Sunday, January 6, 2019

Finding Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the Bronze Age

Hawkman and Hawkwoman by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Where can we find Hawkman and Hawkgirl during the Bronze Age of comics? The Bronze Age is generally considered to be from 1970 to about 1985, but during this time, the Hawks were basically homeless. The Silver Age was a great time for the Hawks, starting with their reintroduction to comics in 1961 in The Brave and the Bold #34 (February 1961) by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert. This started a run of six issues in B&B, a four-issue run in Mystery in Space (#87-90), their first solo series in Hawkman Vol. 1 (#1-27), and a team-up comic in The Atom and Hawkman (#39-45). The Atom and Hawkman series ended in November 1969, and the Hawks flew into the Bronze age without a nest to call their own.

Hawkman by Joe Kubert
The next time the Hawks were given a comic of their own was right at the end of the Bronze Age in Tony Isabella and Richard Howell's The Shadow War of Hawkman (May 1985). So where can we find the Hawks from 1970 until the Shadow series in 1985? They would pop up here and there during the seventies and the first half of the eighties, but here are some of the places we can find them, even if it was just for three or four issues. I've mostly gathered the main team issues and the comics where they had their own feature.


The Justice League of America series was the comic you could often find Hawkman and Hawkgirl during this time. Hawkman joined in 1964, and from 1970 to 1985, he made 98 appearances. This would include main roles, cameos, and everything in between. Hawkgirl made 7 appearances in the series before she was finally made a regular member in issue No. 146 (September 1977). She made 24 more appearances in the series until it ended in 1987. After I discovered Hawkman in 1977, this was the comic I made sure I picked up after I sadly discovered that he had no comic of his own.


Between 1972 to 1981, Hawkman (and sometimes Hawkgirl) appeared in 11 issues of Detective Comics. These were great backup features written by E. Nelson Bridwell, Bob Rozakis, Len Wein and Paul Levitz, with art by Dick Dillin, Rich Buckler, Dick Giordano, Klaus Janson, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Murphy Anderson, and Joe Kubert.


At the end of 1975, All-Star Comics came back for the first time since 1951, and ran for 17 more issues, ending in 1978. Hawkman was in 16 of the issues, making issue No. 60 the only issue in the entire run to not have a Hawkman appearance. This was the series where Carter Hall started wearing his "Crysler Helmet", as I affectionately call it.


In 1977, Hawkman and Hawkgirl appeared in three issues of the Secret Society of Super-Villains (issues No. 5-7). Issue No. 7 is particularly important in Hawk history as it is the first cover that Hawkgirl appeared on without Hawkman. It is also an interesting story because we find Hawkman working hard in the kitchen to prove his culinary skills, all while still wearing his helmet, harness, and wings. This scene alone is worth the series.


In 1978, Hawkfans received a real treat with Showcase presents...Hawkman No. 101-103. Hawkman and Hawkgirl teamed up with Adam Strange for a three-issue series. With the story by Jack Harris, art by Al Milgrom and Murphy Anderson and cover art by Joe Kubert, this is probably the highlight of the seventies for many Hawkfans. Personally, this was the first Hawkman titled comic I ever bought, finding it on the spin rack at the neighborhood convenience store when I was 13 years old. I still have the issues to this day.


In May 1979, Hawkman appeared in DC Comics Presents No. 11 with Superman. This is a rather famous issue where Marc Teichman, the winner of a letter page contest, was featured in the issue as the prize. The cover by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano often comes up in Hawkworld threads on Facebook and Twitter. But what a prize! Who wouldn't want to be featured in a comic with Hawkman and Superman?


In 1979, Hawkman and Hawkgirl began a run of mostly backup features in World's Finest Comics #256-282. There were 24 stories in all. The famous scene when Hawkgirl declares herself to be called Hawkwoman appeared in issue No. 272. Bob Rozakis did most of the writing (15 issues), and Alex Saviuk handled the most of the art (12 issues). It would be great to see the Detective and World's Finest stories collected together someday. With over 30 features, they would make a great collection!


In 1981, Roy Thomas' All-Star Squadron started with the famous cover of Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Night, and Atom selecting the members. Hawkman appeared in 68 of the 70 issues (67 issues and 3 annuals), while Hawkgirl appeared in 27 issues.


Hawkman and Hawkgirl also appeared in several issues of Infinity. Inc and then there was a four-issue series called America vs. the Justice Society. Soon after, the Hawks were featured in the Shadow War of Hawkman, their first series in 15 and a half years.


This is by no means a complete list. Hawkman and Hawkgirl, both the Earth-1 and Earth-2 versions, appeared in many other issues during the Bronze Age. If you know of other solo features of the Hawks during the 1970-1985 span, please list it in the comments below! Even though they did not have a comic to call their own during most of this period, there are some great Hawkman and Hawkgirl comics to be found! You just have to know where to look!
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