter Hall section below).

Fictional character history

Carter Hall

In the days of ancient Egypt, Prince Khufu is engaged in a feud with his rival, the Egyptian priest Hath-Set. The priest eventually captures both Khufu and his consort Chay-Ara, and kills them. Millennia later, in 1940, Khufu is reincarnated as American archaeologist Carter Hall, and Chay-Ara as Shiera Saunders.

Using the properties of "Nth metal" to craft a gravity-defying belt, Hall creates wings and a costume to become the first Hawkman.

Carter Hall and Shiera Saunders had together a son, named Hector Hall, who grew also a superheroic identity as Silver Scarab and later adopted the mantle of Dr Fate. Hector Hall was member of the superhero groups Infinity Inc. and JSA where he served along his father.

In the DC Universe, Carter Hall is the current Hawkman. He operates out of the fictional city of St. Roch, Louisiana.

Katar Hol

Katar Hol is an honored police officer on his homeworld of Thanagar. Along with his wife Shayera, they use the anti-gravity ninth metal and their wings to fight criminals. These were the tools of an elite police unit tasked to track and apprehend the most dangerous criminals. The pair were sent to earth in 1959 to capture the shape-shifting criminal Byth. Following this mission, they elected to remain on Earth to work with authorities in the United States and learn human police methods. The two adopted covers as a pair of museum curators, Carter and Shiera Hall, and acted publicly as the second Hawkman and the second Hawkgirl (later Hawkwoman).

After the "Crisis on Infinite Earths", Katar Hol was rebooted in a prestige format miniseries named "Hawkworld" by Timothy Truman. A regular ongoing series of the same name followed. Katar Hol, a young police officer on the planet Thanagar, rebels against the oppressive system of his Planet and is sent into exile. He later escapes and uncovers a renegade police captain Byth. As a result, he is reinstated in the force, given a new partner, Shayera Thal, and sent on a mission on Earth, where he is the third Hawkman.

Fel Andar

Late in the 1980s, Thanagarian spy Fel Andar -- who had been living on Earth for some time already -- was ordered by the Thanagarian army to infiltrate the Justice League as the second Hawkman.

Zauriel

When Grant Morrison revived the "JLA" comic book in 1997, he expanded the roster to include over a dozen heroes. With frequent collaborator Mark Millar, he intended to create a new Hawkman with no links to the old characters. This new Hawkman, an Earth-bound angel of the "Eagle host" named Zauriel, was to be introduced into the JLA with issue #6 (June 1997). Morrison was denied permission to use the name "Hawkman" by DC editorial, which still considered it "radioactive", due to the complex post-Crisis continuity problems with the character.

[http://www.madwomb.com/madwomb/web/npo/community/archive_grantmorrison2.html] In the "Wizard JLA Special", Morrison made an appeal to the fanbase: "it's a good name and it seems a shame to let it go to waste. We're hoping that fans will figure 'For God's sake, let's just call him Hawkman and get him in the Justice League as Hawkman,' and the editors will relent. We're hoping to start a campaign." DC held firm, and the "Hawkman" name went unused for several more years.

Charley Parker

Originally the Teen Titans member called Golden Eagle, Charley Parker was presumed deceased after an attack by the Wildebeest Society during the event known as "Titans Hunt". He was later revealed to be alive in the fourth volume of "Hawkman" and went on to assist the Carter Hall Hawkman for some time. When Carter Hall seemingly perished, Charley Parker took on the mantle and became the fourth Hawkman, and revealed himself as the son of Carter Hall. In fact, he was actually the son of Fel Andar, and had been responsible for Carter's troubles and his apparent demise. Carter Hall eventually defeated the Golden Eagle, and their vendetta would later be dropped, and Carter Hall reclaimed his mantle.

Powers and abilities

All incarnations of Hawkman used the fictional "ninth metal" or "Nth Metal" to defy gravity and allow them to fly. The metal is in their costume's belt, boots and wings. Its abilities are controlled mentally. Their wings allow them to control their flight, though they can be "flapped" through use of shoulder motions.

The Silver Age Hawkman also had enhanced senses comparable (it was said) to a hawk's. He (and, sometimes, the Golden Age Hawkman) was also able to converse with birds, though he couldn't command them as Aquaman could, with sea creatures.

The Silver Age Hawkman also possessed a Thanagarian police space ship and a variety of science fictional weapons.

All versions of Hawkman preferred to use archaic weaponry - particularly maces, nets, spears and shields - rather than modern or futuristic weapons. The current incarnation prefers this in part because, having the memories of living through many past lives, he is more proficient in their use than with contemporary weapons. In Katar Hol's case, it was too dangerous to use Thanagarian weaponry since there was too great a chance they could be lost or captured and then used or duplicated on Earth. There is, however, one significantly unique weapon Carter employs occasionally: The Claw of Horus. Constructed of Nth Metal by Prince Khufu in ancient Egypt, it was delivered to the newly resurrected Carter Hall by the time-displaced Jay Garrick in JSA Book 3: "The Return of Hawkman". Later, in Superman-Batman Book 1: "Public Enemies", Hawkman used it to defeat Superman, using its Nth Metal to channel the Earth's gravitational field. As he explained to Superman, "Essentially, I just hit you with the planet."

All versions of Hawkman have shown enhanced levels of strength. The Golden Age Hawkman was said to have the strength of 12 men but later that idea was dropped. Whereas the Golden Age Hawkman's strength appeared natural, it was later explained (with the Silver Age Hawkman) that the Nth metal enables its wielders to carry great weights. The recent incarnation has interpreted this as the Nth metal simply enhancing the strength of the user. Also, several JLA and JSA stories indicate that Thanagar has greater gravity than Earth, and that Thanagarians are naturally stronger than humans because they are adapted to it, similarly to how Atlanteans (i.e. Aquaman) are adapted to deep sea pressures.

