Hawkgirl vs. Wonder Woman

The other day I posted some incorrect information, I stated that Hawkgirl made her first appearance 22 months before Wonder Woman made hers. Technically, that is incorrect. It was Hawkgirl’s alter-ego, Shiera Sanders who first appeared in Flash Comics #13 in January 1940 – 22 months before Wonder Woman. The fact is that they both appeared for the first time in the same comic book issue. Here are the details…

Flash Comic #13 Jan 1940

Although Shiera Sanders did wear a hawk costume earlier, she did not don the Hawkgirl costume for the first time as “Hawkgirl” until All-Star Comics #8 (Dec 1941) and she showed up that same month as “Hawkgirl” in Flash Comics #24.

It was in All-Star Comics #8 that Wonder Woman also made her first appearance – in a story separate from the one where Hawkgirl appeared.

All-Star Comics #8 Dec 1941

Shiera did appear earlier that summer disguised as “Hawkman” in All-Star Comics #5, I guess that does not count. Yet considering that she first appeared as Hawkgirl several pages before Wonder Woman, one could argue that no matter how you look at it Hawkgirl has been around longer than Wonder Woman, even if it is only by a few pages.

Hawkgirl’s 1st appearance Dec 1941

Wonder Woman 1st appearance Dec 1941

The following month (Jan 1942) Wonder Woman made her 2nd debut this time on the cover of Sensation Comics #1.

Wonder Woman’s 1st Cover Jan 1942

So, when did Hawkgirl first appear on the cover on any comic book? Answer: Flash Comics No. 37 January 1943. Unfortunately only one Flash Comics issue (#1) is listed at Comixology and even then it is partial.

Hawkgirl’s 1st Cover Jan 1943

While we are on the topic of appearances, we come full circle to something I wrote about in one of the earliest posts on this blog and that is where I made mention of observation I made 50 years ago regarding “rare Hawkgirl sightings”.

Here are the details…

As shown above, Hawkgirl’s first ever cover appearance was Flash Comics No. 37 January 1943 and you will note that she is not in full costume – she is not wearing a mask.

Her second cover appearance was Flash Comics #39 March 1943 and again she is “out of uniform” and not wearing a mask.

Flash Comics #39 Mar 1943

Hawkgirl did not appear on the cover of any comic book in full costume until 6 years after her debut. This was on the cover of Flash Comics #85 July 1947.

Flash Comics #85 July 1947

The golden age of comic books ended in the very early 1950s, but it ended for the Hawks a little bit earlier and golden age Hawkgirl’s 4th and final cover appearance was on Flash Comics #91 January 1948.

Flash Comics #91 Jan 1948

Hawkgirl did not appear again until the debut appearance of the silver age Hawks in 1961. The revised Hawkgirl and Hawkman appeared together on the cover of The Brave and the Bold #34 in March 1961. I was six years old that year and I do not think I started buying and reading comics until 1963.

The Brave and the Bold #4   March 1961

Things had improved for Hawkgirl and she appeared on the next two The Brave and the Bold issues, but that was it. Before the pair got their own title, their stories were hosted in 12 other issues. Hawkman appeared on all 12 covers except one and Hawkgirl appeared on only 3 of those twelve covers.

Then came the Hawkman series of 27 issues that ran from 1964 to 1968. From what I had read Hawkgirl appeared in all 27 issues except for six issues. I have since determined that is not true. (I am currently about mid-way through reading the opera omnia of the silver age Hawks. “mid-way” as in Midway City, I guess.)

Now I ask this question: On how many covers of  the “Hawkman” series did Hawkgirl appear?

To answer that question, I went here to  Hawkman Covers and I eye-balled every cover.

Answer: 6 out of 27 (Issues #3, 9, 14, 19, 21, and 24)

 Hawkman_Vol_1_24

When the Hawkman series was discontinued, it was combined with “The Atom” and ran for 8 issues. Hawkgirl did not appear on any of those covers.

So, in nearly thirty years’ time, Hawkgirl made only a dozen cover appearances.

Hawkgirl is indeed a rare bird.

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