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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hawkman & Hawkgirl Key Issues

Oh, lawdie, and here we are at my attempt at a Hawkman and Hawkgirl key issues series. This will be character specific and not title specific, which would be a whole lot easier if it were.

No surprise that we'll be staring off with the Golden Age and running our course from there to some Modern Age keys pertaining to the two characters. A few villains of Hawkman will be listed or noted in this series but not all since the Golden Age saw a lot of one-off villains or very brief supporting characters.

So, expect this to be a long one, or at least, I'm expecting it to be. I will not be too in-depth with minor keys for both characters either, and this series will showcase mostly major keys. Alright, let's get this on.

Flash Comics #1 comic cover
1st appearance Hawkman
1st appearance Shiera Sanders
1st appearance Hath-Set
Origin of Hawkman

If we're talking about the first ever appearance of the character of Hawkman in comics, Flash Comics #1 is it. This Golden Age bad boy is more than just the first appearance of Hawkman, it also has the first appearance of the Flash as well.

However, this is a Hawkman key issues list, so we won't be getting into that. So the Golden Age version of Hawkman is Carter Hall, a human unlike his Silver Age counterpart.

As stated in a recent post about this version of Hawkman joining the Legends of Tomorrow TV series, Carter Hall is actually a reincarnation of ancient Egyptian prince named Khufu and discovered the ninth metal, also known as the Nth metal.

The Nth metal could defy the laws of gravity and made it virtually ineffective. With it, Hall could fly, obviously. The Nth metal also makes its first appearance in this issue, and Carter Hall is an archaeologist and curator of a museum.

Shiera Sanders is the Golden Age love interest for Carter Hall. Her first initial appearances did not see her suit up as the iconic Hawkgirl.

Believe it or not, that would happen over a year later before she becomes one of the first super-heroines in comics. Of course, Shiera Sanders is the first major supporting character for Hawkman and his mythos and this would not change despite future incarnations for the characters.

Hath-Set is one of the main arch enemies of both Hawkman and Hawkgirl. He is the Egyptian Priest who kills Prince Khufu and his lover Shiera, or Princess Chay-Ara in later retellings, in this first origin story.

Hath-Set kills them with a dagger made from the Nth metal. This act would propel the three lives in a cycle in which all three would be reincarnated together throughout the centuries.

Despite being part of Carter Hall and Shiera Sander's origin story, Hath-Set only appeared once during the Golden Age, much like Black Adam with Captain Marvel during this era. His character would not be revived until the 80s.

Hawkman, Shiera Sanders and Hath-Set were created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville. The holy grail of Hawkman key issues is Flash Comics #1, and it was published way back in good ole January, 1940.

Flash Comics #2 image
2nd appearance Hawkman
2nd appearance Shiera Sanders
1st Hawkman featured cover

It wouldn't take very long for Hawkman to be featured on the cover of Flash Comics, and Dennis Neville produced the artwork for Hawkman's first cover debut. This issue would also mark the 2nd appearances of both Hawkman and Shiera Sanders in the Golden Age.

Alexander the Great is the villain in this comic and is the 2nd villain Hawkman faces in comics ever. No, not the Greek Alexander the Great.

In this Hawkman story, Alexander the Great is a rogue physicist who created a mass-amplifying device which he threatened and blackmailed Manhattan with. As with many Hawkeye Golden Age villains, Alexander the Great would appear once during the Golden Age, but he would be one of the few who were revived much later.

Alexander supposedly dies in this issue at the hands of Hawkman. February, 1940 is the publishing date for Flash Comics #2.

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Flash Comics #3 comic pic
3rd appearance of Hawkman
3rd appearance of Shiera Sanders

We've got the 3rd appearance of Hawkman and Shiera Sanders in Flash Comics #3, but is that all that's going for it in terms of Hawkman key issues goodness. No, not really.

