Hawkgirl: Wikis

  
  
  

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Hawkgirl
HawkmanCv42.jpg
Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders)
Art by Matt Haley
Publication information
Publisher (All)
DC Comics
First appearance (Hall)
Flash Comics #1
(January 1940)
(Hall as Hawkgirl)
All-Star Comics #5
(June 1941)
(Saunders)
JSA Secret Files #1
(August 1999)
Created by (Hall)
Gardner Fox
Sheldon Moldoff
(Saunders)
Geoff Johns
James Robinson
In-story information
Alter ego - Shiera Sanders Hall
- Shayera Hol
- Kendra Saunders
Team affiliations (Hall, Saunders)
Justice Society of America
(Hall)
All-Star Squadron
(Saunders)
Justice League
Birds of Prey
Black Lantern Corps
Abilities (All)
Belt with a special metal that defies gravity, artificial feather wings, archaic weaponry, flight, enhanced strength, healing factor, enhanced vision, reincarnation

Hawkgirl is the name of several female fictional superhero characters, all owned by DC Comics and existing in that company's DC Universe. The character is one of the first costumed female superheroes. All of them are partners, and sometimes spouses or lovers, of the various incarnations of Hawkman, and share many features with the character Hawkwoman.

Contents

Publication history

Golden Age

Shiera Sanders first appeared in Flash Comics #1 as a civilian supporting character in the Hawkman feature. Archaeologist Carter Hall has a dream that he is an ancient Egyptian prince, Khufu, who has a lover, Princess Chay-Ara. The next day, Carter meets a woman named Shiera who looks exactly like the woman in his dream. Carter dons the identity of Hawkman and Shiera becomes Carter's girlfriend. Shiera first appears in costume in All Star Comics #5 during Hawkman's solo segment of the Justice Society of America story. Shiera dons a spare set of Nth metal wings developed by Hawkman, and masquerades as Hawkman in order to trick some criminals. Shiera continues to wear the costume and wings in later stories, eventually adopting the identity of Hawkgirl.

Silver Age

With the fading popularity of superheroes during the late 1940s, the Hawkman feature ended in the last issue of Flash Comics in 1949. In 1956, DC Comics resurrected the Flash by revamping the character with a new identity and backstory. Following the success of the new Flash, DC Comics revamped Hawkman in a similar fashion with Brave and the Bold #34 in 1961. The Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl became married alien police officers from the planet Thanagar who come to Earth in order study police techniques. Silver Age Hawkgirl is introduced as Shayera Hol (phonetically identical to Shiera Hall), who appears in costume as of her first appearance. Although Silver Age Hawkman joins the Justice League of America with Justice League of America #31 in 1964, Silver Age Hawkgirl was not offered membership because Justice League rules only allowed for one new member to be admitted at a time. Several years later, Silver Age Hawkgirl joined the Justice League of America with issue #146 in 1977. In 1981, Silver Age Hawkgirl changed her name to Hawkwoman in the Hawkman backup feature of World's Finest #274.

With the establishment of DC's multiverse system, the Golden Age Hawkgirl was said to have lived on Earth-Two and the Silver Age Hawkgirl on Earth-One. Although Golden Age Hawkman makes his first Silver Age appearance during the first JLA/JSA teamup in 1961 and continues making appearances during the annual JLA/JSA teamups, Golden Age Hawkgirl does not reappear until 1976, in the revival of the All Star Comics monthly comic. During the publication gap between the cancellation of Hawkman at the end of the Golden Age and the reintroduction of Earth-Two Hawkman during the Silver Age, Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl are married off-panel. Golden Age Hawkgirl made further appearances as the mother of Silver Scarab in the Infinity Inc. comic and as Hawkgirl as a member of the All-Star Squadron, retroactive team of Golden Age heroes active in the 1940s.

Post-Crisis

Following the events of DC's miniseries, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the histories of Earth-One and Earth-Two were merged together. As a result, both the Golden Age and the Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl live on the same Earth. Shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC decided that having the Justice Society on the same Earth as all of the other superheroes was redundant and most of the team including Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl were given a sendoff in the Last Days of the Justice Society one-shot. The Justice Society were trapped in another dimension, Limbo, where they would battle for all of eternity to prevent Ragnarok from occurring on the Earth.

