A Tribute to the of

Sometimes you just wanna see some of that wonderful Murphy Anderson art. My selection for this issue of the Silver Age Sage is an old Hawkman story illustrated by Murphy, both on the cover and the interiors, both pencils and inks and teamed with good ol’ Gardner Fox, who wrote “Attack of the Crocodile-Men!” in Hawkman #7 from April/May of 1965. Remaining credits are Julius Schwartz, editor, Ira Schnapp, cover lettering and the great Gaspar Saladino on interior lettering.

How I’d love to give Gaspar a call again. Among other, much more important things, I’d be interested to know if he had to do that hieroglyphic work on the splash page and if so, how they determined his compensation. [The first story in this issue was reviewed in Sage #345.]

As all Hawkman fans are aware, Carter and Shiera Hall, one of the very few husband and wife hero teams, are serving as museum curators in Midway City. While working in the cellar storage rooms, Shiera notices some vases and funerary urns are missing that used to be beside one of those Egyptian dog statues. Then she shrieks, starts to give off a glow, as does the statue, and then disappears before her startled husband’s eyes.

Carter wastes no time donning his Hawkman garb and relies once again on his trusty Thanagarian home world technology in the form of a radiotron, which is explained to be a device that can detect traces of any known radiation. He quickly picks up Shiera’s radioactive “scent” and begins to follow it. The trail is quite a lengthy one as he finds himself flying over the Atlantic across the Straits of Gibraltar, the isle of Sicily, North Africa and ultimately into Egypt and finally into the Valley of the Crocodiles.

As he touches down, some of the locals react with violence, pledging to kill the hawk-headed one to avenge themselves, despite Hawkman’s protests that it is a case of mistaken identity. Ignoring his pleas, the Fellahin attack. Editor Julie, always on the job, informs the reader that Fellahin is the plural form of Fellah, the word for an Egyptian native villager.

The battle is brief, despite Hawkman being handily outnumbered, but no Fellahin can match the battling skills of the winged wonder. Now that they’re in a little bit better state to discuss matters, he explains that his costume actually signifies his station as a police officer from the “faraway land that I came from.” He further explains that if there is someone he needs to deal with in that capacity, he will do so.

The villagers clarify that evil beings of the old gods have arrived and they include the priests of the crocodile god Sebek. Apparently, they’ve been spiriting away the young people and placing them into forced servitude. Describing how they glow and then fade away, ultimately into the Valley of the Crocodiles, facing further danger due to a deadly invisible barrier, Carter Hall begins to work up a plan of attack.

He reasons that the native superstitions are being taken advantage of with a much more modern force field. Their belief in gods such as Sebek, Hathor and Osiris have made them easy pickings.

Like any good policeman, Hawkman does a little detective work prior to taking action. He flies over the region described and drops some pebbles, observing that they abruptly cease to exist, so he can see both where the force field is and its deadly effects. Deducing that the radiation that made Shieria glow must have also provided some protection, he brings the radiotron back into play as it has the capability of duplicating radiation in addition to detecting it. He bathes himself in a light dosage and takes a leap (or maybe flight) of faith, diving toward the barrier. Fortunately, his gamble pays off and he finds himself in the Valley of the Crocodiles and moments later, the crocodile men attack.

Unfortunately for our hero, they’re armed with some decidedly non-ancient weaponry in the form of high-powered rifles, but our experienced warrior quickly pauses in mid-flight to kick them out of their green-gloved hands and proceeds to biff them in their croc-headed jaws, or Sebek-headed as one caption describes.

They are, of course, merely head masks, but they don’t provide much protection from the flying fists of Hawkman. He soon triumphs and continues the search for his lady love. Flying into the waterfall that conceals a large chamber where he finds Shiera imprisoned.

She quickly explains what she has learned, including the name of the organization that has captured her, the Criminal Alliance of the World, or CAW, whose mission is to steal Earth’s greatest treasures. Their tool is the dog statue, which functions as a teleportation device.

As she tells her story, Hawkman wastes no time, tying his anti-gravity belt around the bars of the cell door and using it to rip the door from it’s frame. Just then, more animal-headed men arrive, recognize Hawkman and go on the offensive. They’re utilizing some futuristic weapons, firing beams from a rod, so the resourceful Carter drops the cell door on them and as they regroup, he discovers some familiar ancient weaponry on the wall. Selecting a Klepesch sword, he cuts the supporting ropes of a suspended shelf to send the men flying. One man rises, but Hawkman flies in with a mighty blow. As the man from CAW falls, he crashes into the dog statue, shattering it.

After turning the men over to the local authorities, the winged wonders return to Midway City, only to discover that the dog statue there had simultaneously been destroyed, thwarting their hopes to learn more about the teleportation secrets held within.

So there, in not quite a full 10-pages, we’ve been given an adventure spanning a good portion of the globe and a mini history lesson courtesy of Gardner Fox, Julie Schwartz and Murphy Anderson. Murphy was actually the first artist I saw depict Hawkman back in the day, so it took me a while to appreciate the original work on the Silver Age incarnation by the great Joe Kubert. Joe’s talents are the thing of legend, and I’m even lucky enough to own a Hawkman sketch by the man, but being used to Murphy’s fabulous figure work, I didn’t give Joe his due at first. It must have been quite a job just doing all the detailed musculature, never mind those wings.

To me, this is prime Silver Age reading and I’ll always appreciate the fact that the old masters could get the job done without having to resort to a multi-issue story arc. I’ll rate this one with an 8 on the 10-point rating scale for excellent art and story-telling in a most efficient fashion.

When your calendar shows the 1st of July, it’s time to come back and see us where we’ll be waiting with a new review. In the interim, let us hear from you. I’m always open for business at: professor_the@hotmail.com.

See you then and…

Long live the Silver Age!

© 2000-2018 by B.D.S.

This feature was created on 05/01/00 and is maintained by



The Silver Lantern Site Menu + Map & Updates

HomeThe SageSage Archives1934-19551956
1967196819691970GL Data

All characters mentioned, artwork, logos and other visual depictions displayed, unless otherwise noted, are © by DC Comics. No infringement upon those rights is intended or should be inferred. Cover, interior and other artwork scans and vid-caps are used for identification purposes only. The mission of this non-profit site is to entertain and inform. It is in no way authorized or endorsed by DC Comics and/or its parent company. The Webmaster assumes no responsibility for the content or maintenance of external links.