Byth

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Byth
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Brave and the Bold #34 (February/March 1961)
Created by Gardner Fox
Joe Kubert
In-story information
Full name Byth Rok
Abilities Shape-shifting

Byth Rok is a DC Comics supervillain who is a recurring enemy of the Silver Age Hawkman. He was created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #34 (February/March 1961), titled "Creature of a Thousand Shapes".

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis/pre-Hawkworld origin[edit]

On the alien planet Thanagar, a scientist named Krotan developed a pill that would empower the mind to control the molecular formation of the body. Just as he was about to swallow it, a thief named Byth assaulted him and swallowed the pill. Byth first transformed into a bird and left (via spaceship) to commit crimes on other planets. Katar Hol and his wife, Shayera, tracked his rocket to Earth.

For many years, Byth would escape on several occasions only to be captured again by Hawkman and Hawkwoman.[1]

Hawkworld/Post-Hawkworld[edit]

In the Hawkworld mini-series, Byth is a corrupt Wingman commander and Katar Hol's superior. He manipulated a drug-induced Katar into killing his father, aiding his rise to power.[2] Now Administrator of Protection, he gains his shape-shifting powers from a new drug called Krotan. Katar Hol, with the help of Shayera Thal, uncover his schemes and Byth escapes arrest.[3] He flees to Earth and ran some criminal operations in Chicago. He supplied Carl Sands with a shadow generator.[4] He is later captured,[5] and returned to Thanagar.[6]

Byth was apparently defeated for good by the then recently resurrected Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders.

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Lord Byth is shown to be responsible for the creation of Ultra the Multi-Alien where he had combined the DNA of the alien prisoners in order to make Ultra the Multi-Alien the Slayer of Worlds.[7]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Byth Rok is considered by many to be the greatest thief on all of Thanagar.

After consuming the Changeling Pill (or Krotan), Byth has the ability to shape-change into any other person or animal at will, whether they were indigenous to Thanagar or originated on an alien world (including Earth). There appears to be no physical restriction in terms of mass or volume when it comes to Byth's shape-shifting talents.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Byth appears in Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Flight Club," voiced by Tom Kenny. He is the leader of a band of Thanagarian outlaws being interred in an intergalactic prison. So far, Byth doesn't have shape shifting powers.

Miscellaneous[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Action Comics #588-589
  2. ^ Hawkworld #2 (1989) "Freefall"
  3. ^ Hawkworld #3 (1989) "Phoenix Flight"
  4. ^ Hawkworld vol. 2 #5 (October 1990) "War of the Shadows"
  5. ^ Hawkworld vol. 2 #9 (March 1991) "Hawkwoman Caged!"
  6. ^ Hawkworld vol. 2 #10 (April 1990) "Images"
  7. ^ Justice League United #1