Initially, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman were kept in continuity unchanged after Crisis on Infinite Earths. However, DC reversed this decision and rebooted Hawkman continuity after the success of the Hawkworld miniseries. Originally, Hawkworld was a miniseries set in the past that retold the origins of Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman, but after the series became a success, DC Comics made Hawkworld an ongoing series set in the present, resulting in a complete reboot of Hawkman continuity, and introducing several continuity errors regarding Hawkman and Hawkgirl's Justice League appearances which needed to be fixed. All previous appearances by the Silver Age Hawkgirl in the Justice League were explained by the Golden Age Hawkgirl taking the Silver Age Hawkgirl's place. However, Hawkwoman continued to appear in some pre-Hawkworld Justice League adventures during the time Golden Age Hawkgirl was trapped in Limbo. To explain this continuity error, a new Hawkwoman, Sharon Parker, was created and retconned into the Justice League during the time Golden Age Hawkgirl was in Limbo.

After the Hawkworld reboot, the Silver Age Hawkgirl was now named Shayera Thal, and was not married to Katar Hol, but was merely his police partner. In post-Hawkworld continuity, Shayera adopts the name Hawkwoman from the very beginning of her costumed career and never uses the name Hawkgirl. The Golden Age Hawkgirl is eventually returned from Limbo, but is killed during the Zero Hour miniseries when she is merged with Katar Hol and Golden Age Hawkman into a Hawkgod.

A new Hawkgirl was introduced as part of the 1999 revival of the JSA monthly title. The new Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, granddaughter of the Golden Age Hawkgirl's cousin, Speed Saunders. Hawkgirl would continue to appear regularly in the monthly JSA series and later in the Hawkman monthly. In 2006, the ongoing Hawkman monthly series was renamed Hawkgirl starting with issue 50 as part of the One Year Later jump forward, with Kendra replacing Hawkman as the lead character. The Hawkgirl comic book series was cancelled at issue 66. She was a member of the Justice League of America at its relaunch but has left the team due to injuries sustained in Final Crisis.

Fictional character history

Shiera Hall

The Golden Age Hawkgirl was Shiera Hall (or Saunders), the reincarnation of the Egyptian princess Chay-Ara, and partner of Carter Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman. Centuries ago, Chay-Ara and her lover Prince Khufu were killed by Hath-Set with a knife forged from an alien substance called nth metal. The properties of the metal and the strength of the duo's love created a bond between them, causing them to be reborn multiple times throughout the centuries. Some of her incarnations include:

  • Lady Celia Penbrook, alive during 5th century Britain, love of Silent Knight;
  • Cinnamon (a.k.a Kate Manser), an Old West gunslinger, love of Nighthawk;
  • Sheila Carr, lady love of Pinkerton detective James Wright.

In the early 20th century, Chay-Ara was reborn as Shiera Sanders. She was kidnapped by Dr. Anton Hastor (reincarnation of Hath-Set) but subsequently rescued by Hawkman (her reborn lover Khufu). Shiera became the hero's frequent ally and love interest. Eventually, she was granted a costume of her own and a belt of gravity-defying nth metal and joined him at his side as Hawkgirl.

The Hawks were members of the All-Star Squadron, and while Hawkman was a member of the Justice Society of America, Hawkgirl was not, only assisting the group on occasion. Recent retcons seem to point to Hawkgirl being formally inducted into the JSA at some time however. Eventually, Carter and Shiera married and had one son, Hector Hall, the previous Doctor Fate.

Through retcon Carter and Shiera also joined the Justice League of America in the late 1980s, serving as liaisons between that group and the Justice Society.

Shiera died when she was merged with Carter and Katar Hol to form a new Hawkman version, a "hawk god" creature, during the events of Zero Hour.

Kendra Saunders

The current Hawkgirl is Kendra Saunders, a young woman who committed suicide. When Kendra's soul left her body, that of her grandfather's 1st cousin Shiera Hall, the Golden Age Hawkgirl, entered it, making Kendra a walk-in. Her grandfather, former OSS agent and globe-trotting adventurer Speed Saunders, recognized this, in part due to a change in eye color, and encouraged his granddaughter to embrace her destiny as the "new" Hawkgirl.

Kendra had a daughter named Mia, who is said to be deceased.

Still believing herself to be Kendra, she debuted as a hero using the original Hawkgirl's equipment and set out in search of a being called the Fate-Child (actually her own reincarnated son, Hector Hall). This led to a meeting with the Justice Society and Kendra's induction to that team.

She currently has all of Kendra's memories, but almost none of Shiera's save for fighting experiences. This creates tension with Hawkman since he remembers all of their past lives together and believes they are destined for each other. Kendra has been presented as a very troubled young woman, haunted by the murder of her parents by a corrupt cop and confused by her jumble of memories and feelings. She has operated as Hawkman's partner but only recently began to actually admit her attraction to him. The truth about Kendra's identity was eventually revealed to her by the angel Zauriel.

