Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert; Revamped by Timothy Truman

Hawkman (Katar Hol).png
The Original Universe


Real Name: Katar Hol
Occupation: Adventurer, Diplomat, Hawk Avatar and former Thanagarian Wingman
Status: Deceased
Homeworld: Formerly Thanagar, later Earth
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Paran Katar (father, deceased), Naomi Carter (mother), Paran Arvak (second cousin; presumed deceased)
Base of Operation: Chicago, Illinois; formerly Thanagar
Group Affiliation(s): Justice League America
Gender: Male
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 195 lbs. (originally); 226 lbs. (as Hawk Avatar)
Eyes: Blue (originally); later Hawk-like
Hair: Black
First Appearance: Brave and the Bold #34 (February-March 1961): "Creature of a Thousand Shapes"
Hawkworld #1 (1989) (revamp)
Creators: Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert; Revamped by Timothy Truman


Katar Hol is the son of the Thanagarian inventor Paran Katar and a Cherokee Earthwoman called Naomi. Naomi had accompanied Paran to Thanagar, but having seen the horrors of Downside, combined with feelings of being out of place on Thanagar, she asked to be returned to Earth. However, when Katar was born, Paran refused to let him go as well (Thanagar was a very sexist society) and Naomi was sent back to Earth alone, where she became a medicine woman.

Katar would be raised in the traditions of Thanagar, learning about the crafts, ways and heritage of his own people that had been wiped away by the culture plundered and assimilated from other worlds. He was a student of history and the mythic freedom fighter Kalmoran was his hero. He also learned to use the ancient weapons of his people. Eventually he would become an ensign in the Wingman police corps his father had created. On his first mission to Downside he encountered a young girl he would later learn was the daughter of Shayera Thal, the daughter of Administrator Thal Porvis and the woman Katar was romancing at the time. The girl, Shayera Thal II, had been left in Downside by her then 13-year-old mother Shayera Thal I shortly after she was born to avoid a scandal. [Hawkworld Vol. 1 #1 (1989): "Flashzone"]

Horrified by the way that the Downsiders were treated, Paran Katar started a secret smuggling operation using his resources to pass medicines and food to the slaves. His activities were noticed by the commander Byth of the Wingmen, who was also running his own smuggling operation, shipping weapons to the Downsiders and shipping the narcotics that they produced to the rich Thangarians in the floating cities. Katar became increasingly depressed with what his people had become, and took to using the narcotics that Byth was shipping into the Highside. While on a recreational hunting trip with Shayera I and their fathers, they came across a group of animals. Shayera shot and wounded one, forcing Katar to move in on his own and end the poor beast's life. He tracked it to a burrow and found that it had died in front of its mate and child. To his horror, he saw cave markings on the wall. The creatures were not beasts, but rather intelligent – if primitive – life forms. Leaving the creatures alive, Katar returned to the hunting party, horrified at what he had seen done. [Hawkworld Vol. 1 #1 (1989)]

The continuing horrors changed Katar. He developed an edge both morally and professionally as a Wingman, developing skills and contacts that made Byth realise how dangerous he really was. Byth then conspired to eliminate both father and son. In a staged event, Katar was tricked into killing his father, and sentenced to ten years imprisonment on the remote island known as the Isle of Chance. Meanwhile, Byth exposed his own smuggling operation as Paran's and was declared a hero for it. On the island, Katar hit withdrawal symptoms of the drugs that he had been using, and in a crazed rage he stole the wings a hermit was making and in the process killing him. The hermit's brother, a priest, revealed that the wings were to have been a present to Hol. Katar learned a lot from the Priest and his time in solitude on the island after the priest died a natural death. He learned to survive, and slowly the narcotics worked their way from his system. [Hawkworld Vol. 1 #2 (1989): "Freefall"]

Having served his ten-year sentence, Katar Hol found himself returned to the Downside of Thanagar, taking up where his father had left off. He used the skills that he had learned on the island to set up a clinic to help the other Downsiders. Operating in secrecy, he made use of smuggling operations run by Byth (who had become a decadent Highsider) to get medicines. His clinic and operations where however noticed by Wingman Shayera Thal II, the daughter of the lady he briefly dated. Forming an uneasy alliance, they cracked the gun running operation of Byth. Katar Hol then confronted Byth, but the criminal escaped by using a shapeshifting drug called Kortan. Katar Hol's record was cleared and he was reinstated as a Wingman. Both he and Shayera were allowed to wear special winged helmets as honorary symbols. [Hawkworld Vol. 1 #3 (1989): "Phoenix Flight"]

Eventually, Byth fled to Earth. Following their unsuccessful participation in the Alien Invasion of Earth, Thanagar had established diplomatic relations with Earth, and at the request of Darl Klus, the Thanagarian Ambassador on Earth, it was decided to send Katar, the greatest hero of Thanagar, and his partner Shayera to Earth to accompany a Thanagarian cultural exhibit on a goodwill tour. While away, Shayera was ordered to spy on Katar and report back to her superiors who feared Katar's increasingly independent nature. [Hawkworld Vol. 2 #1 (June 1990): "Predators"] When they actually reached Earth, they found a society very different to that which they had just left. After an initial encounter with Byth they discovered that Earth police had very different limitations and powers. A solution was found by where Katar and Shayera would be allowed to operate legally on Earth, but without their Thanagarian weapons.

