Despite his confusing origins, Hawkman has remained a staple hero in the DC roster‚ in no small part because of his secret weapons—the Claws of Horus—that make him even stronger than Marvel’s Incredible HulkIn a medium filled with time travel, aliens, cosmic retcons and literal magic, Hawkman may have the strongest claim for most confusing backstory in all of comic books. When he first appeared in 1940 he was merely Carter Hall, an American archeologist and the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince. Since then his backstory has been altered and retconned so many times that it took an entire Hawkman solo series just to sort out where the character belongs in DC history.


Usually when Hawkman fights, he uses a special material called Nth Metal, a ridiculously powerful substance with the power to manipulate gravity (hence the source of Hawkman’s flight). But alongside his signature mace Hawkman has another Nth metal weapon that’s even more powerful—the Claws of Horus. These gauntlets were first used by Hawkman in JSA#22 by Geoff Johns, David S. Goyer and Rags Morales. In this comic, the original Flash Jay Garrick goes back in time to ancient Egypt and meets a few familiar faces: Doctor Fate, Black Adam and Pharaoh Khufu, aka Hawkman’s previous incarnation. The Doctor Fate of the past gives Flash the Claws of Horus so he can deliver them to the Hawkman of the present, and they’ve been apart of Hawkman’s arsenal ever since.

So what do the Claws of Horus do exactly? Well just like Hawkman’s other weapons and armor they’re made of Nth Metal, meaning they originate from his home planet of Thanagar and can defy gravity and damage magical entities. But the Claws of Horus go a step beyond even other Nth metal weapons. As Hawkman himself explains in Superman/Batman #4, the Claws of Horus draw their strength from the Earth’s magnetic core itself, meaning that they contain energy equal to the entire planet. When Hawkman battles Superman with this weapon, the increase in strength is enough for him to almost knock out the Man of Steel with a single blow.

The massive increase in strength given by the Claws of Horus means Hawkman is one of the DC universe’s biggest physical powerhouses. Having raw strength that’s equal to the entire Earth would also put him on par with Marvel’s Worldbreaker Hulk, who is the most powerful incarnation of the Hulk ever created. But even though the Claws of Horus grant Hawkman such incredible power they’re rarely–if ever–used by him. The last time the Claws of Horus made an appearance in DC Comics was in Brightest Day, where instead of fighting, Hawkman and Hawkwoman simply use them to help locate their arch-enemy Hath-Set.

Hawkman is one of the first superheroes in DC history, but it wasn’t until very recently that he has taken a prominent role in the DC universe. As a former member of both the Justice League and the Justice Society he has the potential to fulfill any number of roles on a superhero team, and when he does appear next Hawkman will be more than ready to battle evil with the Claws of Horus at his side.

Why Fullmetal Alchemist’s Darkest Moment Haunts Fans Two Decades Later