It’s time for a little forgotten history, friends! A character so obscure that I guarantee you’ve never heard of him: Hawkman’s long-discarded sidekick:
Mighty Hawkhat was one of those strange storytelling elements of the early days of comics, things which might merit an entire story arc to explain today but that had no origin at all. How archaeologist and reincarnated Egyptian prince Carter Hall acquired what was evidently a living creature resembling a giant, tentacled hawk’s head was never addressed, nor was it explained why such a creature was worn by hall while in his role of Hawkman. It was all just part of the experience.
Hawkman and Mighty Hawkhat shared a number of adventures together. Initially, Mighty Hawkhat could not speak and contributed his opinions of the proceedings through exaggerated facial expressions, though curiously these expressions seldom matched the tone of the story.
In fact, Mighty Hawkhat usually seemed to be grinning and winking at the events that were going on around him, as if to break the tension of the often-violent mysteries that Hawkman would find himself embroiled in.
If he was attempting to court favour with his young audience, however, Mighty Hawkhat failed miserably. Readers evidently hated him, sly grins and all. In an effort to salvage the character, he was given a more ominous aspect:
He was also given a voice, though in an effort to steer the character away from his light-hearted beginnings that voice tended to be even darker than the already serious Hawkman’s own:
But the change in character did nothing to change how the fans felt about Mighty Hawkhat. In fact, one of the aspects of the personality makeover served to further alienate the reading public. The revamped Hawkhat was inexplicably jealous of Shiera Saunders, Carter Hall’s love interest:
… his constant barrage of disparaging remarks and dirty looks served less to liven up the series that to derail it into panel after panel of tedious "banter".
Mighty Hawkhat eventually proved to be more of a hinderance than a help to Hawkman’s war on crime and was discarded, never to be heard from again. Hawkman invested in an inanimate hawk headdress and never looked back. Probably for the best, but one always wonders what might have been.
Rest in Peace, Mighty Hawkhat.