Throughout the years, hundreds of thousands of men and women have taken up the role of ShadowHawk. The ones known are: A Cowboy, A Samurai, A Musketeer, Inspector Hawk, the Kings Hawk, Li Ching Kai, Hawk Dell'ombra, Halcon Sombrio, Hawk and his bird Shadow, ShadowHawk Girl (who inspired Paul Johnstone to take up the mantel), and the ShadowHawk of the Silver Age, Luke Hatfieled Sr. There are countless other people who have taken up the role but have yet to be named. For more info on the beginning, go to the Nommo page.
ShadowHawk was created by Jim Valentino.
The first ShadowHawk is shown to be an Egyptian Shaman who was killed during a meditation with the Nommo, the gods of thought and mind. Deciding not to leave their disciple, the sent out the Spirit of Justice, the soul that would inhabit men and women in order to collect their souls and undo the death and reincarnate the shaman many years later.
Silver Age ShadowHawk
Luke Hatfieled Sr. used his great wealth to fight crime with his family. Donning the Spirit of Justice, he called himself Shadowhawk and fought crime during the Silver Age of comics. He hung up the cowl after his wife died and would be later killed by Vendetta in an explosion . He is later seen in the Nommo, still old, but completely fine.
Paul Johnstone grew up in Harlem with his mother after his father died, but was able to avoid a life of crime thanks to Richard Woodroe. Woodroe was a caseworker and started working with Paul after he was arrested for stealing. Woodroe became a good friend to Paul and later married his mother, a marriage that resulted in the birth of Johnstone's younger Half brother Hojo. Paul grew up to become a lawyer, then a district attorney, though he soon encountered problems when he refused to accept bribes from mobsters. Initially attempting to pressurize Johnstone into accepting the pay-offs by refusing to sell narcotics to Hojo, the mobsters later arranged for the D.A to be assaulted in his office and injected with H.I.V contaminated blood. After the encounter, Johnstone was left uncertain regarding whether he had been infected or not. The attack had been made public and word of his possible infection spread through Johnstone's workplace, making it a very inhospitable environment to be in.
In frustration of the bigotry he experienced he punched his co-worker Hollis after his colleague claimed that the office staff didn't want Johnstone to contaminate the water fountain. For this he lost his job and ended up in jail and only got out to learn that he was HIV positive. While walking the streets to clear his head Paul was threatened by a group of young gang-members. He went berserk and attacked them, leading to his brutal mugging and return to the hospital. During this time he resolved that he would use the rest of his time to dispense justice to the individuals who preyed on innocent victims. Paul was visited by a friend of his named Christina Ried, a former cop fired that day for excessive force. She told him that she and a friend named Carlton Sun had created an armored costume so that a 'Shining Knight' could "take back the night" from the corrupt and evil people of the cities. Jumping at the opportunity, Paul asked for Christina's help so that he could fight the system that had ruined his and countless others' lives. Initially apprehensive, Christina agreed to help and trained Paul in athletics and hand-to-hand combat whilst Carlton provided Johnstone with his equipment and weaponry. Paul decided that simply overpowering criminals was not enough, as the court system would not adequately punish them. So instead of merely defeating or killing them, Paul would break the spines of each of the criminals so that they would become prisoners of their own bodies, just as Johnstone had become. He justified his actions by stating that he only targeted violent criminals. He named himself Shadowhawk after his favorite hero who had saved him years earlier.
He would attack his victims and leave them to be discovered by police with no indication that he had attacked them other than hearsay from the criminals. This led to ShadowHawk garnering a reputation as an urban legend as well as being hunted by both criminals and law enforcement alike. However, Johnstone had primarily trained to fight average criminals and he was ill equipped for battle with his first superhuman opponent, the man known as Arson. Arson had been paid by the crime lord known as 'Vendetta' to burn down the Manhattan slums so that she could purchase the remaining land plots for a lower price. However, with the death toll increasing daily Shadowhawk made it his duty to track down the madman responsible and defeat him. Though Shadowhawk's blows could not penetrate Arson's armor, Johnstone utilised his shuriken to penetrate the fuel tank to the rear of the villain's armor, causing the suit to rupture and explode. However, though Shadowhawk believed the villain to be dead, the explosion had in fact transformed Arson into a burning figure able to control the fires ravaging his body. He would later be caught up in a conflict between Shadowhawk and the 'Liquifier', an alien life form responsible for a string of liquified dead bodies in the Manhattan area. Nevertheless, as Johnstone confronted the creature Arson chose instead to flee and seek out Vendetta for help, leaving Shadowhawk to fight the Liquifier (which he managed to defeat by shooting his grappling hook through its chest).
Battered and bruised from the fight, Shadowhawk had little chance to recover before he discovered that his younger brother Hojo had overdosed on drugs. Paul later visits Hojo and stays in hospital overnight to make sure that he's okay. Despite the medical treatment, Paul learned the next day that Hojo was dead, his body having been unable to cope with the drugs in his system. Johnstone copes with his loss by hitting the streets again as Shadowhawk, attacking a rapist in the process. During the fight he is caught in action by a police chopper and Johnstone is attacked by the hero Savage Dragon, an outside force brought in by the NYPD in order to stop Shadowhawk. Desperately outmatched by the sheer power of the Dragon, Johnstone is rescued by BlakJak, who brings Paul back to Vendetta in an attempt to recruit him. Shadowhawk refused outright and escaped. He remained in hiding for six weeks so that his wounds could heal, the rest of New York believing that Shadowhawk had disappeared or been killed.