She is one of the heroes who fought in space during the Rann-Thanagar War. Following the events of Infinite Crisis, a Zeta Beam transporter malfunction injured many of the superheroes in space, including Hawkgirl, causing her to grow over twenty feet tall. Some time later, her proper stature restored, she is protecting St. Roch, Louisiana, in the absence of Hawkman. She was later abducted and put on trial for high treason against her people by a group of rogue Thanagarians. After being found guilty, one of the rogues tied her hands behind her back and covered her mouth with a piece of duct tape, and then attempted to lynch her. Kendra found that she could hover without her wings and was able to fake her death and escape by using this new power.

She is also a returning member of the new Justice League, having briefly served with the team when the original members were previously missing. A brewing relationship between Hawkgirl and Red Arrow become one of the major subplots in the series though it appears to have ended. Hawkgirl is now 100% Kendra Saunders. Shiera Sanders' soul left Kendra's body and moved on to the afterlife. Shiera hopes her passing on will finally remove the curse of Hath-Set.

Blackest Night

In Blackest Night #1, Kendra is shown having an argument with Hawkman over whether or not to visit Jean Loring's grave with the Atom. As the two heroes quarrel, the reanimated corpses of Ralph and Sue Dibny enter Hawkman's sanctuary; now members of the Black Lantern Corps. The Black Lanterns attack, Sue impaling Hawkgirl on a spear. Ralph taunts Hawkman, telling him that Hawkgirl never loved him; a claim she refutes with her dying breath. Hawkman is killed shortly afterward, and both heroes are reanimated as Black Lanterns by Black Hand himself.[1]

During the battling at Coast City, the Atom is chosen by the Indigo Tribe to be more effective against Nekron's forces.[2] The Atom tells Indigo-1 to keep his involvement in the deployment of the troops a secret, and asks that she help him find a way to legitimately resurrect Hawkman and Hawkgirl.[3]

Powers and abilities

Hawkgirl owes her powers to a belt of Nth metal, a substance native to the planet Thanagar (once home of another pair of Hawk-heroes, Katar Hol and Hawkwoman). The metal is psycho-reactive, responding to its bearer's thoughts and in its base form has a number of electromagnetic/gravitational properties. To the Hawks, it grants the power of flight, superhuman strength, super-acute vision, and an enhanced healing/regeneration ability.

Additionally, she displays advanced hand-to-hand combat skills. Like Hawkman, she retains the knowledge of several lifetimes worth of fighting. Her preferred weapons are a spear or mace, but she has also been depicted using swords, axes, warhammers, shields, and other melee weapons. She possesses shooting skills from her times as the gunfighter, Cinnamon.

The original Hawkgirl wore a yellow tank top leotard, under green spandex tights and red briefs. The briefs had a yellow sport stripe on each side. She also wore red boots with yellow striping. The current incarnation has a very similar costume, however instead of a yellow leotard, she wears a yellow spandex jog bra with red striping.

In addition, the nth metal knife which murdered Hawkgirl in her original incarnation as Chay-Ara had an unusual effect upon her soul and that of her lover Khufu (Hawkman). The pair are locked in a seemingly endless cycle of death and rebirth throughout the centuries. While not a superhuman power per se, this propensity for reincarnation has allowed Hawkgirl to cheat death and return to active duty in her current incarnation.

Recently Kendra has discovered that she had enhanced healing and limited hover abilities when not wearing Nth metal. She speculates that this is due to her prolonged exposure to the substance.

Collected editions

  • Hawkgirl: The Maw (collects issues #50-56)
  • Hawkgirl: Hawkman Returns (collects issues #57-60)
  • Hawkgirl: Hath-Set (collects issues #61-66 (end of series))

Other media

Super Friends

Hawkgirl appeared in a few episodes of the Super Friends paired alongside alongside her husband Hawkman.

Justice League

Shayera Hol as she appeared on Justice League

The character of Shayera "Hawkgirl" Hol appears in the animated series Justice League on Cartoon Network, voiced by Maria Canals. She is based on the Silver Age Hawkgirl. Her personality was completely re-designed for the series by the producers, who wanted a second woman for the team (taking Aquaman's place) to contrast with Wonder Woman. While Black Canary is traditionally more associated with the Justice League, the producers preferred to have the Hawk family represented. In the animated continuity, Hawkgirl's wings are organic and she wields an Nth metal mace which disrupts magical forces.

