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Hawkman (Katar Hol)

Cover to Hawkman (vol. 3) # 0.
Art by Lee Weeks.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Brave and the Bold # 34 (February–March 1961):
Post-Hawkworld: 'Hawkworld: Book One (1989)
Created by Gardner Fox
Joe Kubert
Revamped by:
Tim Truman
In-story information
Full name Katar Hol
Species Thanagarian-Human hybrid
Place of origin Thanagar
Team affiliations Elite Hawkmen Force
Justice League
Partnerships Hawkgirl
Atom (Ray Palmer)
Notable aliases Carter Hall (pre-Hawkworld)
Abilities Nth metal wing granted flight
Nth metal enhanced strength, endurance, vision, and healing process
Able to speak and understand the language of birds via the use of the Absorbascon
(Formerly as the Hawk Avatar)Flight; super strength; Hawk Cry; Nth metal mace that can produce lightning channeled by Hawkman's inner power and that can also resist magic; enhanced vision and hearing; ability to converse with and summon birds telepathically; ability to endure electricity.

Katar Hol is a DC Comics superhero, the Silver Age, Bronze Age, and current Hawkman. Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, he first appeared in The Brave and the Bold # 34 (February–March 1961).

Fictional character biography

Silver Age version

Katar Hol was the imperial prince of his home planet of Thanagar. His father was Paran Katar, renowned ornithologist and inventor. When Katar Hol was eighteen, an alien race called the Manhawks invaded Thanagar and began looting the planet. Paran sent young Katar Hol to infiltrate their nest and bring back information on the aliens. Using this information, Paran created a hawk-like battle suit containing advanced technology like his "Nth metal". Katar used this hawk-suit and Paran's advanced weaponry to drive the Manhawks away from Thanagar.

That, however, was not the end of the problem. Some Thanagarians had learned the concept of stealing from the Manhawks. Due to the amount of crime, the Thanagarian government created a police force. In honor of Paran Katar and his achievements, the new police force began using his hawk-suit and equipment. Paran headed this new police force, named the Hawk-Police (or Wingmen), and his son became one of the first recruits.

Katar soon became one of the most skilled of the Hawk-Police. When a group called the Rainbow Robbers began committing crimes, Katar was teamed up with rookie Shayera Thal to track and apprehend the criminals. During the case, Shayera saved Katar's life, and the two soon fell in love. A few weeks later, Katar proposed to Shayera and the two got married, working together as partners-for-life in the Hawk-Police.

After ten years of marriage and in the force, the pair were sent to Earth in 1959 to capture the shape-shifting Thanagarian criminal Byth. During their mission, they meet George Emmett, commissioner of the Midway City Police Department, and told him their alien origin. With Emmett's help, the pair took over his retiring brother Ed's place as museum curators. They adopt the identities as Carter and Shiera Hall. After capturing him and sending him back to Thanagar, they elected to remain on Earth to work with authorities to learn human police methods. The two acted publicly as the heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl (later Hawkwoman).

The rest of Hawkman's supporting cast consist of Mavis Trent, museum naturalist and diorama artist who flirts with Katar; Joe Tracy, the museum's publicist; his commanding officer Andar Pul; a large red hawk named Big Red who lives nearby Hawk Valley; and teenage orphan Charley Parker, Golden Eagle. Katar gained a variety of unique villainous opponents such as the Shadow Thief, Matter Master, Ira Quimby (I.Q.), Konrad Kaslak, Chac, the Raven, the Criminal Alliance of the World (or C.A.W.), Lion-Mane, Kanjar Ro, Hyathis, the Fadeaway Man, and the Gentleman Ghost.

The Silver Age Katar Hol in Hawkman # 12 (February–March 1966). Art by Murphy Anderson.

Katar joined the Justice League of America in the early 1960s, where he befriended the Atom and frequently sparred with Green Arrow with whose "question authority" outlook the lawman frequently disagreed.

Hol left the Justice League for a time when Thanagar was hit by the Equalizer Plague, which caused all Thanagarians to change so that their physical and mental talents, and even their heights, became the same. With the help of the JLA, he was eventually able to reverse the effects of the plague.

However, in the wake of the plague, Thanagar adopted an expansionist outlook, and went to war with the planet Rann, which orbits Alpha Centauri. This forced Katar and Shayera to choose to fight for or against their own planet, and they elected to oppose Thanagar, becoming exiles on Earth. Around this time, Shayera herself joined the JLA, and took the name Hawkwoman.

Following the truce between Thanagar and Rann, Thanagar began to secretly try to take over the Earth. Hol opposed their efforts in a furtive "secret war" for several years.

