Thanagar

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Thanagar
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
In story information
Type Planet
Notable people Hawkman (Katar Hol)
Hawkwoman (Shayera Hol)
Hawkwoman (Shayera Thal)
Isamot Kol
Notable races Thanagarian

Thanagar is a fictional planet in the DC Comics Universe. Thanagar is the original home of the humanoid Thanagarian race, noted for the discovery of gravity-defying Nth metal. The planet is in orbit around the star Polaris (although is sometimes quoted as being in the Polaris Galaxy).

History[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

In pre-Crisis history, Thanagar was a highly advanced science-based world, with no problems of poverty, or civil or political unrest. It was run by a single government called the Ruling Council and there wasn't any need for a police force. That is until an alien race called the Manhawks, who instigate the practice of stealing for the thrill of it, invaded. As a result, Paran Katar established the "Hawk-Police" (or "Wingmen"). Amongst the first Wingmen was Paran's son, Katar Hol. Order was restored, but not completely, as several (if not more) Thanagarians had adopted the concept of crime.

Katar and his wife Shayera Hol, also a member of the force, later arrived on Earth pursuing a shapeshifting villain named Byth. Katar and Shayera decided to remain on Earth and study human police methods. They became superheroes as Hawkman and Hawkwoman.

Following a plague caused by the villain called the Equalizer and the takeover by Hyathis and its liberation by Hawkman, much of the science and technology of Thanagar was lost. Thanagar entered an expansionist phase prompted by Hyathis, and began a war with Rann. This was eventually resolved, but Thanagar made several covert attempts to take over Earth. Katar and Shayera sided with Earth in this conflict. The Shadow War of Hawkman continued up to the Crisis.

Post-Crisis[edit]

In Post-Crisis history, established in Timothy Truman's Hawkworld miniseries, Thanagar was portrayed as already being an expansionist planet which plundered other worlds, and the Hawk-Police became corrupted. Thanagarian noble classes used to live in floating cities, with aliens in the "Downside" ghettos.

Thanagar was one of the planets which united to invade Earth in the Invasion! storyline. Prior to the invasion, a Thangarian agent was sent to Earth and posed as a new Hawkman. (Originally, pre-Hawkworld, the reason Thanagar joined the invasion besides to take over Earth was to capture the traitors Katar and Shayera Hol.)

Millennia ago, Thanagar was a slave planet as it was conquered by the Polaran Empire. Legend has it that Kalmoran freed his people with an army of three thousand Thanagarians and drove the Polarans away. Using their ships, Kalmoran freed the other conquered planets and attacked the Polarans on their home planet. Afterwards, Kalmoran became ruler and was still honored as Thanagar's first and greatest hero.

As centuries pass, the Thanagarians began developing spaceships and exploring the galaxy. Ironically, they began conquering other planets; they made them protectorates of the Thanagarian Empire and stripped the planets of their natural resources and treasures. They brought back a number of inhabitants to Thanagar as slaves.

Thanagar evolved into a greatly divided society. The slave class (most aliens, some Thanagarians) were cast down to the lower ghettos referred to as Downside, while the Thanagarians lived in High Towers above where poverty, crime, and suffering were virtually unheard of. Several thousand Downsiders die of starvation or the diseases that plagued the lower levels. It is estimated that about three billion offworlders live in Downside and one thousand offworlders are brought in everyday.

Before conquering new planets, it became customary to send scouts to study the planets as much as they can before an actual invasion is initiated.

Similar to the original history, Katar Hol and Shayera Thal came to Earth in pursuit of Byth, and remained to establish a relationship between the two planets. The media dubbed them as Hawkman and Hawkwoman, due to their similarity to the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Thanagar later developed the Elite Hawkmen Force, an elite squad of Wingmen. The planetary government continued to be expansionist and corrupt, and eventually Hawkman and Hawkwoman claimed sanctuary on Earth.

Thanagar's government was subsequently overthrown by Onimar Synn, who had taken control of the Nth Metal. He was defeated by a resurrected Hawkman, but returned in the Rann-Thanagar War.