In his 1st and 2nd appearances, Hawkman seemed to have no problem offing the villains he came across. In Flash Comics #1, he shot Dr. Hastor, who is the reincarnated Hath-Set, with a crossbow a presumably killed him.

In Flash Comics #2, he stabbed Alexander the Great in throat with his trident and presumably killed him as well. It's the same for Flash Comics #3 concerning Hawkman.

In this issue, he is responsible for the death of yet another villain who crosses paths with him, and takes Una Cathay out by hurling a dagger into the tire of her car while she was trying to get away. This causes the car to hit a tree, and she breaks her neck.

So, supposedly, this would be the 3rd villain Hawkman has had a hand in offing during the Golden Age. March, 1940 was when Flash Comics #3 was published.

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Flash Comics #4 - 4th appearance Hawkman
4th appearance of Hawkman
4th appearance of Shiera Sanders
Shelly Moldoff Hawkman begins

Aside from the 4th appearances of Both Hawkman and Shiera Sanders, issue #4 of Flash Comics would see the beginning of Shelly Moldoff's artwork on the Hawkman feature in this title. Shelly Moldoff would be Hawman's first star comic artist for the character and is best-known for his work on Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

What wasn't all that well-known before was that he was Bob Kane's ghost artist on the Batman character for many years, and during the 1950s and 1960s much of his art on Batman was credited to Bob Kane instead. That must of sucked, but it was the arrangement the two had to insure that Moldoff had steady work.

Moldoff also co-created Batwoman, the original Bat-Girl, as well as Mr. Freeze who was originally called Mr. Zero, and Poison Ivy just to name a few. So, a pretty big key for any Hawkman fan, and this comic was published April, 1940.

Flash Comics #5 cover - 5th appearance Hawkman
5th appearance of Hawkman
1st appearance of Ione Craig

Shiera Sanders doesn't show up in this comic, and it's the first time the character isn't in a Hawkman story. Instead, a lady named Ione Craig makes her Golden Age debut, but her character is pretty short-lived.

Ione Craig is a secret government agent whose mission is to take out Hassan Ibn Sada, who is responsible for several assassination attempts on various heads of state including FDR. Hawkman becomes embroiled in this adventure and eventually kills Hassan Ibn Sada with a slingshot and rescues Ione.

Flash Comics #5 was published May, 1940, and the story would continue in issue #6.

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Flash Comics #6 - 6th appearance Hawkman
6th appearance of Hawkman
2nd appearance of Ione Craig

Continuing from issue #5, it looks like Ione Craig once again gets kidnapped shortly after being rescued by Hawkman. This time another slaver named Sheik Abdullah turns this secret government agent into a damsel in distress for the chivalrous Hawkman.

Another one-off villain named Sheba makes her first and only appearance. Hawkman kills two baddies in this issue. One is a henchman who gets his neck broken and the other is Sheik Abdullah, whom Hawkman shanks with his dagger.

However, Hawkman does not kill Sheba and the character does escape and is never seen again. This is the last appearance of Ione Craig, but she doesn't die yet it's unknown what happened to her also. Flash Comics #6 was published June, 1940.

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All Star Comics #1 comic book cover
7th appearance of Hawkman
1st Hawkman in titled series

Like much of the anthology titles during the Golden Age, All-Star Comics featured a bunch of comic characters and their further adventures. Hawkman during this time would have stories in both All-Star Comics and Flash Comics that ran concurrently.

Shiera Sanders also doesn't appear in this issue. Once again, the villains get offed, and Trygg, the Sorcerer and his accomplice Beldame Gaffy meet their doom at the hands of our hero.

Golden Age Hawkman was a killing machine back in the day, and this appearance of him is supposedly in-between Flash Comics #6 and Flash Comics #7 chronologically or according to canon. However, the release date or in store date according to Comic Vine has Flash Comics #7 hit the stands prior to this issue.

Despite being released later, this seems to be the 7th appearance of Hawkman for now, and All-Star Comics #1 was published June, 1940.

