|WHO'S WHO - INDEXES - HISTORY - TOYS & STUFF - SEARCH ENGINE|
|HISTORY (THE CREATION OF THE HAWKS)|
"You make a good sandwich, Dear! You know, it's odd with all our scientific know-how,
nobody on Thanagar ever invented one of these" - Katar Hol
Quote taken from Brave and the Bold #44
|Written by Mike Tiefenbacher (originally appeared in The Official Hawkman Index #1)|
The story goes that one day in 1939 a pensive Gardner Fox was sitting at his desk, trying to come up with the characters who would star in the first issue of "Flash Comics," when he observed a bird swoop down outside his window. As a similar occurrence had for Bruce Wayne, this omen led to the creation of a costumed hero, who would come to be known as the Hawkman, the second feature in "Flash Comics," and one of the top four heros created for M. C. Gaines' nascent All-American Comics line, edited by Sheldon Mayer.
Whether this account is more fancy than fact is open to debate. Surely, it is rather too much of a coincidence that a comic book called "Flash Comics" would share its first name with a comic strip (Flash Gordon) which featured an alien race called the Hawkmen. In any case, beginning under the pen of Dennis Neville, then Sheldon Moldoff, Hawkman would become such a strong feature that the character would be cover-featured in almost half the run of "Flash Comics," as well as being the only character to be featured in every issue of "All-Star Comics" and in every "Justice Society" adventure of the 1940s.
This original Hawkman series concerned a blond millionaire playboy (which brings out fact that Superman was the only farm boy trying to eek out a living) named Carter Hall, who, having acquired an Egyptian knife, suddenly realized that he was the reincarnation of Prince Khufu, an ancient Egyptian crusader for good who had been murdered, pledging before he died that he and his murderer would meet again in another lifetime and he would avenge himself. Khufu had a girlfriend named Shiera, and, sure enough Shiera Sanders came into Carter's life soon afterward. When a would-be world-conqueror named Anton Hastor appeared, Hall knew the rest of the prophecy was fulfilled, and that this was his ancestor's murderer. He donned the head and wings of a hawk in tribute to the Egyptian god Ra, and strapped on a belt made of a discovery of his - a gravity-defying material called "ninth metal" (later "nth metal"), a name possibly inspired by the "eighth rays" of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter, Warlord of Mars" stories. As Hawkman, he tracked down his murderer and rescued Shiera from him. Thereafter, utilizing ancient weaponry (his moto being "With a weapon of the past, I shall defeat an evil of the present"), Hawkman battled crime and evil, including such foes as the Hummingbird, the Raven, and the Ghost. Two years after his January 1940 debut, Caster Hall was joined in battle by a costumed Shiera Sanders, who adopted the name Hawkgirl (originally Hawkwoman). She was, of course, the reincarnation of the Egyptian Shiera.
Despite the popularity of Hawkman, Hawkgirl and indeed the entire Justice Society of America, and the other characters originated in the All American half of the DC Comics line, an end came to their solo adventures in late 1948 with the cancellation of "Flash Comics" at issue number 104, coinciding with the demise of all other super-hero strips in "All-American Comics," "Comic Cavalcade," "All-Flash" and "Green Lantern." The expectations were "Wonder Woman" and "All-Star Comics," the latter of which featured Hawkman as a member of the Justice Society. That series finally ended with issue number 57 in late 1950, and Hawkman was not to be seen for the next decade.
Following the revision and reintroduction of the Flash in "Showcase" numbers 4, 8, 13 and 14, the similar revival of Green Lantern in "Showcase" number 22, 23 and 24, and the reorganization of the JSA as the Justice League of America in "The Brave and The Bold" number, 29 and 30, it seemed logical the longtime jsa chairman and cover feature hawkman would be next in line for revival, and so he was. in fact, the february-march 1961 issue of "the brave and the bold" reintroduced a hawkman who looked very much as he had in his original incarnation, very probably a result of the artist, joe kubert, having been one of the strip's original and principle artists in the '40s. once more hawkman and hawkgirl wore costumes of red, yellow and green, with cowls resembling the heads of hawks, had twenty-foot wingspans, and were named carter and shiera hall. their weapony was again medieval, and all cover evidence pointed to them being the same characters.
This, of course, was incorrect. First, the second Carter and Shiera were not reincarnated Egyptians - in fact, they were not even from Earth. Like J'onn J'onzz before them, their Earth identities were homophonic approximations of their alien names, as on their home planet of Thanagar where they were born Katar Hol and Shayera Thal. Second, Katar's hair was curly and black, not blond like the original Hawkman's, and Shayera's was red, not brown like that of the first Hawkgirl. And third, the two were already long married when they first arrived on Earth, a departure from super-hero tradition then unique in comics.
This section is dedicated to those artists and writers who have contributed at different times throughout the history of Hawkman. Check them out.
This page and all herein may not be used by others without the express and written consent of the owners of this site.