Following the events of DC's miniseries, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the histories of Earth-One and Earth-Two are merged. As a result, both Golden Age and Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman live on the same Earth. Initially, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman were kept in continuity unchanged. They took Superman to Krypton (now a gas planet),[1] briefly joined Justice League International, teamed-up with Atom,[2] and helped Animal Man defuse a Thanagarian bomb during Invasion. However, DC reversed this decision and rebooted Hawkman continuity after the 1989 Hawkworld miniseries. Originally, Hawkworld retold the origins of Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman, but following its success, DC Comics launched a Hawkworld ongoing series set in the present, resulting in a complete reboot of Hawkman continuity. By doing so, several continuity errors regarding Hawkman and Hawkwoman's Justice League appearances needed to be fixed.

Post-Hawkworld version

Main article: Hawkworld

Katar Hol was rebooted in 1989 in the prestige format miniseries Hawkworld by Timothy Truman. A regular ongoing series of the same name followed from 1990–1993, which was then followed up by Hawkman (vol. 3) from 1993-1996.

File:Hawks Nolan.jpg
Katar Hol and Shayera Hol. Art by Graham Nolan.

In this new version Katar Hol was a young police officer on the planet Thanagar, and a child of a privileged family being the son of Paran Katar. Thanagar was a planet which conquered and mined other worlds for their resources to maintain its high standard of living, and Hol realized that this was wrong. He rebelled against the system and favored the old days of Thanagar. He became a student of history and archaeology, and admired Thanagar's legendary hero Kalmoran. Hol became addicted to a recreational drug, and was manipulated by the renegade police captain Byth into killing his own father, and was sent into exile in the Isle of Chance.

During that time, he found one of the island residents in robes fashioned a pair of wings. Katar, disillusioned, killed him and took his wings. He learned the wings were meant for Hol and that the robed man had natural wings on his back. Horrified on what he's done, the brother of the man he killed helped him deal with withdrawal symptoms from his drug addictions and he made peace with himself.

When his sentence was up, Hol was sent to Downside. However, he managed to escape and uncover and defeat Byth, who had gained shape-shifting abilities. As a result, he was reinstated in the force and given a new partner, Shayera Thal - a young woman from a lower class of society.

Just after Fel Andar left Earth, Katar and Shayera were sent to Earth, where they served as goodwill ambassadors for their homeplanet and remained for some time fighting both human and alien criminals in places like Chicago's Netherworld. Dubbed by the press as Hawkman III, Katar and Shayera, Hawkwoman II, had a tempestuous working relationship, and eventually Shayera broke away from Katar, who continued alone.

Katar met Carter Hall and Shiera Sanders who returned from Asgard with the rest of the Justice Society. He learns that his father came to Earth during World War II, under the alias "Perry Carter". The golden age Hawks, Carter and Shiera Hall, were friends with Paran, and were the inspiration of the Wingmen. In one adventure, Carter took an injured Katar to be healed by an old friend, a Cherokee shaman named Naomi ("Faraway Woman"). Katar discovers that she had known Paran Katar, his father. She and Paran fell in love, and the two eloped with the Halls serving as witnesses. Thus, Naomi is his birth mother and Katar is a hybrid Human-Thanagarian.

During the Zero Hour event, Katar Hol was merged with Carter, Shiera, and a "hawk god" creature in a new Hawkman version—a living avatar of the hawk god who adventured for a brief time, continuing to prey on criminals and deal out his own brand of fierce justice. He later went insane (tormented by the voices of all previous hawk avatars in his head), until he was eventually banished to limbo by the combined skills of Arion and the Martian Manhunter.

Because of Carter Hall's return from the dead prior to Infinite Crisis, it has been stated that Katar Hol's soul dissipated from the Limbo/Realm of the Hawk God and is now deceased. Carter Hall currently inhabits a reconstructed version of Katar Hol's post-Zero Hour body, which mostly resembles Carter Hall, but with darker hair and a more barbaric frame.

The New 52 version

As part of DC's 2011 company-wide title relaunch, The New 52, Katar Hol was re-established as the DCU's Hawkman, using the name Carter Hall. His origin has yet to be fully explained since he appears to not know his alien heritage, believing himself to be human. Issue #0 explains that Katar Hol was once a proud member of the Thanagarian race, adopted son of their king Thal Provis and lover to the princess Shayera Thal. Unlike other Thanagarians, he was a pacifist; desiring to find an end to centuries of war, he convinced the king to hold a peace conference. However the Daemonites took advantage of this to spread a deadly disease that quickly destroyed all Thanagarians' wings and killed their king. The new ruler, son of Provis and Katar's adoptive brother, Corsar, came to believe that only the Nth Metal could save them, but this desire for power sacrificed hundreds of lives, which was apparently rewarded when Katar was accidentally fused with it creating a full body armor and regenerating his wings. But seeing his brother's increasing insanity, Katar refused to let the metal power be distributed, leading to fighting between them and the death of Corsar. Shayera then vows to hunt down Hawkman, also blaming him for her father's death. He runs away in a stolen ship that ends up crashing on earth.[3] During the Rotworld storyline Animal Man travels to a post-apocalyptic future where he is attacked by rot-corrupted Hawkman; this version is killed by Steel, Beast Boy and Black Orchid.[4]

Other versions

The Silver Age Katar Hol has made some appearances in out-of-continuity series.

