Alternate Identity: Gordon Drake
Base of Operations: Cambridgeshire, UK
First Appearance: Mystery Comics, August 1939
Group Affiliation: Justice International
Strength 14/18 (+2/+4 w/ Hawk Armor), Dexterity 16 (+3), Constitution 16 (+3), Intelligence 20 (+5), Wisdom 14 (+2), Charisma 14 (+2)
Toughness +3/+11 (+3 Con, +8 Protection w/ Hawk Armor); Fortitude +5 (+3 Con, +2 Base); Reflex +6 (+3 Dex, +3 Base); Will +5 (+2 Wis, +3 Base)
Defense: 21 (+7 Base, +4 Dodge Bonus)
Base Attack Bonus: +7
Device 1: Hawkeye Visor- Super-Senses 5 (Darkvision, Extended, Distance Sense, Infravision), Easy to Lose
Device 5: Talon Dart Gun- Blast 11 (Sedation, Ricochet, Accurate), Easy to Lose
Device 4: Hawk Armor- Protection 8 (Impervious), Enhanced Strength 4
Track, Dodge Focus 4, Equipment 20, Attack Focus (Ranged) 4
Knowledge (Physical Science) +21 (+5 Int, 16 Ranks); Craft (Electronics) +21 (+5 Int, 16 Ranks); Disable Device +21 (+5 Int, 16 Ranks); Search +21 (+5 Int, 16 Ranks); Notice +14 (+2 Wis, 12 Ranks); Pilot +15 (+3 Dex, 12 Ranks); Stealth +19 (+3 Dex, 16 Ranks); Survival +13 (+2 Wis, 12 Ranks); Investigate +21 (+5 Int, 16 Ranks); Gather Information +18 (+2 Cha, 16 Ranks)
Nighthawk Spy Plane: Gargantuan Aircraft, Flight 6, Tougness: 18, Strength 45, Defense 9, Super Senses 3 (Radar, Dark Vision), Concealment 1 (Radar), Snare 5, Communication 1 (Radio), Datalink 9
Rookery Tower HQ: Toughness: 10; Size: Large; Features: Lab, Hangar, Garage, Dock, Communications, Workshop, Computer, Library, Isolated, Security System, Living Space
Utility Belt: Cutting Torch, Sleep Gas Pellets, Smoke Pellets, Stun Pellets, Tear Gas Pellets
Multitool, Comlink, Gas Mask, Camera
3 levels to Justice International HQ
Dr. Gordon Drake was originally a professor of Aeronautics at Cambridge University, when he was contacted by the government for assistance on a top secret project building a new spy plane. He ended up leading the project, and was working on the final plans one night when enemy agents attacked the laboratory attempting to steal the plans. Drake managed to escape to the remote hangar and finish the plane himself, using it to track down and capture the spies before they could get the plans out of the country. Inspired by the event to take up crimefighting in defence of the realm, Drake moved to a secluded family tower in the countryside and took on the identity of Professor Hawk.
Drake is motivated by the responsibility of power; he has the scientific know-how to stop criminals and saboteurs, and thus he is obliged to do so. Highly patriotic, he tends to focus on espionage and threats to the security of the United Kingdom over more common criminal activity. At worst he can be narrow-minded in his nationalism, viewing events in terms of how they will affect Britain; however, joining Justice International has helped to broaden his perspective. In the field he is cool and professional, often favoring a tactical approach to each "mission." In his civilian identity he is more the proper English gentleman, with a mild disposition masking a fierce intelligence.
Dr. Gordon Drake is a tall, think man with grey eyes and brown hair. He tends to dress in tweed suits. As Professor Hawk, he wears a cowl which gives him a half-beak profile and incorporates his Hawkeye Visor, as well as a blue cape with a subtle feather pattern.
Professor Hawk was the creation of Alan Grayson, an anglophile artist/writer who joined Star Comics in early 1939, and was promptly handed the task of writing a lead feature for MYSTERY COMICS. Having visited Cambridge in his college years, and following closely the news of war in Europe, Grayson set about creating a British crimefighter who would aid in the war effort. Grayson also had an interest in aviation and aeronautics, and decided his character would have a plane allowing him to fight the Axis in the air; this led him to the "bird" theme, and the character apparently fell into place from there.
Among Star's Golden Age heroes, Professor Hawk was second in popularity only to Captain Invincible; he was given his own book in early 1941, and two serials, PROFESSOR HAWK and PROFESSOR HAWK OVER AFRICA, were released in 1942 and 1945, respectively. During the war Grayson served in the Air Force, and the title was then written by Elizabeth Jacobs (writing as "E. Jacobs" to hide her gender) and drawn by Bobby Mills, a company draftsman about whom little is known. The character was popular enough to survive the postwar superhero bust, and when Grayson returned from service in 1946, he took over the title again, writing it for the next five years. Through this run and the next the emphasis on the character shifted from espionage to crimefighting.
The most notable shift to the character came in 1957, when the title was handed to Italian immigrant Pablo Florentin, who wrote and illustrated the character in an increasingly surreal manner. He introduced colorful supervillains like the rubbery Elastique, the Burrowing Mole, and most infamously, the Mad Butcher (who appeared for one issue before the CCA reconsidered its decision to let the character be published.) Florentin's style, though controversial at the time, was said to anticipate the "Pop Art" trend of the sixties, and EIC Joe Prelutsky stirred the pot even further when he lured Grayson, who had been pursuing a prose career, back to the writing post in 1964. Fireworks were expected, but instead the team got along famously and worked through the end of the decade, producing what is said to be the character's finest run, a string of twisted intrigues and encounters with Soviet-backed supervillains.
Grayson retired in 1970, facing health problems, and the title would change hands many times in decades to come. Grayson finally passed in 1984, as his character was beginning to return to the spotlight again in the legendary miniseries FLIGHT OF THE HAWK, a gritty modern update of the character's origins and personality. Professor Hawk remains one of Star Comics' most important properties.