As a superhero, Hawkman normally fights crime with a simple mace. But he also has another much stronger weapon that can grant him Hulk-level strength.
Despite its confusing origins, Hawkman has remained a staple hero on DC’s roster, largely due to his secret weapons: the Claws of HorusThat makes him even stronger than Marvel’s Incredible Hulk.. In a medium filled with time travel, aliens, cosmic retcons, and literal magic, Hawkman may have the strongest claim to the most confusing backstory in all of comics. When he first appeared in 1940, he was nothing more than Carter Hall, an American archaeologist and the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince. Since then, his backstory has been altered and reconfigured so many times that it took him a Hawkman solo series just to find out where the character belongs in DC history.
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Usually when Hawkman fights, he uses a special material called Nth Metal, a ridiculously powerful substance with the power to manipulate gravity (hence the source of Hawkman’s flight). But alongside his signature mace, Hawkman has another umpteenth metal weapon that is even more powerful: the Claws of Horus. These gauntlets were first worn by Hawkman in JSA n. 22 by Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer, and Rags Morales. In this comic, the original Flash Jay Garrick goes back in time to ancient Egypt and meets some familiar faces: Doctor Fate, Black Adam, and Pharaoh Khufu, also known as the previous incarnation of Hawkman. Doctor Fate of the past gives Flash the Claws of Horus so that he can deliver them to the Hawkman of the present, and they have been part of Hawkman’s arsenal ever since.
So what exactly do the Claws of Horus do? Well, just like Hawkman’s other weapons and armor, they are made from Nth Metal, which means they originate from his Thanagar’s home planet and it can defy gravity and damage magical entities. But the Claws of Horus go one step further than even other Nth metal weapons. As Hawkman himself explains in Superman / Batman # 4, The Claws of Horus draw their strength from the Earth’s own magnetic core, which means that they contain energy equal to that of the entire planet. When Hawkman fights Superman with this weapon, the increase in strength is enough to nearly knock out the Man of Steel in one hit.
The massive increase in strength given by the Claws of Horus means that Hawkman is one of the greatest physical powerhouses in the DC universe. Having a brute force that is equal to all of Earth would also put him on par with Marvel’s Worldbreaker Hulk, which is the most powerful incarnation of the Hulk ever created. But even though the Claws of Horus grant Hawkman such incredible power, he rarely, if ever, uses them. The last time the Claws of Horus appeared in DC Comics was in Brighter day where instead of fighting, Hawkman and Hawkwoman simply use them to help locate their arch nemesis Hath-Set.
Hawkman is one of the first superheroes in DC history, but it wasn’t until very recently that he assumed a prominent role in the DC universe. As a former member of both the Justice League and the Justice Society, he has the potential to fill any number of roles on a superhero team, and when he will appear next. Hawkman will be more than ready to fight evil with him Claws of Horus by his side.
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