THE JSA FACT FILE

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Hawkman


Carter Hall


Residence: New York City with holdings in other cities
Occupation: Archaeologist, Independently wealthy 
First Appearance (Golden Age): Flash Comics #1 (January 1940) 
First Appearance (Silver Age): The Flash vol. 1 #137 (July 1963) 


Character History

 

Carter Hall was born in the mid 1910s, the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince named Khufu. Nothing is known of Hall's early life until, as an adult, he received a gift from James Rock, an archeologist. Rock had sent Hall a dagger with a crystal blade, and when Hall touched the blade, he fell into a trance. In a dreamlike state, Hall saw the life of Khufu as in the days of ancient Egypt:


Khufu was a member of Egyptian royalty opposed by a priest of Anubis, Hath-Set. Hath-Set captured Khufu and attempted to torture him into submission. Khufu escaped and fled Hath-Set, seeking his lover, Shiera. Hath-Set doggedly pursued Khufu and one of his archers wounded Khufu just as the prince reached Shiera. Hath-Set offered both the lovers as a sacrifice to the god Anubis, using a crystal blade. As Khufu died, he swore to Hath-set that he would return one day and it would be Hath-Set's turn to die.


When he awoke, Hall felt strange and left his house to wander the streets of the city. When he passed a subway entrance, throngs of people emerged, fleeing a disaster on the tracks. As he rushed to investigate, Hall ran into a young woman, the reincarnation of his lost love, Shiera. The two investigated the subway station to find the subway tracks being flooded with thousands of volts of electricty, killing many of the passengers. Hall vowed to investigate the cause of the disaster and took Shiera to his home. Hall donned a mask of a hawk and wings made of Nth Metal, a discovery of Hall's. He tracked the source of the electrity to the lab of Dr. Anton Hastor, the reincarnation of the high priest Hath-Set. Hawkman destroyed the lab, but Hastor escaped.


Swearing vengeance against Hawkman, Hastor used an ancient incense to place Shiera Sanders in a deep trance and lure her to him. When Hawkman returned to his estate, he found Shiera missing and smelled the intoxicant Hastor had used. Taking a cloak of Nth Metal for Shiera, he returned to Hastor's enclave and found him preparing to sacrifice Shiera on the alter of Anubis. Quickly casting the protective cloak over Shiera, Hawkman turned his crossbow on Hastor, mortally wounding him. As the castle burned from the equipment that had been wrecked in the melee, Hawkman gathered the unconscious Shiera, leaving Hastor to presumably perish in the flames (Flash Comics #1).

    
HAwkman Flash Comics #1

Hawkman then became a regular feature of the New York City, battling criminals such as Alexander the Great (Flash Comics #2) and the Priestess Nyola (All-Star Comics #2). In late 1940, Hawkman was summoned by Doctor Fate to the shores of Dover, England, to join other American heroes in fending off a Nazi invasion force. This event, and the subsequent showdown with Hitler's Valkyries over Washington, led to the formation of the Justice Society of America, with Hawkman as its first chairman. Hawkman remained the lynchpin member of the JSA throughout World War II and was its longest-standing chairman. Hawkman and Shiera (as Hawkgirl) joined the JSA in the pursuit of a group of super-criminals organized by Ian Karkull to assassinate future Presidents of the United States, bring him into conflict once again with Alexander the Great. As Karkull was defeated, he gave off a radiation that imbued the assembled heroes, including Hawkman and Hawkgirl, with increased longevity and vitality. (All-Star Squadron Annual #3).


In later 1941, Hawkman was captured by the gang of Dr. Lucius Darrel, ring-leader in a series of brazen thefts.  To dispose of the hero, the dropped in a remote valley outside of New York from an airplane.  Rather than plunge to certain death, Hawkman was rescued and resuscitated by giant, intelligent hawks with whom he developed a deep bond and who joined him in defeating the Darrel gang (Flash #23).  The denizens of Hawk  Valley become a long term assess in Hawkman's battled against crime.


In December of 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor galvanized Americans across the spectrum and costumed adventurers were no less aroused.  The days that followed led to the formation of the All-Star Squadron, an extended team of American super-heroes confronting crime and pro-Axis forces on the homefront.  Hawkman became an active member of this group in addition to his continued membership in the Justice Society.  During the 1941 Christmas season, Hawkman discovered that Professor Hastor had survived the destruction of his home and the stab wound inflicted in their earlier conflict.  Hastor disguised himself as an alien and threatened Washington DC during a visit by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Hastor was revealed and defeated in a spiritual duel between himself, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.  Hastor's ultimate fate is unknown, though he certainly died before 1960 (All-Star Squadron #10-12).


Hawkman continued to be active in the JSA throughout World War II, though he never saw much action beyond the homefront. At some point in the 1940s, he married Shiera Sanders, though the exact dates and circumstances have yet to be revealed. Hawkman remained chairman of the JSA after the war, though the All-Star Squadron apparently disbanded.


