The History of Hawkgirl – Pt. 3

This is a continuation of an exploration of the origin of Hawkgirl in  the 1940s in words and pictures. In this part, we review the series as it appeared in 1941 and take a look at issues #13 through #24 of Flash Comics. We are now in the winter of 1941 and in issue #13 of Flash Comics, Hawkman and Shiera encounter Satana the Tiger Girl.

In issue #14, Shiera is abducted and drugged once more. She might be getting tired of being kidnapped.

Issue #15 was published in March 1941. In this story called “The Hand”, woman named Teddy witnesses a murder and for her protection Carter takes her to Shiera’s apartment. As always, Shiera is very curious about the mystery and she cannot resist getting involved.

In issue #16, Shiera is away on an archaeological dig in Northern Mongolia when Carter hears on the radio that her expedition has been “wiped out”. What happened was that the entire caravan was slaughtered and Shiera was carried off to become a human sacrifice. Note the illustration below from story in issue  #16 is same as used for the cover of issue #19.

The topic of Carter and Shiera having been reincarnated many times before plays a part of this story titled “The Grayden Expedition”. The natives living in a hidden Dravidian city think Carter is a reincarnation of their hero named Icaro and he tells them that Shiera is a reincarnation of Icaro’s sweetheart.

In issue #17 of Flash Comics (pub. May 1941) the Hawkman story is titled “Murder at the Opera” and it involves an organization called “The Sect of the Golden Mummy”.

So, why was the story not titled “The Sect of the Golden Mummy” or maybe “The Mystery of the Golden Mummy”? Was Gardener Fox saving that for something else? I mean it is not like he ever reused ideas or titles.

Sometimes Carter says rather unkind things about his girlfriend. For example, in Flash Comics #18 – “The Gold Rush of ’41” – Carter calls Shiera a “little idiot” when she insists on going to Alaska to try and help her cousin, Hank Sanders.

While in Fairbanks, Shiera discovers that her cousin is being swindled by the head of a “food supply company”.
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In Flash Comics #19, July 1941, Shiera once again cannot resist getting involved in the mystery. In one panel, she refers to Hawkman as “the big stiff”; however her name calling of him is nothing compared to something of things that Carter says about Shiera when she is not around.
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In this story, the couple make a bet regarding the outcome of the case that they are working on. Shier loses the bet and Carter makes her pay for an expensive meal at a fine dining establishment. Afterwards, he instead sends her a check to cover the cost.
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In Flash Comics #20 (August 1941), Hawkman refers to Shiera as “that little meddling idiot”, but we see that she is starting to exhibit skills normal reserved for male super heroes such as Hawkman and Batman. It will be another six months before Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman makes their first appearances.
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In Flash Comics #21, Shiera is stalked by some creepy dude.

After the case is solved, Carter tells Shiera to behave herself from now on.

In Flash Comics #22, Shiera witnesses an attempt to gun down the police commissioner’s son. The son asks Shiera out to a place called “the Swank Klub” and she accepts. This makes Carter a bit jealous and he refers to her as a “conceited little idiot”.

In Flash Comics #23, Shiera’s role is limited to only the first few panels of the story. Yet, all of that changes in next month’s issue…

In Flash Comics #24 (December 1941), the story is titled “Hawkgirl” This is the first appearance of Hawkgirl, but within the story she is called “Hawkwoman”. It all comes about as Shiera and Carter are planning to go to a masquerade ball.

Once Shiera finds out that her wings really work there is no stopping her from becoming Hawkgirl!

Thus “Hawkgirl” is born. By the way, it was in this same month that another female super hero made her first appearance. Wonder Woman first appeared in All-Star Comics #8.

See Part 4

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