It has also been explained in the "JSA" series that the nth metal greatly aids in healing, closing wounds almost instantaneously. One example is in the "JLA" story "Crisis of Conscience," in issues 115-118. Carter has his arm nearly severed during one part of the issue, but the wound has obviously closed and functionality returned by the end of the issue. The Atom has commented that Hawkman laughs at anything less than third-degree burns.

The Nth metal also regulates the body temperature of the wearer, preventing the need for heavy protective clothing while in high altitudes.

Other versions

* During the chronal disruptions of "Zero Hour", multiple versions of Hawkman (and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman) from alternate timelines were appearing in and out of existence. It turns out the Hawks were one of many anomalies in the timestream resulting from the Crisis. Somehow the various versions were converged into the current reality's Katar Hol.

Awards

The series and character have won several awards over the years, including:
* 1961 Alley Award for "Best Adventure Hero/Heroine Not in Own Book"
* 1962 Alley Award for "Best Hero"
* 1963 Alley Award for "Cross-Over of DC Heroes" ("The Brave and the Bold" with Flash)

Other media

* Hawkman's first animated appearance was in the 1967 Filmation animated series "The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure", in which Hawkman appeared in several shorts, either in solo adventures or as part of the Justice League.

"Super Friends"

* Hawkman has appeared as a Super Friend in "The All-New Super Friends Hour", "Challenge Of The Super Friends", ', and '. His voice was provided by Jack Angel. Hawkman appears in almost every episode of Challenge of the Superfriends, but has only spoken lines in only thirteen out of the sixteen episodes of this series.
* Hawkman was featured in the Legends of the Superheroes TV Specials in 1979, portrayed by Bill Nuckols.
* In 1997, during the period in which Hawkman's continuity was considered hopelessly complicated and the character was in limbo, Hawkman was the star of a tongue in cheek Baby Ruth commercial. A slightly out-of-shape Hawkman is shown struggling to lift criminals off the ground and flying straight into a glass window. Eating a Baby Ruth candy bar, he says, gives him the energy he needs to fight crime.

"Justice League"

* In the second season finale of "Justice League", a character based loosely on the Silver Age Hawkman called Hro Talak (an anagram of Katar Hol) had used Hawkgirl as a scout and he led his Thanagarian forces in an invasion on Earth, after tricking the Earthlings, so that they can sacrifice the planet to defeat their enemies, the Gordanians. After the Justice League defeated them, they fled Earth. The concept of a villanious Hawkman is likely based on Fel Andar. He did not use the name Hawkman. Hro Talak was voiced by Victor Rivers.

"Justice League Unlimited"

In Season 1 of "Justice League Unlimited", it was revealed that the remainder of the Thanagarian army was attacked by the Gordanians and Hro Talak sacrificed his life to destroy one of their ships leaving those that were with Hro to flee to another planet where they plot revenge against Hawkgirl when she lands in their trap with Vixen and Vigilante.

* In Season 2, an actual Hawkman appears, who is an amalgamation of the Golden Age and Silver Age Hawkman. He first appears in the form of Carter Hall (whose birthname is Joseph Gardner), an archaeologist who takes a liking to Shayera. He had previously discovered Thanagarian technology in an Egyptian tomb, and after exposure to a memory-recording device called an Absorbacron, came to believe that he and Shayera were the reincarnations of two Thanagarian lovers, named Katar Hol and Shayera Hol, who had crashed in ancient Egypt. Adopting the name of Hawkman, Hall led her to the tomb (with Batman secretly following) and revealed his superhero identity. When the villainous Shadow Thief attacked, the tomb collapsed, after which Shadow Thief escaped away, and Hawkman departed, still believing that he and Shayera are meant for each other. It is not stated definitively, however, that Hall is actually speaking the truth - it is suggested that he is delusional, and that his mind may have been addled by his exposure to the Absorbacron. Eventually it was discovered that the Shadow Thief is an independent fragment of Hall's addled psyche and that the reincarnation theory was likely true. Hawkman was voiced by James Remar. Batman says that Hall's real name is "Joseph Gardner", which is a nod to Hawkman's most notable creators, Joe Kubert and Gardner Fox. In the series finale, he is seen along with other heroes responding to the League alert concerning Darkseid's invasion of Earth.

"The Batman"

* Hawkman makes a cameo (alongside The Flash, Green Arrow and Green Lantern Hal Jordan) in "The Batman" season-four finale "The Joining, Part Two" and appeared in the episode "What Goes Up...", voiced by Robert Patrick. In the episode, he teamed-up with Batman and Robin to stop Black Mask and Shadow Thief. In the series finale episode "Lost Heroes", he and the Justice League went up against Hugo Strange and the joining. While not identified by name, a comment made about the Batcave looking like Police headquarters on Thanagar indicates that he's Katar Hol.

ee also

*Birdman and the Galaxy Trio - 1967 TV cartoon series with a 'similar' character

References

External links

*
* [http://www.sequart.com/columns/index.php?col=2&column=795 Brief History of Hawkman] on Sequart.com
* [http://www.thehutch.com/monitorduty/2005/08/alan-kistlers-profile-everythi.php Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Hawkman]
* [http://www.fanzing.com/mag/fanzing44/feature1.shtml Hawkman Timeline]
* [http://hawkfan.50webs.com Hawkfan] - A fansite dedicated to Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Not to be confused with the Hawkwind fanzine.
* [http://hawkworld.dcuguide.com Hawkworld: Still Goin' Strong!]


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