Justice League of America #80

Justice League of America #80 (May 1970) VG- 3.5 $9.49

Back last July, I wrote about how I thought I found a “missing” Hawkgirl cover from the early Seventies. I tell that story here (see Who is Crying on the Cover of JLA #80?) At that time, I had briefly considered buying this issue and others from the 1970s where Hawkgirl was inside the comic but did not appear on the cover. Recently I took another look at this and my research shows that from 1970 thru 1974, Hawkgirl appeared as a character in only three issues. From 1975 until the end of 1978 she was in thirty stories and in 1979 alone she appeared in 10 stories. Yet, throughout the decade of the 70s, she appeared on only 15 covers.

So, why am I telling you all this? I have a confession, I bought Justice League of America #80 (May 1970) rated VG for $9. Yeah, I broke the rule that stated I was only buying comic books with one (or more) of the main continuity Hawkgirl(s) appearing somewhere on the cover – anywhere: front, back, the flap, in the masthead, or behind the title.

This particular issue that I bought is part of an outgoing storyline involving intrigue and danger originating on the Hawk’s home planet of Thanagar. Since the Hawks did not have their own series and appeared sporadically (Hawkman appearing more than Hawkgirl), they needed an excuse for their absences or reason why Hawkgirl was not around. While this story is not part of the “Equalizer” story-arc that began with Justice League of America #117 (April 1975), it is the start of a continuing storyline that involved the Hawks and Thanagarian intrigue.

Cover Artist: Murphy Anderson

Back in the day – back in the silver age – Hawkgirl was not member of the JLA. Her hubby, Hawkman, had been since 1964 (JLA #31).

In this story, we are told about a trip to Thanagar taken by the Hawks. They took with them Jean Loring, the girlfriend of the Atom. Jean is suffering from a psychotic disorder and so far, Earth doctors have not been able to help her. She last appeared in the final issue of Atom & Hawkman a few months earlier (Atom & Hawkman #45 November 1969) where she went stark raving mad. Hawkman and Hawkgirl, good friends with both Ray “Atom” Palmer and his girlfriend, Jean, have taken her to Thanagar to the planet’s top specialists. They were returning home when something happened.

The last appearance of Hawkman (and Hawkgirl) in a story with the league was in Justice League of America #72 (June 1969) and the story was titled “13 Days to Doom!” In that story, Hawkman was magically turned into a pillar of salt and then restored when Red Tornado saved the day. Then after Atom & Hawkman #45, the Hawks left taking Jean Loring with them. It was on their way back from Thanagar, that they came into contact with dangerous Thanagarian who was going around the universe capturing souls in a contraption called a “ghenna box”.

Hawkman, Jean Loring, and Hawkgirl were all stricken by the “ghenna ray”.

Hawkgirl body was ejected from the spacecraft.

Somehow or another her floating body traveled light-years and was seen by the Flash floating nearby the JLA satellite in orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.

Brought on board and cared for by Black Canary, Atom, and Green Arrow, Hawkgirl was alive but her brain was not functioning having lost her soul.

In case you are wondering about Hawkgirl‘s giant earrings… It is Thanagarian custom for married women to wear earrings and not a wedding band as is customary among Earth women. In Hawkgirl‘s case, her earrings are hollow and using complex Thanagarian technology it is inside these earrings that she keeps her costume when not in use.