  • In Alex Ross' Silver Age-toned Justice, Katar Hol is a member of the Justice League; he is married to Shayera - also a member of the Justice League and works as a curator of the Midway City Museum. He is mostly referred to as "Carter", even by Shayera. In the climax of the series, he wears a suit of armor that resembles the Hawk-God. He also appears in Secret Origins and Liberty and Justice, tabloid-sized comics also by Alex Ross.
  • Katar and Shayera are featured in the Elseworlds three-part prestige format limited series Legend of the Hawkman (2000). The story takes place in the Earth-One timeline, some time after The Brave and the Bold #34. Shayera is shown wanting to return home to Thanagar while Katar has grown accustomed to life on Earth. Although this miniseries was never labeled as an Elseworlds project when originally published, it is now accepted as being one, with this story clearly based on the Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkwoman during the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths era.
  • In JLA: The Nail, Katar Hol was killed by Amazo while trying to get Green Arrow to safety. He was frequently mentioned in the sequel Another Nail.
  • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the Hawks tried to return to Thanagar to flee from Lex Luthor's military dictatorship, only to crash in the rain forest of Costa Rica. They decided to remain hiding. They give birth to a son and a daughter, giving them natural wings. Katar and Shayera were killed by a military strike ordered by Lex Luthor, embracing each other in their final moments. The children were brought up in the jungle ever since. They were bent on revenge against Lex.[5] As Hawkboy, the son ultimately kills Luthor with Batman's permission, since he understands what he's been through.
  • The Silver Age Hawks made a cameo appearance in Adventures in the DC Universe 80-Page Giant as Chronos II travels across time and space. He witness them in a battle against the Manhawks.
  • The Silver Age Katar Hol is one of the "ghosts" in the empty "Planet Krypton" restaurant in The Kingdom: Planet Krypton #1.
  • Hawkman appeared in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? in Action Comics issue #583, trying to break through the barrier around the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Katar and Shayera Hol appear in JLA/Avengers due to time distortions caused by Krona.
  • Katar appears briefly with Shayera, setting up Thanagarian equipment, at the start of JLA: Created Equal issue #1 before the Fall.
  • Katar appears in issue #9 of the The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold comics, where he teams up with Batman to defeat Byth and return him to Thanagar.

In other media

  • Hawkman's first animated appearance was in the 1967 Filmation animated series The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, in which Hawkman appeared in several shorts, either in solo adventures or as part of the Justice League.
  • Hawkman has appeared as a Super Friend in The All-New Super Friends Hour, Challenge of the Super Friends, Super Friends, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. His voice was provided by Jack Angel. Hawkman appears in almost every episode of Challenge of the Superfriends, but has spoken lines in only thirteen out of the sixteen episodes of this series.
  • Hawkman was featured in the Legends of the Superheroes TV specials in 1979, portrayed by Bill Nuckols.
  • Hro Talak from the episode "Starcrossed" in Justice League TV series is an anagram for Katar Hol. The producers of the Justice League series originally meant for Hro Talak to be the DCAU version of Hawkman, but DC Comics refused to allow it since while Hro Talak was an antihero, he was notably quite villainous, willing to sacrifice countless innocent people, albeit for his race. They did introduce Carter Hall in the last season of Justice League Unlimited, whose name in a past life was revealed to be Katar Hol. Hro Talak can also be compared or loosely based on Fel Andar.
  • Hawkman first made a cameo on The Batman in the season-four finale "The Joining, Part Two" and appeared in the episode "What Goes Up...", voiced by Robert Patrick. While not identified by name, a comment made about the Batcave looking like police headquarters on Thanagar and the comments on all of the villains he fought on 2 worlds indicates that he's Katar Hol.
  • Katar Hol has a cameo appearance as Hawkman at the end of the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. He is seen during the famous speech by John F. Kennedy.
  • The Kator Hol Hawkman appears as a member of the JLA in Young Justice animated series.[6]


  1. ^ Superman (volume 2) #18 "Return to Krypton"
  2. ^ Power of the Atom #4
  3. ^ Savage Hawkman #0
  4. ^ Animal Man #13 (October 2012)
  5. ^
  6. ^ G-Man (2010-07-24). "Comic-Con: Brave and the Bold & Young Justice Panel". Comic Vine. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 

External links