Byth killed a policeman that Shayera was dating and then framed Shayera for his own murder after she persued him in a rage. Katar was forced to hand over Shayera to Earth authorities to preserve diplomatic relations before he was ordered back to Thanagar himself. Katar disobeyed orders to return home, exposed Byth's plan, and in the process proved Shayera's innocence. Katar was once again a hero in the eyes of the masses. [Hawkworld Vol. 2 #9 (March 1991): "Hawkwoman Caged"] While Shayera returned to Thanagar with the captured Byth, Katar was the subject of a public relations campaign that saw him identified with the name Hawkman. [Hawkworld Vol. 2 #11 (May 1992): "Eight Miles High"] The title meant little to Hol until he was forced to travel into the past by a villain known as the Fiddler, who was trying to kill the Golden Age Flash. Along the way, he encountered his father and discovered the existence of a prior Hawkman in the shape of Carter Hall. Upon returning to his own time, Katar threw himself into the Hawkman role and in the process became more liberal and idealistic. [Hawkworld Annual Vol. 2 #1 (1991): ""]

Katar grew increasingly distant from Thanagar until the point where he actually started helping refugees from Downside escape to Earth to a community in Chicago called Netherworld, where meta-humans, mutants and aliens formed their own society away from the normal world. When they were discovered, Shayera and Katar applied for diplomatic refuge on Earth. Initially they were accepted, but Thanagar offered the Earthlings the secret of Nth Metal in exchange for them. Eventually they withdrew the offer and Ambassador Klus applied for refuge himself. After a battle in Netherworld with Count Viper, Shayera was seemingly killed and Katar was badly injured.

Meanwhile, with the help of Waverider, the Justice Society of America had returned from limbo, including the original Hawkman Carter Hall. Carter found the badly injured Katar and took him to Naomi (Katar's mother) to be healed. From her, Katar learned about her people and their traditions. He learned much about himself, and his abilities as the next Hawk Avatar after Carter Hall, began to develop. He learned to see the emotional state of other people in their auras and to communicate to an extent with certain animals.

Returning to Chicago, Katar designed and wore a new costume, leading many to think that it was a different Hawkman in the skies. This was a careful play to lure these enemies to him, because he suspected that Shayera was still alive and being held captive by them. The plan worked, and in due course Count Viper made his move. It turned out that Viper was actually possessing Shayera's body while she languished in a mental asylum in his last body. During the course of the battle, Viper switched bodies with Katar, who then found himself in the body of Shayera. Freeing his partner, he managed to capture Viper with the help of Wonder Woman and the Justice League. Then, in a spiritual quest, the two Hawks defeated Viper and returned to their own bodies. Viper leapt into the body of the current Viper Avatar and would return later to plague the life of Hawkman.

The existence of two Hawk Avatars at the same time (Katar Hol and Carter Hall), combined with the overuse of Nth Metal, weakened the prison of the mysterious Hawkgod, allowing it to escape. It headed straight to Thanagar, homing in on the Nth Metal, in the process destroying all floating cities and ravaging the planet and leaving millions dead. With that dealt with, the Hawkgod felt the pull of the Nth Metal across the void to Earth and set out to punish those that would have enslaved it. All those wearing Nth Metal felt the Hawkgod approach as both Carter and Katar suffered hallucinations and lost control at times, forcing them to battle each other at one stage. Shayera was saved from this by Naomi ritually burning her wings and harness. Carter Hall was possessed by the Hawkgod and ran amuck during the temporal anomalies leading up to the event known as the Zero Hour, when Hawkmen from dozens of different timelines kept fluxing in and out of existence. Katar confronted the Hawkgod in an effort to stop the killing, and was joined in battled by both Carter and Shiera Hall. With the help of the New Blood hero Mongrel, they managed to drive the Hawkgod back to its own dimension. However, as they succeeded, Katar, Carter and Shiera were fused physically into one being, a true fully awakened Hawk Avatar.

