Lion-Mane fighting Hawkman on the cover of Hawkman vol. 1 #20,
artist Murphy Anderson
|First appearance||Hawkman #20 (July 1967)|
|Created by||Gardner Fox (writer)|
Murphy Anderson (artist)
|Alter ego||Ed Dawson|
|Team affiliations||Secret Society of Supervillains|
|Abilities||Were-lion with super reflexes and strength.|
Lion-Mane is the name of 4 characters in DC Comics.
Fictional character biography
The first Lion-Mane resided on Earth-Two. This version was a human with feline features and heightened strength. He was initially a henchman of that world's Catwoman who betrayed him and buried the loot in the forest. Lion-Mane was captured after that. Years later, Lion-Mane orchestrated a prison riot and took the guards hostage. Huntress infiltrated the prison and challenged Lion-Mane into a 1-on-1 fight. If she won, Lion-Mane would release the hostages, or if Lion-Mane won, she would have to reveal the location of the treasure Catwoman buried in the forest. The fight was tough and almost a draw, but eventually Huntress was able to defeat Lion-Mane. In the meantime, police had arrived and with nobody leading the prisoners, they were easily captured.
Archaeologist and lion-hunter Ed Dawson touched a mystical meteor called Mithra which transforms him into a were-lion. He retained his mind, but as he saw some lions in captivity, he couldn't control his killing urges. While being feral from the lion's presence, he battled Hawkman. But the first meteor wasn't pure; the transformation would eventually kill him. Hawkman saved him by smashing the Mithra stone and Edward reverted to human. Hawkman theorized that the Mithra Meteor contains some radiation that transforms the one who touches it into Lion-Mane who then represents an alien race who wants to terraform this planet. Days later, Dawson continues his criminal career as the Lion-Mane when he found another Mithra stone in a museum. He didn't know that Hawkman was his friend, Carter Hall, standing next to him. Edward, again sensing that a lion is in captivity, attacked nearby civilians. Hawkman tried to stop him but failed and was knocked out. Edward wanted to be a super-powered human. With this goal he sought other meteor pieces to increase his power and also to stay alive as Lion-Mane. With each meteor rock he touched his powers grew. Hawkman and Hawkgirl managed to find him again and defeat him; Hawkman thought that he might still carry some pieces of the first meteor rock in his pockets, and smashed them with a stone, reverting Edward back to human once more.
Ed Dawson later had a nightmare of him turning into Lion-Mane again and killing Hawkman. Edward Dawson was invited to the museum where Hawkman worked, and he was considered to take Carter's place. When the museum chairmen take their time to discuss the issue, Dawson was kidnapped and dragged to the basement. There he was made to touch one of the Mithra Meteor pieces, Edward tried to resist but he was overpowered by the strength of his Thanagarian captors and he transformed into Lion-Mane. He first killed the two musclemen who forced him to touch the stone and then he turned to Coral Shilak, who orchestrated it. He didn't got far, as Hawkman and Hawkgirl heard Coral's scream and arrived shortly after that. In the fight, Lion-Mane managed to grab a spear from Hawkman's hands and thrust it through the hero. Lion-Mane then takes his leave and starts to remold the world in his image. Lion-Mane's powers were still growing. He even affected people miles away and started to transform a selected few into Lion-Men. Hawkgirl tried to fight him but her efforts were useless. In a last resort, she grabbed him and flew high up. The cold at that height turned Lion-Mane back to Ed Dawson. Ed was then carried away to a hospital after that.
The character was initially removed from continuity post-Crisis/Hawkworld, but reappeared years later in the Hawkman ongoing series starring the Golden Age Hawkman and the modern Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders). In this incarnation, Ed Dawson was an archaeologist looking for the Mithra stone with Karen Ramis. When she examined it, Ed witnessed her transforming into Lion-Mane. When it was repelled from Karen Ramis by Hawkman, Ed Dawson broke into the Mount St. Croix lab where the meteor was. It transformed him into Lion-Mane. When it came to his fight with Hawkman, Karen touched the stone taking half of the Lion-Mane power, enough for Ed to be apprehended. It was also revealed during this time that a previous hawk avatar (presumed to be Gabriel) and a lion avatar had previously battled each other.
