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Hawkman was created for DC by writer Gardner Fox and was first drawn by Dennis Neville. He made his first appearance in Flash #1 (January 1940); his second in 1961 and both used the alter ego, Carter Hall. The character wore a hawk-like headgear and a huge pair of furry, feather-like wings. Carter Hall was a reincarnation of the Egyptian Prince Khufu and his flying powers were derived from an anti-gravity belt known as “ninth” metal. He was able to communicate with birds and eventually added a partner, Hawkgirl (Flash #24), in 1941. The duo was fascinated with pseudo-Egyptian culture and their flghting arsenal included crossbows, maces, axes, shields, and spears—anything resembling ancient weaponry. The Golden Age Hawkman specialized in odd and unusual investigations, and encountered such antagonists as an off-planet giant, a talking alligator god, a golden mummy, and purple monsters who lived in New York’s harbor.

Most of the scripts were handled by Gardner Fox with Bob Kanigher contributing several outstanding tales during the 1947-1949 period. After Dennis Neville left the strip, Hawkman was drawn deftly by Sheldon Moldoff (late 1940 to early 1945), and Joe Kubert (from late 1944 until 1949) who used unique layouts and heavy blacks to give the strip a pleasing and appropriately moody look. Hawkman was a major DC supporting feature and lasted through all 104 issues of Flash, the last published in 1949. Hawkman also appeared in All-Star comics from the first issue through the last (Summer 1940-March 1951). He was a member of the Justice Society of America.

Hawkman, following the Flash and Green Lantern, was brought back in March 1961 (Brave and Bold #34). Carter Hall was cast this time as a visiting policeman from the planet Thanagar. He continued to use ancient weaponry although he was now based in an orbiting spaceship. Hawkgirl also reappeared and the artist was once again Joe Kubert. After several try-outs in Brave and Bold, Hawkman was given a regular feature in Mystery in Space (November 1967) and his own title beginning in April 1964. Murphy Anderson replaced Kubert and Anderson’s slick, pristine renditions matched the character well. Hawkman folded in September 1968 as the Silver Age of Superheroes began to fade, but Carter Hall was paired briefly with the Atom in a seven-issue run (Atom and Hawkman). He continued as a member of the Justice League of America without Hawkgirl. There was a brief revival of the Hawkman title in the mid-1980s and, in 1989, artistwriter Timothy Truman devised Hawkworld, which returned Hawkman and Hawkgirl (as Katar and Shayera) to their home planet Thanagar for rather somber science fiction adventures.


Hawkman can fly at great speed by means of his artificial wings and anti-gravity belt. The anti-gravity belt also enables him to lift enormous weights aloft.

Hawkman utilizes various Thanagarian weapons and has a considerable knowledge of his homeworld’s advanced science. He prefers to use duplicates of ancient Earth weapons in battle, which he creates with a Thanagarian duplicator machine. On coming to Earth in pursuit of Byth, Hawkman learned all Earth knowledge using a device called an absorbascon. With effort he can retrieve any of it from his subconscious. The device also taught him how to communicate with Earth’s birds. Hawkman is a superb hand-to-hand combatant. His body has been treated to withstand extreme temperatures and air friction. He can survive unharmed in a vacuum for five minutes.

Comics on Display

“Return of the Death Goddess!” Hawkman 25 (April-May 1968)

“Last Stand on Thanagar,” Hawkman 26 (June-July 1968) Story by Raymond Marais; art by Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera

“When the Snow-Fiend Strikes,” Hawkman 27 (August-September 1968)

“Earth’s Impossible Day,” Adventure Comics 413 (December 1971) Story by Gardner Fox; art by Joe Kubert

“Adventures on Other Worlds,” Showcase 103 (August 1978) Story by Jack C. Harris; art by Allen Milgrom and Murphy Anderson

“The Mystery of the Mobile Museum,” The Brave and the Bold 164 (July 1980) Story by J.M. De Matteis; art by Garcia Lopez and Steven Mitchell

“The Treasure of the Hawk-God’s Tomb,” The Brave and the Bold 186 (May 1982) Story by Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn; art by Jim Aparo

“Secrets,” Hawkman 1 (August 1986) Story by Tony Isabella; art by Richard Howell and Don Heck

“Strange Worlds,” Hawkworld 6 (December 1990) Story by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman; art by Graham Nolan

“Images,” Hawkworld 10 (April 1991) Story by John Ostrander; art by Graham Nolan and Gary Kwapisz

“Into the Flames: Flight’s End, Part 3,” Hawkworld 29 (December 1992) Story by John Ostrander; art by Jan Duursema and Robert Jones

“Final Chapter,” Hawkworld 32 (March 1993) Story by John Ostrander; art by Timothy Truman and Timothy Bradstreet

“Bad Blood,” Hawkman Annual 1 (1993) Story by John Ostrander; art by Jan Duursema, Steven Lieber, and Rick Magyar

Exhibit 1: Main

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