This new being was patterned for the most part on the physical body and personality of Katar Hol. He now no longer needed a Nth Metal belt and wings as he now possessed true wings sprouting from his back which he could withdraw inside him if necessary. Within him were the combined spirits of all the past Hawk Avatars, including Carter and Shiera. A whole new world of Avatars was opened to him as he found that Count Viper had leapt into the body of the Viper Avatar. Viper played a deadly game with Katar, playing him off against lesser Avatars. During this, he learned much about his condition; Avatars like him are created when a normal person is exposed to dimensional rifts to the dimension where the Animal Gods live. This is what happened when he defeated the Hawkgod and sent it back into the dimension of the Animal Gods.

The transformation of Katar was difficult for his friends to handle, particularly for Shayera who had by then become his lover. The change in personality that it caused in Katar alienated Shayera, and she left for Detroit where she continued fighting crime as Hawkwoman without the wings. Katar himself found that he was battling old foes in the form of Hath-Set, the Gentleman Ghost and the Shadow Thief. He also found himself joining the Justice League, becoming more and more of a traditional superhero, perhaps under the influence of Carter Hall's memories that he now possessed. He accompanied the JLA into space and saw the devastation of Thanagar first hand. He helped free the survivors from the aliens that sought to colonise their world, but refused their offer to stay and lead them, putting that part of his life permanently behind him.

Trouble began to set in when the demon Neron awoke the spirits of all the past Hawk Avatars in Katar's head. The increasingly militant voices began to rule his life and like countless Hawk Avatars they pushed him after Vandal Savage, who had killed many of them. Katar set out in a blood-thirsty rage after Savage. He managed to beat Savage and would have killed him, if it had not been for the intervention of Rose Moon, a psychic from the Netherworld who reawakened the personality of Katar Hol and brought it to the fore. The vengeful spirits were angry at Katar for not killing Savage and decided to punish him by taking control of his body, murdering innocent people and leaving runes next to the bodies. Once he regained temporary control (he didn't remember the murders) he noticed the runes, they were text that he had seen before. They were the cave markings from the hunting trip on Thanagar that only he had seen.

Katar sought the help of the Justice League and the Martian Manhunter, but they could not believe that he was dangerous. When the Manhunter tried to telepathically help, he was overwhelmed by the Hawk Spirits before Katar brought him round. They sought the aid of Arion the Immortal, but he refused his help. For his own safety, Katar was locked up in the JLA refuge in a garment that restricted the growth of his wings. After a decent night's sleep, he realised that he was different. The Hawk Spirits were gone. They had instead jumped into the Martian Manhunter and had taken him over in their bloody quest for vengeance.

Katar managed to elude the JLA and set out after the possessed Martian Manhunter. The Hawk Spirits attacked Shayera, but were stopped through the intervention of Katar. Using the Martian's weakness for fire he managed to get himself a breathing space as he tended to Shayera. As they declared their love, Katar re-entered battle but was seriously injured. He was only saved by the intervention of Arion, who used his magic (he had been researching the spell since they asked for his help) to allow Katar to reclaim the Hawk Spirits into himself. Knowing that the Spirits were too dangerous to be left on Earth, he allowed Arion to transport him to the Realm of the Hawkgod with the Hawk Spirits. Shayera, Naomi and all of Katar's friends are then left to carry on their lives knowing that he was still alive, somewhere in some forgotten dimension and hoping that one day he would return to his loved ones.

Alas, this would not come to pass. Years later, the spirit of the original Hawkgirl took possession of her niece Kendra after a successful suicide attempt, and became Hawkgirl II, soon joining the Justice League of America. This Hawkgirl was whisked off by Thanagarian rebels to Thanagar, which at this point had been conquered by the ancient demon Onimar Synn. Needing her help, they managed to open a dimensional rift to ressurect Carter Hall, the original Hawkman, who now possessed the memories of all previous Hawk Champions, including Katar Hol. Katar was said to have perished, and the Hawkgod returned to whence he had came. It was later revealed that the Hawkgod was not an actual god but an aspect of the hawk found in the Red, an enegy field generated by all living animals.)


Katar Hol was originally outfitted as a Thanagarian Wingman. This meant that he had wings and belts based on anti-gravity technology (the Nth metal) as patterned after Carter Hall's as designed by Paran Katar. The biggest difference was that the Thanagarian wings were more solid and could be used as a bullet proof barrier if necessary. Both wore regulation body armour and were trained in the use of standard firearms.

As the combined Hawk Avatar, Katar Hol possessed true feathered wings that grew and receed out his back if necessary. He also had the ability to see people's auras, allowing him to tell people's emotions and to spot other Avatars. Some other Avatars had developed quite powerful abilities based on their Animal God, but Hawkman did not master these. He did however find that he could defend himself against the spiritual attacks of other Avatars. As for weaponry, he carried throwing stars, his namesake the Katar dagger, a mace, a steel-spiked Roman cestus glove on his left hand, and a Thanagarian Graviton Pistol (which takes a week to recharge on Earth currents).


For a definitive list of appearances of Hawkman in chronological order click here


Who's Who in the DC Universe #6 (January 1991)