Some months later, Fadeaway Man approached Ed Dawson and invited Dawson to join him and the other enemies of Hawkman making him a member of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains. Lion-Mane managed to poison Hawkman. It didn't have long term consequences however and Hawkman got away. Fadeaway Man tried again at one of the parties where Hawkman was attending. This time they were able to kidnap him. Lion-Mane and the gang went for breakfast in a local diner, while the Thought Terror was working on Hawkman. Hawkman was rescued by Hawkgirl and Golden Eagle, but his perception was altered and he saw Hawkgirl as an enemy; he beat her almost to death. Lion-Mane then set some explosive charges around the city as did others of his group. By blowing up buildings they caught Hawkman's attention, which was part of the plan. The Manhawks arrived, but they only were there to prevent Hawkman from escaping. The gang then took turns in beating Hawkman; Lion-Mane got over zealous and tossed Hawkman into a burning building. Hawkman recovered and tried to escape, but the Manhawks attacked him. Fadeaway Man let them do their job and left with his gang. Lion-Mane got his payment and went to vacation in Africa, where he was loved and treated as king. His happiness was a brief one, as Hawkman had returned from the dead and attacked him with an axe demanding to know the whereabouts of Fadeaway Man.
In his fight with Hawkman, Lion-Mane was severely injured including the loss of his right eye.
During the Brightest Day storyline, Hawkman and Hawkgirl encountered a tribe of alien creatures resembling Lion-Mane on Hawkworld. They are called the Lion-Mane Pride. So far, there is no connection to them and the actual Lion-Mane.
A third Lion-Mane was introduced post-Zero Hour. A female scientist named Karen Ramis was transformed into Lion-Mane (a Lion Avatar) by the Mithra Meteor. She didn't want its power and that was how she was saved. Hawkman convinced her to fight the avatar and it left her seeking another host. Although now back to her human form, she still craved the meteor's power as it was more addictive than any other drug. When Hawkman was battling Ed Dawson, Karen used the only way to stop him as she again touched the Mithra Meteorite. She was repowered, but not quite Lion-Mane as she had been transformed into a near lion-like state. Karen fled afterwards and hasn't been seen since.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, a fourth version of Lion-Mane is introduced. This version has a Wemic-like appearance. Lion-Mane ruled over the Marubunta Diamond Mines in Africa. When Batwing came to Africa to shut down the Marubunta Diamond Mines, Lion-Mane was confident that his three wives could beat him. When Lion-Mane's three wives were defeated, Lion-Mane confronted Batwing himself. Despite Batwing's technological edge, Lion-Mane's physical might was too much for the hero to handle. Batwing gave up a good fight landing plenty of hits in the process, but ultimately Lion-Mane had Batwing at his mercy. It was then that Batwing called in his vehicle and it smashed Lion-Mane into a wall, knocking him out. The villain was then being transported via plane by authorities, but the Marabunta attacked and successfully took over the plane. They told Lion-Mane they were going to kill him, but the locked-up villain then bit off the gunman's arm. All of the other characters opened fire and shot him several times, but he was fine. Lion-Mane swiftly tore apart his enemies and then jumped from the plane.
During the Forever Evil storyline, Lion-Mane is among the villains recruited by the Crime Syndicate of America to join their Secret Society of Super Villains. Lion-Mane appears in Cheetah's Menagerie where they subdue Steve Trevor and Killer Frost. While Steve Trevor knocks out Cheetah, Lion-Mane is among the Menagerie members that are frozen by Killer Frost.
In other media
- Lion-Mane appears in DC Universe Online. He appears as one of the Cat Avatars alongside Cheetah Claw, Panther Fang, and Tiger Eye. The players encounter him in Gotham University where he has the Cat's Eye of Power. The players managed to defeat him with the help of the Lion Cubs that were harvested from the Lion Lords.
- Lion-Mane is mentioned (but does not appear in person) by a reporter in a 1997 Baby Ruth commercial featuring Hawkman.
- Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #278 (April 1981)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #279 (May 1981)
- HawkMan (vol. 4) #37 (April 2005)
- HawkMan (vol. 4) #38 (May 2005)
- HawkMan (vol. 4) #39 (June 2005)
- HawkMan (vol. 4) #43 (October 2005)
- Brightest Day #7 (October 2010)
- Hawkman (vol. 3) #24 (September 1995)
- Hawkman (vol. 3) #25 (October 1995)
- Batwing #20
- Batwing #21
- Forever Evil #1
- Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #5
- Lion-Mane at Comic Vine