A Tribute to the of

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! This will be a year of significant milestones here at the Silver Lantern and we may as well start off early. This edition of the Silver Age Sage will mark a two-fer as Flash Comics #1, with a publication date of January 1940 (on sale date of November 20, 1939) featured some all-new characters, two of which were co-creations of the great Gardner Fox. First, of course, is the original Flash, aka Jay Garrick which we’ve covered here in the past [Sage #128] and is drawn by Shelly Moldoff on the cover (Shelly also has an interior credit on the 6-page “Cliff” Cornwall feature, also written by the prolific Gardner Fox) and Harry Lampert on interiors. The other notable co-creation of Mr. Fox in this issue, in conjunction with artist Dennis Neville is Hawkman, whose origin story will be covered in this installment. The remaining credits for this issue are managing editor M.C. Gaines and assistant editor Sheldon Mayer. This, of course, means both characters are officially 80 years old!

The readers are given a quick overview of this new winged warrior with the caption copy: “Beginning the tale of a phantom of the night, the Hawkman, who from time immemorial has fought the cause of justice against the force of evil. The hawk fights the evil of the present with the weapons of the past.” Next up, we meet the blond-haired “wealthy collector of weapons and research scientist” Carter Hall in his weapon filled library. Carter is opening a package from Jim Rock in Egypt that contains a glass knife used for ancient sacrifices, but the knife has an otherworldly glow about it that makes Hall dizzy and sends him into unconsciousness. Soon he finds himself in a strange but realistic dream. Another blond-haired man, Prince Khufu is being beaten by a large, muscular man with a whip named Kolar in what could be compared to Sumo gear. He is under the direction of another man who demands information of Khufu. The Prince, however, is defiant: “I’ll never tell you of Shiera, betrayed by the hawk-god Anubis! I love her and hate your evil ways! I shall yet win!” He then vanquishes Kolar and promises the false priest that he shall return and the priest’s death shall not be pleasant. Then Carter Hall, aka Prince Khufu drives a chariot to see Shiera, stating to no one in particular that Hath-Set must not arrive before he does. Khufu is then seen racing up stone steps crying Shiera’s name. As he embraces his love, we see that Shiera could be a stand-in for Cleopatra and she points out that Hath-Set is up to no good and that the noonday skies are black as pitch. Khufu’s pursuers then arrive and the swordplay begins. An arrow in the Prince’s arm ends the fight and he is bound and taken by chariot back to the temple of Anubis, along with Shiera. In a final dramatic moment, the false priest, Hath-Set plunges a dagger into Prince Khufu’s chest, but the dying man offers a prophecy that he shall live again, as shall Hath-Set and then he will be victorious.

Suddenly back in the 20th Century, Carter Hall looks at the now familiar knife. He wonders about Khufu and Shiera and of course Hath-Set, concluding that they’ve all been reincarnated.

A bit later, during a stroll, Hall finds people bursting from a subway and saying that the rails are turning blue and the train is ablaze. He rushes to investigate and bumps into a woman who can only be Shiera. He points out that the rails are being flooded by millions of volts of electricity. They then get into a cab and Hall instructs the cabbie to take them to his home at 88 Rimble Road. He then relates his story to Shiera. She says she’s had the same dreams, but thought they were simply nightmares. He leaves her to rest at his home and goes to his laboratory where he “…tunes in to his dynamo-detector and emerges shortly after from his weapon room, clad, as a grim jest, in the guise of the ancient hawk-god Anubis…” For the first time we see Hawkman, “…whose extraordinary powers are derived from Carter Hall’s discovery of the secret of the ages – the ninth metal – which defies the pull of the Earth’s gravity.”

He soon takes flight and arrives at the home of Doctor Hastor, an electrician, who is running a giant dynamo. Inside, Hastor notes that his lightnings have swept the subways of the city clean and he shall soon make his demands known. It is evident that Hastor is the reincarnation of Hath-Set, but as he plots and schemes, he does not count on the arrival of Hawkman. Hawkman descends and Hastor tries to use the electrical power at his command, but Hall states he has no vulnerable metal on him, only a wooden quarterstaff and non-conducting ninth metal. He then uses the quarterstaff to smash the turbines.

Hastor slinks away, deducing that this is the reincarnated Khufu and that Shiera must also be alive. He goes to the altar of myrrh to pray for help. The smell of the myrrh is an irresistible summons to Shiera, while Khufu is too high in the atmosphere to be affected. He returns to home base only to find Shiera gone. He collects a crossbow and another cloak of ninth metal and flies back to do battle with Hastor.

Back at Hastor’s lair, the helpless Shiera is prepared for a modern-day sacrifice on an electrified altar. Hawkman, however, has arrived and is prepared with the ninth metal cloak to protect his lady love. Then, using the crossbow, he takes out Hastor. Before leaving with Shiera, Carter Hall announces to the figure of Anubis that he has won and that his priest is dead.

In the closing panels, Hawkman puts Shiera down to rest with the knowledge that she is oblivious to what has transpired. He then muses later with pipe and smoking jacket that he fears he has not seen the last of Hastor, aka Hath-Set. In that final panel, the readers are given the admonition to “Follow the further adventures of the Hawkman against the powers of ancient evil! He wars next month on—the Globe Conqueror!

And that, friends and neighbors, is the first appearance of Hawkman. I find it kind of impressive that not one but two enduring characters were rolled out in this issue, further cementing my great admiration for the imagination and talents of writer Gardner Fox.

Speaking of the great Gardner, one of my Christmas gifts was a copy of a new biography about him titled “Forgotten All-Star: A Biography of Gardner Fox,” by Jennifer DeRoss and I’m already learning some things and have had occasion to kick myself for not thinking of personally tackling the project. How long have I been following his work and efforts here at the Silver Lantern? I take minor issue with the notion that Fox is forgotten, but am happy nonetheless to see him get some well-deserved recognition. As the synopsis notes, the man cranked out over 4,000 comic book stories alone, never mind the novels. I look forward to learning more.

At any rate, a tip of the hat to Mr. Fox and our unending gratitude for all that he left for us, to include the Flash and Hawkman! Also, while Gardner Fox wasn’t involved, this issue also included the debut of Johnny Thunder(bolt).

Well, that’s a second sojourn into the Golden Age, but next time around, namely on January 15th, we’ll be back to silver mining here at the Silver Age Sage and if you’ve got a feature that you’d like to see covered, feel free to let me know. Simply drop me a line at professor_the@hotmail.com and I’ll happily consider requests, answer feedback and listen to accolades.

Happy New Year and…

Long live the Silver Age!

© 2000-2020 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.