Sunday, July 03, 2005


If Aquaman can fight an Acronym of Evil (the ridiculously named O.G.R.E., the Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement), then Hawkman can, too!

In the mid 1960s, American culture was caught in the "spy craze" (James Bond, Man from UNCLE, Get Smart, etc.), and, while more stolid heroes like Superman and Batman were immunely set in their story-telling ways, lesser lights like Aquaman and Hawkman were refreshingly subject to such fads.

And so, Hawkman and Hawkgirl worked with the CIA to fight... C.A.W.! The Criminal Alliance of the World had agents dressed like crocodiles and other Egyptian animal avatars, faux magus staffs that shot out colored flames (oooOOO!) or ill-defined "rays" (how very Marvel!), and a convoluted plan to conquer the world by acquiring the scientific secrets of the ancients.

Personally, I'm not sure I'd found a billion-dollar worldwide criminal organization to acquire the scientific secrets of people who never quite mastered indoor plumbing, particularly if I already had a staff that shot out colored flames (I mean, what could be more impressive than that?). But that mix of ancient archeology and imagery, high-tech gadgetry, and the organized cops versus organized crime dynamic was the crux of the attractive strangeness of the Silverage Hawkman.

Don't laugh at C.A.W., man! Remember the teleporters on the old JLA satellite? Where do you think they came from? C.A.W., buddy, C.A.W. When the Hawks confiscated the remains of the Twin Dogs of Sebek, an ancient teleportation device, Thanagarian scientists were able to use them to crack the secret of teleportation, a technology they shared with the JLA. [Did Rann ever give the JLA a zeta beam, or even a jet pack? No.]

C.A.W. had anti-grav guns, acid-bubble bazookas, explosive particlizers, and protonic amplifiers. Hot dang! Laugh at my crocodile-head mask, bub, and I'll dissolve your arms with acid bubbles, explode the particles of your legs, and float your screaming torso out over the Pacific. Then I'll go to your house and repeatedly amplify your wife's protons, pal, so don't mess with C.A.W.!

Even with all that going for them, C.A.W., like O.G.R.E., only appeared in 3 or 4 Silverage stories. *Sniff*!

This is the part of the post where you expect me to call for the return of C.A.W. Wrong! C.A.W. has already returned. JSA All-Stars #2 (July 2003) revealed that they were still around and still pestering the Hawks...

Clearly, it's C.A.W. who's hired all the old Hawk-villains to kill him. Yes. Clearly.


N said...

You mean jSa all-stars.

Ah, that Geoff Johns... Is there nothing DCU related he won't bring back?

Robby Reed said...

Superman was NOT immune to the U.N.C.L.E. craze!

At least not in the pages of JIMMY OLSEN!

Check out JO #89.

--Robby Reed

Scipio said...

Superman was. Jimmy Olsen was not. JO was exactly the kind of goober who got caught up in every little hula hoop and watusi fad that shambled down the pop culture pike.

Jimmy Olsen, remember, is the guy who started a Beatles craze in ancient Rome, and if you DON'T know what I'm talking about, just thank you're lucky stars and move on!

N said...

Jimmy Olsen should have died in every issue of his title and, like Kenny, brought back again the next month without explanation or reference to any of his other adventures, like the gorilla-marrying. (For that issue, he could die in the wedding bed. That would have been a great Jimmy Olsen story.)

Anonymous said...

Got anything on V.U.L.T.U.R.E.? They were Martian Manhunter's acro-nemeses...

In the 60s Superman had D.E.M.O.N.: Destruction, Extortion, Murder, and Overthrow of Nations!