Happy Birthday Shayera Thal aka Hawkwoman! | Tech News

We’ve been #blessed to have so many manifestations of great characters in comics. However, some of those characters come with some complicated history, but we love them all the same. Today, we’re here to honor one of those ladies who have a confusing bit of history, but a woman who and shouldn’t forget. Let’s all celebrate the birthday of our Silver Age Hawkgirl, wait.. no, Hawkwoman, Shayera Thal.

Created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, Shayera Thal made her comic debut alongside her husband Hawkman (Katar Hol) in Brave and the Bold #34. This issue not only marked the first appearance for Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl but also introduced us to their origin story as well. Shayera and Katar were born on Thanagar, a place occupied by the Hawk-People and multiple other races. In this place, Shayera’s mother died and abandoned by her father. She’s then raised by her grandfather Thal Provis in the slums of the city. Later, this bit of history would change Thal to be her father.

In Brave and the Bold #34, we see Shayera and Katar as a married couple on the Thanagarian police force. They are both officers sent to earth to study earthly police techniques. It was while they were examining the practices they happened upon a threat that could destroy the earth. Byth, a creature that can shapeshift at well (and who legit has a thousand shapes) started doing the crime. Shayera and Katar were happy to shell out justice. With help, they created secret identities on earth, Carter and Shiera Hall, but also had their identities as Hawkgirl and Hawkman. Shayera and Katar would continue as Carter and Shiera Hall for a while. They worked as curators at the Midway City Museum, creating a base of operations inside and working with the police as Hawkgirl and Hawkman whenever they needed them.

Interestingly enough, Shayera wouldn’t keep this name for long. The couple operated as Hawkgirl and Hawkman respectively. However, Shayera would later change her name to Hawkwoman in World’s Finest Comics #274. She left a note on her husband’s bedside telling him that she left. She didn’t do this to hurt him. Shayera did it to form her own identity outside of his and create something of her own. It’s admirable and brave what she does, especially to come back a few issues later to not only reveal her new identity but come back and fight to leave off into some “unfinished business.” It’s also a little funny because it feels like Shayera gained such a great sense of identity in the Silver Age to last a lifetime only to have it shifted and molded later on.

There’s one thing you have to know about the history of Shayera Thal. This will go for the history of Hawkgirl, Hawkman, and Hawks in general. I’ve hinted at it in the beginning, but things start to get a bit intricate with a lot of complexity. At the time of Hawkwoman’s run, DC was beginning to split up their universe which becomes Earth-One and Earth-Two. This was made to help contain and understand continuity errors within the comics. During the Infinite Crisis event, Shayera’s Hawkwoman would be Earth One (Silver), while they created another Hawkgirl for Earth-Two (Golden). However, they would simultaneously live together on Earth. How? No one knows. This is where Hawkwoman’s (or Shayera Thal’s) history becomes a little uncertain.

After the event, Hawkman’s history was retconned into something different. In turn, Silver Age Hawkwoman needed to be explained and examined to fit with his stories. This lead Earth-Two Hawkgirl to be put in limbo for an extended period and allowed Hawkwoman to be rebooted. Let’s all take a breather and take that in. There’s so much more we can get into within this history, but it’s already very confusing. That said, it’s a bit tough to recommend comics if you want to get into the badass that is Hawkwoman. However, let’s try our very best, shall we?

The first book you have to read is the very first issue with Shayera and Katar being cops. The both of them share a “ride or die” type of relationship, and it all starts in Brave and the Bold #34. If you’d like to see her adventures with Hawkman as Hawkgirl, Hawkman (1964-1968) is a must. If you want to jump into her first adventures as Hawkwoman, World’s Finest Comics #247. This is the issue she leaves Hawkman, but she finds their way back to the group in World’s Finest Comics #279. A couple of other Hawkwoman comics you should check out are the following: The Shadow War of Hawkman #1, Hawkworld, Hawkman Special, Justice League of America, and Legend of Hawkman.

Shayera Thal is a character not long forgotten even though comics has her muddy. One of my favorite characters in the Justice League was Hawkgirl. This version of Hawkgirl was based off the Silver Age and voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera. In Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, the creators and writers carried some of her histories from the comics to the screen. Another version of Shayera Thal can be found in Young Justice, and in this cartoon, she goes by the name Hawkwoman.

There’s something about Hawkwoman that’s magnetic. She may be a Silver Age character, and her history may be in zig-zags. There’s also something refreshing about her, especially in the realm of finding her identity. She’s someone whose strong on their own, wanting to carve their path, insert their own values out from the weight of her well-known husband. She forges her way to find who SHE is, which makes her incredible to say the lest. I’d like to raise a wing to Hawkwoman. A woman that indeed soared above us all to indeed find who she is and what she wants. Happy birthday Shayera Thal!

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