13 Colorful — and Often Weird — HAWKMAN Designs

DC’s Metal #3 is out this week. Time for more Hawkhistory!

DC’s Dark Nights: Metal by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo is a number of things — a big event, a multiverse-spanning epic and a launchpad for new titles and ideas.

It’s also a move by DC to maneuver Hawkman, one of its oldest characters, back to prominence.

So as we have the last few months, we’ve got Hawkmaven Tim Board — he of the vibrant and vital Hawkworld Facebook group — here again to take you back through a particular aspect of the Winged Wonder’s illustrious history.

This time out: 13 LOOKS OF HAWKMAN — from the beginning to today:

By TIM BOARD

Hawkman is one of the most iconic characters in all of comics: The wings, feathered helmet, harness, mace and bare chest make him a figure that’s hard to forget.

Several years after the Golden Age ended, DC Comics decided to bring back the Flash, Green Lantern and heroes like Hawkman, giving rise to the Silver Age. Those first two received very different looks from their Golden Age counterparts, but Hawkman remained mostly unchanged. Since then, however, the Winged Avenger has had many different costumes. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Golden Age Hawkman (First appearance: Flash Comics #1, January 1940). Hawkman’s first look was probably the most striking. It started out as a hawk head on top of the helmet and gradually became the open beak helmet we see in the picture. The helmet with the open beak is amazing to look at and I imagine it must have given artists fits at times. The look was replaced at the tail end of the Golden Age, but it came back with a vengeance with the All-Star Squadron series in the 1980s.

All-Star Comics #1 by Rich Buckler, Jerry Ordway, and Carl Gafford

2. Yellow Cowl Hawkman (First appearance: Flash Comics #98, August 1948). Hawkman made a big change in his look in 1948 with the yellow cowl. Even though the helmet was gone, the yellow cowl with the big red hawk above the eyes was hard to miss. I’ve read that one of the reasons for the change was so that the artists could finally have Hawkman show his expressions, which was almost impossible with the helmet and beak.

From Justice Society of America #4 by Tom Artis, Frank McLaughlin, Tom Ziuko

3. Silver Age Hawkman (First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #34, February 1961). Hawkman made his comeback in 1961. Joe Kubert designed the new Hawkman, although there was very little difference from the Hawkman we had seen during the 1940s. The only difference was the helmet, which had no wings on the sides at first. Those would come back later.

From The Brave and the Bold No. 35 by Joe Kubert

4. Winged Helmet Hawkman (First appearance: The Brave and the Bold #42, June 1962). For defeating Byth again in Menace of the Dragonfly Raiders, Hawkman was named the wearer of the honor wings by the High Mor of Thanagar. Only one other police officer had ever been given the honor.

From Hawkman Vol. 2 #3 by Richard Howell, Don Heck, Michele Wolfman

5. Golden Helmet Hawkman (First Appearance: All-Star Comics #72, May 1978). All-Star Comics made a comeback in 1976, picking up at #58. Earth-Two Hawkman wore his yellow cowl for 14 issues but in 1978, he suddenly had a new, metallic helmet. I’ve always referred to this helmet as the Chrysler Helmet — probably because I read that somewhere and it stuck.

From All-Star Comics #74 by Joe Staton, Joe Giella, Adrienne Roy

6. Hawkworld Hawkman (First appearance: Hawkworld Vol. 1 #1, August 1989). When the Hawkworld series came out, Hawkman had a brand new, militaristic look. The wings were metallic, he had a complete army-like uniform, and he had holsters for guns. Hawkman has gone back to his original look since then, but you can still see artists using the Hawkworld style in some form when the Thanagarian police force makes an appearance.

From Hawkworld Vol. 2 Annual #1 by Gary Kwapisz, Sean Parsons

7. Refugee Hawkman (First appearance: Hawkworld Vol. 2 #25, August 1992). Hawkman and Hawkwoman made a clean break from Thanagar and set up residence on Earth. To show they were no longer representing Thanagar, they got rid of their gray Wingmen uniforms and came up with a new look. And boy, did they ever. The red and gold outfits were a complete change from their former appearances and I’ll admit that it took some time to get used to. These only lasted for about seven issues.

