The Hummingbird

Personal Data

Hester Morgan

Residence: Mobile
Occupation:
Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age):
Flash Comics #52 (April 1944) 

History

    Hester Morgan's early life is shrouded in mystery.  She attended university and majored in science, an unusual path for women in the war-era United States, and specialized in ornithology - the study of birds.  While widely regarded as one of the foremost ornithologists in the nation, she was frustrated that her career path was somewhat financially meager.  She longed for luxury and affluence and decided to turn to crime to get it.   She invented a set of golden glider wings cloaked in hummingbird feathers that would carry her high and fast and launched a string of daring robberies, using blinding flares to facilitate her escapes.  Unsatisfied with the amount of gain from personal robberies, she organized a gang to assist her, ultimately attracting the attention of Hawkman.  Targeting a gala event in Keystone City where Carter Hall is a guests leads to the Hummingbird's first encounter with the winged hero.  Cornered, the Hummingbird takes flight with Hawkman in hot pursuit, only to leave him blinded with her flares.

    Hawkman quickly regained his sight and seeing him take off draws the attention of Hawkgirl, who follows him as he corners Hester Morgan in her home.  There she witnessed the Hummingbird confess her crimes and return her loot, promising to go straight. Hawkman is taken in by her sincerity and offers to get her a real research job working for Carter Hall where her skills are appreciated but Hawkgirl is dubious of Morgan's intentions.  Weeks pass and Morgan appears to be a model citizen until Hall decides to put his family's emerald collection on display at a local museum for charity.  Morgan is deeply tempted and when Hawkgirl confronts her when she is viewing the jewels, the Hummingbird re-emerges and organizes her old gang to steal the jewels.  Hawkman thrashes her thugs and captures Hummingbird with a net and trident but again lets her go when she returns the jewels and offers to try to be honest.   Hawkman let's her go but instructs his hawks to trail her and report back if she returns to crime (Flash Comics #52).

    A few months later, Morgan hatches a new scheme to disgrace Hawkgirl who she blames for interference in her efforts prior.  She hires some photographers to flatter Hawkgirl with talk of movies and Hollywood and encourages her to invite this publicity to crime scenes, despites Hawkman's objections that it interferes with their work.   Abandoning her glider wings, her goal was to get Hawkgirl to chase false leads for publicity, removing herself and Hawkman from preventing the  thefts the Hummingbird and her gang had in mind.  It worked once, allowing the criminals to make off with Everest Emeralds but the Hawks caught wise and when the Hummingbird went after the Uraloff Diamond, the Hawks feigned pursuing a different site but doubled back and ambushed the criminals.  This time Hawkman was in no mood for clemency and the Hummingbird and her gang were carted off to jail (Flash Comics #60).

The ultimate fate of the Earth-2 Hummingbird is unknown.

Multiversity

Prior Earth-0 = The Hummingbird of the post-Crisis Earth was named Marci (last name unknown), a demented violent criminal with a set of wings of unknown origin and a talent for explosives. She was recruited as part of a strike force of criminals to attack Hawkman and was left imprisoned in India.  Her ultimate fate is unknown (Hawkman Vol. 4 #38-41, 44)

Powers/Skills

Hester Morgan was a highly educated scientist, specializing in ornithology but with a good understanding of aerodynamics and explosive chemistry which allowed her to design her equipment. Her glider wings are of her own design, light and coated with feathers of the hummingbird, fastest of all avian species.  She also developed a series of long-lasting magnesium flares and explosives to blind her assailants, especially when operating at night.

Weaknesses/Limitations

Hester Morgan was at best an average physical specimen and little use in hand-to-hand combat.  Essentially a jewel thief, she is burdened with a very specific kleptomania that she seems unable to break which commits her to a life of crime.

Appearances

Issue Comment Reprinted in
Flash Comics #52 1st appearance and origin, vs. Golden Age Hawkman
Flash Comics #60 vs. Golden Age Hawkman  

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