Superhero Origins: Hawkman

Superhero Origins: Hawkman
VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Craig Butler

Criminals better be wary of this particular bird of prey. Join http://www.watchmojo as we explore the comic book origins of Hawkman.

Special thanks to our users Lars Asbjørn Sandnes, mac121mr0, Janine Mastrokalos, Donathan Rogers, Luis Abreu, Jeff Ratheal and George Arizaga for making the suggestion at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest

Superhero Origins: Hawkman

Criminals better be wary of this particular bird of prey. Welcome to and today we will explore the comic book origin of Hawkman.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1940's Flash #1 and was expanded upon in 1961's The Brave & the Bold #34, 1989's Hawkworld #1, 2002's Hawkman: Secret Files and Origins and 2012's Savage Hawkman #0.

The Winged Wonder's origin has been retold many times. The first story, from 1940’s Flash Comics Number 1, concerned millionaire Carter Hall, who discovered that he is the reincarnation of Egypt's Prince Khufu. In his past life, the villainous Hath-Set murdered him and his beloved, Shiera. Khufu swore vengeance in another life, and Carter soon encountered the reincarnation of both Shiera and Hath-Set. Having previously discovered a metal that negates the effects of gravity (don’t ask), Carter donned a winged outfit that enabled him to focus the anti-gravity power and to steer. Thus armed, Carter fought Hath-Set and emerged victorious.

In 1961, Hawkman's origin was revamped significantly. Now he was Katar Hol, a policeman from the planet Thanagar. Together with his wife and partner, Shayera, he came to Earth in search of an escaped criminal named Byth. Wearing the special uniform worn by all police officers on Thanagar, they hunted for the fugitive, a job made difficult due to the fact that Byth is a shape shifter. While on Earth, they assumed the identities of Carter and Shiera Hall, curators of a history museum. They used their Thanagarian powers to communicate with birds, who helped them locate Byth. Armed with ancient weapons from the museum, they subdued Byth and sent him back to Thanagar. However, the duo decided to remain on Earth and learn more of its ways.

More revisions followed over the years. For example, when the Hawkworld series debuted in 1989, Katar Hol was revealed to be the son of Thanagar's greatest hero, Paran Katar. Byth had been a ruler of Thanagar who had falsely accused Paran Katar of fomenting revolution. Katar had been tricked into killing his father and then spent years in lonely exile. He returned to kill Byth, but the villain fled to Earth. In this re-telling, Shayera and Katar are not married or even romantically involved. They are partners who come from different social classes and have a somewhat antagonistic relationship.

In 2002, DC tried to find a link between the Egyptian version of Hawkman and the Thanagarian one. It was revealed that the anti-gravity metal that Prince Khufu used to fly is actually from Thanagar.

More changes occurred when DC rebooted its whole line in the New 52 event in 2012. Katar Hol became the adopted son of the Thanagarian king and the fiancé of Princess Shayera. Katar convinced the king to seek peace, despite Thanagar's warrior past. Their enemies responded by unleashing a plague that decimated Thanagar and killed the king.

The king's heir, Prince Corsar, embarked on a dangerous scheme to mine the precious anti-gravity metal. Katar opposed this; when the two fought, Katar accidentally killed Corsar. He fled Thanagar, and Princess Shayera swore she would find him and make him pay. Katar arrived on Earth, where he eventually assumed the identity of Carter Hall and fought against evil as Hawkman.

Hawkman's various origin stories have become increasingly complicated, but his appeal remains strong. With his ability to soar gracefully high into the heavens and to swiftly plunge down to Earth as he targets his prey, he remains a character with tremendous visual appeal.

Are you a fan of Hawkman? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to
falcon vs angel