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After the war,  Hawkman engaged an emerging number of advanced criminals, a new class of so-called "super-villains.  These include the criminal ornithologist The Hummingbird (Flash Comics #52, 60), the vengeful optician The Monocle (Flash Comics #64) and the weasely Simple Simon (Flash Comics #53 and 64).


In 1946, Hawkman journeyed to a hidden city deep in the Arctic regions. This city, Feitheria, was inhabited by a race of winged bird-men of unknown origin. While there, Hawkman exposed a political insurgent who intended to introduce Feitheria to the outside world while deposing the current leader, Worla. Hawkman cultivated a relationship with Worla and the two became good friends. Throughout the following years, Hawkman kept the secret of Feithera and visited frequently (Flash Comics #71).


In 1947, Hawkman first met one of his most frustrating adversaries, the Gentleman Ghost. The Ghost claimed to be the shade of "Gentleman Jim" Craddock, a highwayman from the 1800s. Craddock was hanged at the gallows but went to his death swearing revenge. Much to his surprise, he emerged in postwar America, where he resumed his life of crime. The Ghost used a variety of gimmicks to augment his ghostly manner, such as leaving his hat and cloak suspended from wires while he himself escaped. These antics led Hawkman to the conclusion that the Ghost was simply a charlatan, not truly a ghost (Flash Comics #88, 90, 92). It was revealed later, however, that Craddock was indeed a genuine ghost (Hawkman Special #1).


Hawkman also remained chairman of the JSA into the 1950's, including it's before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. It was he who declared the JSA disbanded when they were each asked to submit their true names and allow questioning by the committee. The JSA departed that meeting via a teleportation effect of Green Lantern's power ring (Adventure Comics #466).  As  far as is known Hawkman remained out of the public view for the next ten years.

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In 1963, Shiera gave birth to a son, Hector, while on a dig in Egypt. The Hall family also spent many summers in Feithera. During these times, Hawkman adopted as godson Norda Cantrell, the son of a human scientist, Fred Cantrell, and grandson of Worla, ruler of Feithera. Hawkman's own son Hector tended to resent these times, for Norda could fly with his parents and he could not (revealed in Infinity Inc. #1, #37). When Vandal Savage captured several members of the JSA in 1963, Hawkman was among them. When he was freed by the two Flashes along with the rest of the JSA, he chaired the first meeting of the re-formed Justice Society. Hawkman then resumed his active membership and chairmanship of the JSA. Hawkman was a very active member of the JSA throughout the 1960s and 70s. Shiera, by and large, remained inactive.


In the 1980s, Hector left home and attended college at UCLA. While there, he fashioned a uniform of his father's Nth Metal which enabled him to defy gravity. He donned this suit under the code-name of the Silver Scarab. Along with several others of the JSA's wards, godchildren, and children, Hector petitioned the JSA for membership. The younger heroes were rejected, but they formed a new group, Infinity Incorporated, under the direction of the Star Spangled Kid (Infinity Inc. #1). Shortly thereafter, Hawkman answered a call from Superman that that resulted in his "drowning" in the river of Koehaha, Colorado's "Stream of Ruthlessness." Hawkman then went on a maddened rampage, seeking an ancient Egyptian secret of immortality, until the river's effect drove him to return and confront the Ultra-Humanite. He was then cured and reconciled with his wife and family (Infinity Inc. #3-10). When Infinity Incorporated held its first press conference, the Silver Scarab revealed his identity, and that of his parents, to the world (Infinity Inc. #12).


Hawkman remained chairman of the JSA, presiding during the "Batman Diary" hearings (America vs. the Justice Society #1-4), and leading them into the Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he was severely burned in an encounter with Earth-1's Dr. Phosphorus (Crisis on Infinite Earths #9). The final fate of the Hawkman of Earth-Two remains unknown.

Hawkman II

Power and Abilities

Hawkman used a pair of wings composed of a material alternately called the Nth Metal or Ninth Metal. This substance defies gravity, permitting its wearer the power of flight. Hawkman was also skilled in the use of a variety of ancient weapons, which he preferred in combat. As Carter Hall, he possessed an vast fortune which financed his operations and allowed him to focus his energies on his career as Hawkman.  He was well-educated, in particularly in matters of ancient history and archeology.   Finally, Hawkman was present at the battle with Ian Karkull and the JSA and was exposed to radiation that slowed his aging process, accounting for his continued vitality in later years.

Weakness and Limitations

Hawkman, without his gear, is a mortal man and can be slain or injured as such.He would, however be promptly reincarnated elsewhere if so.

Golden Age Appearances of  Hawkman
 Post-Golden Age Appearances of the Hawkman of Earth-Two
Multiversity
Rogues Gallery