From Hawkworld Vol. 2 #25 by Graham Nolan, Rick J. Bryant, Sam Parsons

8. Older Hawkman (First appearance: Hawkworld Vol. 2 #29, December 1992). In 1986, the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl were trapped in another dimension with the other Justice Society members and they finally returned in 1992 during the Armageddon event. Later that year, Carter and Shiera were asked by the Chicago police to help track down the fugitives Katar Hol and Shayera Thal. Maybe Carter Hall was starting to feel his age and so covered up a bit. This outfit only lasted a couple of years and hasn’t been seen since.

From Hawkworld Vol. 2 #29 by Jan Duursema, Robert Jones, Sam Parsons.

9. Ninja Hawkman (First appearance: Hawkman Vol. 3 #1, September 1993). Oh, the 1990s! What a crazy time for superheroes and their costumes! Six months after the Hawkworld Vol. 2 series ended, Hawkman was back in a new series, Hawkman Vol. 3. The Refugee Yellow-Red uniform was gone, and we suddenly had a Hawkman dressed completely in midnight blue. The wings were still metallic, the chest logo was different, and he seemed to be wearing gray, ribbed shorts. But this get-up was short-lived as well, lasting only until the Zero Hour crisis in 1994.

From Hawkman Vol. 3 #1 by Jan Duursema, Rick Magyar, Matt Webb

 

10. Avatar Hawkman (First appearance: Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #3, September 1994). During the Zero Hour event, Katar Hol (No. 9), Carter Hall (No. 8), Shiera Hall and a Hawk Avatar were fused together and formed a new Hawkman. The bare chest was back, he still had those badass ribbed shorts, and he had a whole new set of wings. For the first time, Hawkman’s wings would grow out of his back when he needed them. This Hawkman was also mentally unstable and gradually, during the next two years, started losing his mind until he finally had the Martian Manhunter and Arion send him into the Hawk Realm.

From Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #3 by Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Gregory A. Wright

11. Reincarnation Hawkman (First appearance: JSA No. 23, June 2001). When Hawkman finally made his comeback after a five-year absence in 2001, there were a few changes. The biggest change was the disappearance of the red shorts. When Superman lost his red shorts in 2011, there was a big hullabaloo, but Hawkman had done the same 10 years before. However, the strap-on wings, the bare chest, the mace; it was all back. This version is the favorite of many Hawkman fans.

From JSA #23 by Stephen Sadowski, Michael Bair , John Kalisz.

12. Trinity Hawkman (First Appearance: Trinity #28, December 2008). I consider myself a person with an open mind, but there is a limit. The Trinity series managed to make me spew cola out my nose the first time I saw this little upside-down, inside-out halter-top number. I still to this day find myself averting my eyes every time it pops up. The whole universe had gone nuts and nothing represented this better than Hawkman’s thankfully short-lived costume. It just screams, “Look at my nipples! LOOK AT THEM!” I always imagine Tom Derenick laughing to himself as he drew this. Thankfully, the universe fell back into order by the end of the event and we bade adieu to, in my humble opinion, the silliest costume in the almost 80-year history of Hawkman.

From Trinity #28 by Tom Derenick, Wayne Faucher, Allen Passalaqua

13. Savage Hawkman (First Appearance: The Savage Hawkman #1, November 2011). The New 52 era of DC Comics brought a lot of changes to Hawkman. Hawkgirl was nowhere to be seen. Nobody, including the hero himself, really knew who he was. And he had a costume that was bonded with him. The Nth metal was part of his body and he could pop out his wings, a mace, or whatever he needed instantaneously. It was an interesting concept and it had potential, but the series was canceled after 21 issues. In his following appearances in the Justice League and other comics, he seemed to have reverted a bit to the Reincarnation Hawkman.

From The Savage Hawkman #9 by Joe Bennett, Art Thibert, Jason Wright

So there you have it: 13 Looks of Hawkman. Which is your favorite — and which do you expect to see in the Metal event or the Hawkman Found one-shot, by Jeff Lemire, Bryan Hitch and Kevin Nowlan, coming in December? Let us know!

Author: Dan Greenfield

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