Hawkgirl is one of the oldest superheroines in the DC Universe. It feels like every time there is a huge event going on, Hawkgirl is always there to help. Her origins and history are one of the coolest ones in the comics, and for that, it wasn’t a surprise that her character appeared in multiple different media. In this article, we will discuss Hawkgirl’s origins, her first appearance, powers, and more, and find out if there is a future for her character in DC Extended Universe.
There are multiple different women portraying Hawkgirl. The mantel of Hawkgirl has been passed on Shiera Sanders Hall to Shayera Hol, and Kendra Saunders. Each of them has different backstories and reasons for how they became Hawkgirl. As you can already determine, one of her abilities includes flight, and skilled combat – she can also retain knowledge from past lives.
As we already said, this article will focus on her, origins, first and other appearances, powers, allies, and enemies. We will mention her possible future projects as well since DC Extended Universe is expanding. Without further ado, let’s start!
Shiera Sanders Hall was the first Hawkgirl in the DC Universe. She was certified Hawkgirl during the Golden Age of American Comic books that was going from 1938 to 1956. She is the reincarnation of the Egyptian princess Chay-Ara, who was killed by Hath-Set with the knife that was forged from Nth metal. Her partner and lover Prince Khufu was also killed with her and is later reincarnated in Carter Hall, who becomes Hawkman.
The reason these two are reincarnated is because of the metal properties the knife had, and the strength of their love for each other that created a strong bond. This caused them to be reborn multiple times throughout the centuries. They had a few incarnations that appeared in DC Comics:
- Lady Celia Penbrook, who was alive during 5th century Britain, was the love interest of Silent Knight, the incarnation of Prince Khufu.
- Cinnamon was the incarnation that lived during Wild West in America. She was an Old West gunslinger, and lover of Nighthawk, another incarnation of Prince Khufu.
- Sheila Carr was the love interest of Pinkerton detective James Wright. They both lived in the 19th century.
Shiera Sanders was born at the beginning of the 20th century when she was kidnapped by Dr. Anton Hastor, an incarnation of her nemesis from the past Hath-Set. She was rescued by Hawkman aka Carter Hall, and Shiera became his love interest and ally. Later, Shiera Sanders finally takes on the mantle of Hawkgirl, and with her partner, Hawkman fights criminals and foes that threaten the Earth.
Shayera Hol was Sheira’s successor and the Silver age version of Hawkgirl and later Hawkwoman. She was originally from the highly advanced planet called Thanagar, where hawk-like people are originally from. She also joined the police when she was very young, and assisted Katar Hol, a decorated officer. He was not very fond of her but after some time he falls in love with her. They bust some criminals together, get married, and ten years later go to Earth for the first time to pursue a criminal called Byth Rok.
They catch the criminal, take him back to their planet, and later come back to Earth to study crimefighting strategies from humans. Hawkgirl renamed herself Hawkwoman at the beginning of the 1980s.
Kendra Saunders is the most recent Hawkgirl. She is the granddaughter of the Golden Age Hawkgirl’s cousin, Speed Sounders. Kendra had really tough childhood – she committed suicide and suffered through trauma her entire life. When she decided to take her own life, her soul left the body, and one of Shiera Sanders Hall entered. Her grandfather, Speed Sounders recognized it and encouraged Kendra to embrace her destiny as the new Hawkgirl.
She is still Kendra and has her memories, however, Shiera’s memories only consist of fighting skills. Kendra is quite different from previous Hawkigirls – DC writers decided to adapt the character to New Age, and alter her character a bit, which was welcomed by the fans.
Crisis on Infinite Worlds, DC Rebirth, Flashpoint, and more are all big events that altered all characters of DC comics, including Hawkgirl – she had few changes, especially Shayera Hol’s version but the core of the characters’ origins are still there. However, her partner Hawkmen “suffered” multiple changes and retconned some of his origins that affected Hawkgirl a bit, but nothing drastic.
Hawkgirl First Appearance
Since Hawkgirl had few versions, we will mention where each one of them first appeared.
Shiera Sanders Hall was created by writer Gardner Fox and an artist Dennis Neville and first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in January 1940.
Shayera Hol was created also by writer Gardner Fox, but this time by a different artist Joe Kubert. She first appeared in the comic The Brave and the Bold #34 in March 1961.
The most recent Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders was created by writer David S. Goyer and an artist Stephen Sadowski. The appearance occurred in JSA: Secret Files and Origins #1 in August 1999.
Since she is the oldest DC superhero, we won’t mention all of her appearances in comics because there are plenty.
Hawkgirl as a superhero appeared in multiple different teams in DC comics. Team-ups are not a strange occurrence for her so she appeared in almost every big team of superheroes in DC Comics.
Teams that she was part of are:
- Justice Society of America – a superhero team appearing in the Golden Age of Comics in the DC Universe.
- All-Star Squadron – a superhero group that was created by US President Franklin Roosevelt during WWII.
- Justice League – today’s most notable superhero group of DC Comics.
- Birds of Prey – a group of female superheroes which was formed by Black Canary and Barbara Gordon.
- Black Lantern Corps – a group of deceased fictional characters as zombies who want to eliminate all life from the DC Universe
- Blackhawks – a secret group of WWII ace pilots.
- Legends – a group of misfits that stroll around the universes, protectors of the timelines (Legends Of Tomorrow TV show)
First, she is technically immortal – it was granted through the reincarnation process through time. She can fly via wings made of Nth metal and has a healing factor. Moreover, she has superhuman senses like hearing, vision, strength, durability, and stamina. Hawkgirl also has the ability to regulate temperature and can speak various languages. Besides her reincarnation by Nth knife and Nth metal-made wings, she also uses Nth metal gravity-defying belt and archaic weaponry.
Each of the Hawkgirls, and Hawkwoman, has the same abilities, which makes them one of the strongest DC superheroines in comics. When it comes to other media appearances, Hawkgirl appeared in multiple different DC animated TV shows, and most notably, was portrayed by Ciara Renée in The CW’s TV show Legends of Tomorrow, and the Arrowverse crossover that occurred in the finale of season 1.
We will see Hawkgirl in the new DC Extended Universe movie Black Adam that is coming out in December of 2022. We can’t wait!