Created by the legendary cartoonist Basil Wolverton, the interplanetary avenger known only as Spacehawk appeared in just under two-dozen adventures within the pages of Novelty Press’ Target Comics, from June, 1940 to December, 1942.

In his first ten adventures, the surprisingly hardboiled and ruthless space hero – no dashing Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon, he – meted out harsh justice to interplanetary evildoers in a weird and fantastic future version of our solar system. But in 1941, as the US became involved in World War II, the editors at Novelty Press demanded that Spacehawk take on the Axis in a series of still-bizarre, but decidedly more Earthbound escapades. As Wolverton established the character as exceptionally long-lived, we consider those stories to be prequels to his wilder interplanetary, futuristic adventures.

Spacehawk’s only Golden Age cover appearance

As portrayed by Wolverton, Spacehawk was a genuine mystery man, his true name, past and origins never revealed. The creator dropped some tantalizing tidbits on occasion – Spacehawk was hundreds of years old, for one thing, and came from a planet in another solar system. Once, we met another member of his unnamed race – Galar, an old war buddy turned space pirate – and although that story established that Spacehawk’s people were spread out throughout the galaxy and tended to be loners, it was unclear how many of his race were actually out there!

At #AtomicAction, we’ve taken our cue from those first 10 stories and returned him to his cosmic milieu, which we’ve decided is the late 25th Century. We’re being as faithful to the spirit and style of those original stories as possible, while taking Spacehawk into new sectors of the galaxy and extrapolating on his background and origins from the clues the wildly-imaginative Wolverton left behind.

Art by Peter Grau