Infinite Crisis[edit]

In the Rann-Thanagar War miniseries, part of Infinite Crisis, the planet's surface was devastated in a catyclysm. This happens after the leader of a rogue group of Thanagarians, during a battle with Adam Strange, teleported the planet Rann to the Thanagarian system, hoping to create a dictatorship between the two worlds. At first it was believed that the sudden appearance of Rann caused Thanagar's orbit to change and it passed too close to that system's sun. A large number of Thanagarian refugees fled to Rann. Internal forces cause a war began between the two.

During a battle between the factions, the forces of Rann and Thanagar were faced with a fracture in space that resembles those that were seen during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Tigorr of the Omega Men later discovered a stray Thanagarian surveillance satellite, which had documented footage of Superboy-Prime forcing Thanagar out of orbit. Though the satellite was soon lost in the chaotic environment, Adam Strange gathered the heads of each faction so that they might stop fighting amongst themselves and work together against the new cosmic threat. On the barren surface of Thanagar, he soon found the evidence to convince all the warring groups: handprints deep within an enormous crater, created by Superboy's interference. L.E.G.I.O.N., Thanagar, Rann, and New Cronus combined their forces to make a full assault on the force behind the rift, with Ion (Kyle Rayner) in the lead.

Green Lantern Corps members Kilowog and Kyle Rayner later terraformed Thanagar, making it again suitable for habitation.

Thanagarian weaponry has recently begun appearing on Earth, smuggled by the Secret Society of Super Villains.

Brightest Day[edit]

During the Brightest Day, Hawkman and Hawkgirl pursue Hath-Seth through a portal he made with their bones, ending up on Hawkworld. There, Shiera is kidnapped by Manhawks and Carter is taken in by the Lionmane. while recovering, the leader of the Lionmane relates the history of Hawkworld to Hawkman. He reveals that Hawkworld is a bridge between Earth and Thanagar.

Millennia ago, humans came and ruled over the other species of Hawkworld, turning them against each other so they wouldn't rebel against them. Years later a splinter group of humans who grew tired of the constant war chose to breed with the Manhawks, giving their children wings. When a portal to Thanagar is discovered, This splinter group rebelled and left for Thanagar, conquering it.

Other Versions[edit]

JLA/Avengers[edit]

In the crossover series JLA/Avengers, Thanagar makes a brief appearance, where the Justice League witnesses them being invaded by the Skrulls from the Marvel Universe.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • In the Justice League animated series, Hawkgirl Shayera Hol described Thanagar as "a war-like world—there one must strike first or die."[1] The animated Thanagarians appear to have actual wings as part of their bodies, and according to the episode "Shadow of the Hawk" have greater strength and durability than humans. Like Hawkgirl, the main Thanagarian characters are all voiced by Hispanic actors (such as Golden Globe-nominee Héctor Elizondo (Kragger) or Rush Hour's Elizabeth Peña (Paran Dul)). In the episode "The Terror Beyond", it is learned that in ancient times, the people of Thanagar worshiped a pantheon of extradimensional entities known as The Great Old Ones. At that time, Thanagar was a hard world with a primitive and savage culture; in return for offering the ritual murder of their own children to Ixthultu, the Old Ones leader, they received agriculture, mathematics, and philosophy — the foundations of their entire culture including their trademark Nth metal. For this reason, their weapons (such as Hawkgirl's mace and Hro Talak's battle-axe) have mystical properties and can work against Green Lantern's power ring or Superman's invulnerability. However, the Thanagarians, disgusted by their gods' bloody demands, ultimately refused to worship them. They would even drive them away using the anti-magic properties of their nth metal weapons. Thanagar plays a crucial role in the "Starcrossed" episodes at the end of Season 2. An emissary of Thanagar, the army commander Hro Talak, declared to Earth that, "For generations, we on Thanagar have been locked in a bloody war with these monsters the Gordanians, referred to as 'our mortal enemies'." It was revealed that Hawkgirl was actually not a policewoman sent through a wormhole as she had earlier claimed, but a lieutenant with the army.[2] Ostensibly, Shayera's duty was to be ambassador to the Earth (similar in capacity to her fellow Leaguer Wonder Woman's role for Patriarch's World and the Amazonian culture); she was to ensure mutual cooperation between Thanagar and Earth. Thus, she set up the alliance between the two planets when it seemed the Gordanians were about to invade the Earth. The Thanagarian army claimed they would set up a planetary force field to help the inhabitants of Earth. After gaining the support and acceptance of world governments and the Justice League, they forcefully imposed martial law and stated they were establishing a garrison on Earth. Lt. Hol believed that she was doing the best thing for Earth. However, not even she knew that the Thanagarians actually intended to build a hyper-space bypass network that they would use to assault the Gordanian homeworld. Hro Talak stated:
For decades, the Gordanian homeworld has been protected behind an impregnable defensive line. But this chain of hyperspace bypasses will allow our armada to jump their defenses and make a direct assault on their empire. Earth is the last link in that chain. Once that chain is completed, we can attack and wipe out the Gordanian threat forever!