In Secret Origins, the Martian Manhunter gathers the future League to battle against an alien invasion on Earth. After the defeat of the invasion, the seven remained a team and officially formed the Justice League, dedicated to the defense of Earth against attack both within and without. To the rest of the League, Shayera was a mysterious woman with angelic wings from another world. She explained that she found herself on Earth when, while pursuing some criminals who were trafficking in forbidden technology, she was accidentally transported by the rays of a dimensional transporter known to her people as a Zeta Beam, which has been traditionally associated with DC's science fiction hero Adam Strange.

Throughout the series, she slowly builds a relationship with Green Lantern John Stewart. In the two-part episode "Wild Cards", John is nearly killed while protecting Shayera. She just barely manages to bring him back to life by shocking him with her mace. Later, on the Watchtower, John and Shayera show their true feelings for each other, and Shayera allows John to remove her mask, giving the viewer their first look at Hawkgirl's face beneath the mask.

In the second-season finale "Starcrossed", Shayera reveals herself to be a military officer of her planet's armed forces, working as an advance scout on Earth. When her people suddenly arrive in force on Earth, she works to help the Thanagarians gain the support of Earth's leaders to protect the Earth from the Thanagarians' mortal enemies, the Gordanians. She is also reunited with her commanding officer and fiance Hro Talak (an anagram for the name of the Silver Age Hawkman Katar Hol), with both her now-revealed spy mission and this unmentioned romance creating considerable friction between herself and John.

Unbeknownst to Shayera, the Thanagarians' true intent is to transform Earth into the final link in a hyperspace bypass, which will destroy Earth but allow the Thanagarians to strike a mortal blow at the Gordanians' home world. When Shayera learns of this plan, she betrays her people and informs the Justice League of the Thanagarian plot. The Thanagarian forces are eventually defeated by the League and forced to leave Earth, with Shayera left behind as a traitor. For this reason, Shayera was later ambushed by a band of rogue Thanagarian resistance fighters seeking revenge for her betrayal ("Hunter's Moon").

The other six members of the League take a vote on whether to allow Shayera to stay on the team, but before they can tell her the result, she resigns from the League and departs (in "Wake the Dead", it is revealed that the decision, while split, was in favor of letting her stay, with Superman breaking the tie). She eventually comes to reside with Dr. Fate and his wife Inza in Fate's tower stronghold in an effort to decide what to do with her life.

In the episode "Wake the Dead", Solomon Grundy's corpse is reanimated, and he wreaks havoc. Shayera takes the responsibility of killing Grundy, whom she once considered to be a friend. After this, she returns to the League, but it is some time before she is properly re-accepted among its members, particularly Wonder Woman and Batman. After she is allowed to rejoin the Justice League, Shayera reclaims her seat among the seven founding members and opts to dress in simple civilian clothing as opposed to her previous, more militaristic costume.

The show ends with Shayera and Green Lantern (who is by this point in a relationship with League member Vixen) having resolved to be friends for the time being. Series creator Bruce Timm said in an interview that while he was deliberately ambiguous about the future of their relationship and understood while some fans disliked where it was left at the series finale, it was his opinion that "You can put two and two together and imagine what happens."[citation needed]

In addition to John, Shayera shows a strong friendship with the Flash that is touched on several times through both the JL and JLU series, usually in a sisterly way, including him being the only one to hug her goodbye after her decision to resign. In the Justice League Unlimited fifth season's debut episode "I Am Legion", Flash says, "She loves me. She's like the big sister I never had. Only, you know... short."

Video games

  • Hawkgirl is a playable character in the Game Boy Advance games Justice League: Injustice for All and Justice League: Chronicles; the character is based on the animated version of the character.
  • Hawkgirl is a playable character in the video game Justice League Heroes voiced by Collette Whittaker. She can be unlocked by paying 70 orange shields on the menu screen. The profile included is that of Kendra.
  • Hawkgirl is set to appear in the upcoming video game DC Universe Online.

In other TV appearances

  • In the Fairly Odd Parents episode "Big Superhero Wish", there is a character called Hawk Gal.
  • In the Smallville episode "Absolute Justice," Hawkgirl's weaponry and mask are on display at the JSA brownstone. Her hawk helmet has a crack across the right side, and Hawkman notes that she has been dead for several years. As in the comics, she is the wife of Hawkman and has been reincarnated many times down through the ages.

Film

  • An evil version of Hawkgirl known as Angelique appears as a member of the Crime Syndicate of America in the animated film Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

See also

References

  1. ^ Blackest Night #1 (July 2009)
  2. ^ Blackest Night #6 (December 2009)
  3. ^ The Atom and Hawkman #46 (January 2010)

External links








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