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Flash Comics #7 1st Shelly Moldoff cover
8th appearance of Hawkman
5th appearance of Shiera Sanders
2nd Hawkman cover
1st Shelly Moldoff Hawkman cover

With the 8th appearance of Hawkman, his first major supporting character and love interest Shiera Sanders finally comes back into the fold and makes her 5th appearance in Flash Comics #7, but that's not all concerning key issue goodness for this comic.

This issue also has the 2nd Hawkman comic book cover in which he is the featured character on it, and the 1st  Hawkman cover done by comic artist legend Shelly Moldoff. As for the villains of the story, they make their first and last appearance in this issue as Hawkman offs both of them as usual.

Talk about taking out baddies with extreme prejudice? Crossing Hawkman back in the day was certainly a death wish. Flash Comics #7 was published July, 1940.

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Flash Comics #8 cover image
9th appearance of Hawkman

We are now at the 9th appearance of Hawkman or the Golden Age Carter Hall version of the character. Yes, the original that started it all for this DC Comics super-hero, and the one who would lay the foundation for all the others that would come after. 

Flash Comics #8 does not feature Shiera Sanders in it, but Hawkman doesn't off the villain of this story who happens to be the Sunspot Wizard. Although Hawkman lands a crushing blow to the Sunspot Wizard's face with his mace, it was actually his henchmen who shoots and kills this baddie by accident.

August, 1940 is the publishing date for Flash Comics #8.

Flash Comics #9 image
10th appearance of Hawkman
3rd featured Hawkman cover
1st appearance of Poseidon 

Hawkman does appear on earlier covers prior to this issue but he is not the main featured character of the cover. Flash Comics #9 is the 3rd cover where Hawkman is the featured character on it.

This comic also has the 10th appearance of Hawkman, and his 11th appearance would be in the next issue. Hawkman's 12th appearance would be in All-Star Comics #2.

Shiera Sanders is not in this issue, but this comic does debut the first appearance of Poseidon. Yes, that Poseidon from Greek mythology, and like the ancient mythos, he is god of the sea and brother to Zeus and Hades.

Although first appearing in this Hawkman adventure, Poseidon would be connected to two other DC Comics superheroes - Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Flash Comics #9 was published September, 1940 and hit the stands July 16, 1940.

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Unlike characters like Batman during the Golden Age, Hawkman doesn't have too many recurring villains since he seems to off most of them in their first appearances. So, in terms of Carter Hall's rogues gallery back then, it isn't too impressive.

I know that the titled comics that Hawkman appears in are also key issues concerning the other characters that have stories in them also during this era, but this series pertains only to Hawkman and Hawkgirl. For those reading this site for a while now already know the drill about that.

All of these comics from the Golden Age and a few more coming up sooner than later are pretty much investment comics, and you can bet that a lot of these golden oldies will be quite a chunk of change for sure in high grades. Some are definitely no easy finds, but some mid grades to VG copies for some of these bad boys are quite over-looked despite being early Golden Age comics. 

As most know already, the Carter Hall version of Hawkman is cast for DC's TV universe and will be appearing soon in Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. A nice surprise that they decided to go with the original version of the character instead of the more popular and well-known Silver Age version.

So, more Hawkman and Hawkgirl key issues are in Part 2 to this soon. Stay tuned and happy hunting!


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    your list reminded me of the Hawkeye series by Fraction and Aja. Some call him the "Hawkguy" there :-) Anyway, don' t forget to insert JLA 31: Hawkman joins the Justice League.


    1. Heya Ace, I didn't forget that one, but thanks for the reminder. I did opt not to put quite a few keys in the Hawkman or Hawkgirl mythos as the characters were plagued with some pretty forgettable villains or supporting characters, or they just only appear here and there.

      Find it kind of strange it took Hawkgirl so long to join the League though.

  2. Great work on the website.
    You maybe interested in this Flash Comics Journal blog site:

    1. Whoa, that's pretty bad ass! Are you the writer of this blog?