When Lt. Hol protested that this would cause the destruction of Earth, Talak replied, "For Thanagar to live, Earth must die." At this point, Lt. Hol betrayed her homeworld to save her adopted homeworld, for which she was exiled and stripped of her rank. The Thanagarian military, under Cmdr. Talak's orders, retreated from Earth.

  • In Justice League Unlimited, it showed that Hro Talak's task force returned just after the final battle with the main force of the Gordanian invasion. In a suicide attack, Talak carried out a kamikaze ramming attack on the Gordanian flagship, motivated by revenge in despair over failing his mission. His action resulted in the destruction of the entire Gordanian fleet. Thanagar was completely conquered by the Gordanians, although an underground Resistance exists (such as the one on Korugar); the former army command operatives Paran Dul and Kragger mention having been part of it. The Thanagarian response to their final fall appears to be a general consensus blaming the action of Shayera Hol, as she destroyed their hope to defeat the Gordanians in the war, costing Thanagar its freedom. As a member of the Justice League's founding council, she admits her faults and justified her actions to the Justice League:
I came to this planet as a patriot. I had a mission, and I carried it out. What I couldn’t know, was that I would come to care for the Earth, and her people. That I’d come to care for all of you. I’ve spent the last five years torn between my feelings and my duty.

Kragger, Paran Dul and a squadron of Thanagarians later desert the Resistance in order to exact revenge on Shayera, although the mission ends in their defeat. The final fate of Thanagar under Gordanian rule remains unknown.

  • Thanagar and its inhabitants are also featured in the Legion of Super Heroes episode "Dark Victory" (part 2); they are attacked and destroyed by a corrupted Brainiac 5. It was brought back after Brainiac 5 regained control of his body from his Brainiac's control. The Thanagarians resemble the ones seen in the Justice League animated series.

Film[edit]

The never produced script for the movie Superman Lives; written by Kevin Smith; would have included a monster called a "Thanagarian Snare Beast" [4](which would have borne an uncanny resemblance to a giant Terran spider) as an antagonist of Superman's. The monster was included in the script by Smith to satisfy the demands of both producer Jon Peters, who insisted the script feature a fight between Superman and a giant spider, and the executive staff of Warner Brothers, who insisted that the spider be included only if Smith could avoid referring to it as a spider.

  • The Thanagarians are mentioned in the comic book prequel to Man of Steel by a member of the Kryptonian Council of Five as a "barbaric race". This confirms Hawkman's and Hawkwoman's existence in the DC Comics shared movie universe Man of Steel takes place in.

Popular culture[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Justice League episode "Secret Origins"
  2. ^ "Five years ago, we secretly sent an advance agent to Earth to learn more about your people and to study your defenses. That agent was Lieutenant Shayera Hol, better known to you as Hawkgirl." —Hro Talak
  3. ^ http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/news.php/news.php?action=fullnews&id=1285
  4. ^ An evening with Kevin Smith. around the one 119th minute