A month and a half later Johnstone returned to the streets to discover that a serial killer has usurped his identity. However, this individual was unconcerned with criminals and murderers and primarily focused upon 'wiping the streets clean' of Black men. Johnstone confronted and fought the killer (ironically named Hawk's Shadow) who exclaimed that he had only followed in the steps of Shadowhawk; 'I'm only doing what you do. I only kill niggers'. Johnstone revealed his identity to Hawks-shadow and proceeded to beat the madman unconscious, with Christina arriving just in time to prevent the enraged Paul from killing him. Shadowhawk left the villain and escaped before the police arrived. With the vigilante having eluded them again, the frustrated NYPD captain Frakes resorted to increasingly drastic measures in order to bring in the vigilante, with the obsessed man even going so far as to hire the mercenary Jonathan P. Slaughter. Slaughter broke into Christina's house believing that the ex-police officer was ShadowHawk, though Johnstone later caught up with the mercenary and saved his friend. Slaughter decided to leave Shadowhawk alone, deciding that he agreed with the Vigilante's personal brand of 'Justice'. Though Paul believed that he would be able to continue his mission unmolested, he was later targeted by the rogue Regulators Hardedge and Vortex, both of whom sought to kill Shadowhawk rather than recruit him. Weakened by previous fights and his progressively deteriorating immune system, Paul escaped into the crowds below and lost the villains.
He would later have his revenge when he intervened on the side of BlakJak during a fight between the villain, Hardedge and Dedline (Hardedge had betrayed the regulators and hired Dedline to assassinate the others). The quartet leveled a building during the fight, with Vortex distraught that her baby was inside the building at the time. Unbeknownst to the group, Vortex's son had actually been kidnapped by a group of homeless fanatics living in the sewers, a group that intended to sacrifice the child to their deity 'The Underlord'. Upon learning of the child's fate from a homeless man, Shadowhawk and the others united to save 'Little Beto' and return him to his mother. They tracked the fanatics to the sewers, where Shadowhawk discovered to his horror that the Underlord was in fact the cannibalistic Liquifier which had survived its last encounter with the hero. Though Paul questioned whether he had the right to kill an intelligent creature, Vortex settled the issue by using her powers to vaporize the Liquifier.
Sometime after the destruction of the second Brigade team, the man known as Troll was contacted by Seahawk, one of the survivors from the team. He wanted Troll to retrieve an ancient tome. The search for the book and the encounter with the cult brought him together with Vanguard and Wally, ShadowHawk, Glory, Roman and Tremor, ending in the formation of the third Brigade team. ShadowHawk only stayed with the team briefly as he started to get sick shortly after joining the team. As his life was shortened by his HIV Johnstone eventually grew to be less violent in his career. One night when he was on patrol, Johnstone met the soul repossessor Trencher and his accomplice Phoebe. Recognizing the need for a cure for Johnstone, Phoebe teamed up with him in order to get him around. The search for a cure took ShadowHawk many places but no one could help him. As he and Phoebe were searching for a cure, he started to get weak and sick. One of the cures he tried was getting a blood sample from Supreme. Instead of getting a blood sample he ended up fighting Supreme. In the fight he lost his helmet and it was revealed to the world that Paul Johnstone was ShadowHawk. In the end he met Spawn who told him that there was nothing he could do, but death was not the end and he should learn from his experiences and face death like a man. He would also meet WildC.A.T.s. (who offered a possible solution involving a robotic body to transplant Johnstone's consciousness into - which would ultimately fail to work) and Youngblood's Chapel (another hero also infected with HIV). One of his few regrets was never joining a superhero team seeing how fun and useful it is to fight in a team. In his final act as ShadowHawk, Johnstone would rescue his mother from being attacked by Hawk's Shadow. The aftermath of the fight would leave Johnstone in a weakened state and unable to elude the pursuit of the police. He was remanded into custody and transported to a hospital where AIDS eventually took its toll and ended his life.
After Paul's death it was revealed that Shadowhawk is a Spirit of Justice and it has inhabited at least four people in the past. Three were human, but the last one was a robot created by WildC.A.T.s. The Spirit of Justice leaves the robot it becomes "Justice", without human feelings and starts to go on a killing spree. The robot was destroyed at the end of New Man #4.
Eddie Collins, an unnaturally good boy, never told a lie, cheated or allowed a single injustice to go unavenged. Eventually the New Man saw Eddie save someone, and he thought that Eddie would obviously be a good vessel for the Spirit of Justice (the spirit driving ShadowHawks through the time). He gave the Helmet of Heru to Eddie who instantly absorbed the spirit becoming the new ShadowHawk. This acted as a conduit for Eddie, allowing him to speak to the spirits of all people who were, at one time, inhabited by ShadowHawk, the Spirit of Justice, who all dwell inside him. Meditating with the Nommo, he met the spirit of Paul Johnstone, who told him that he is a reincarnation of a first dynasty Egyptian shaman and that Eddie was destined to start anew.
As Shadowhawk, Eddie was faster, stronger and much more agile now and found new responsibility to the people of New York City. After saving some hostages, Eddie met Captain Nieves and started to work with him.Eddie would uses the powers given to him by the helmet to fight crime in New York City. His first real case was against an old super-heroic hippie named Blacklight, who was tricked into thinking that ShadowHawk was the son of FirePower, the man who killed Blacklight's wife. Blacklight got in a fight with Eddie, but when Eddie accidentally over used Blacklight's weakness, metal, on him, it caused Blacklight to die and give his powers to Lina Juarez, who would take up the mantel as the new Blacklight.
Eddie faces another villain named Zap!, a mercenary with electrical powers,who tries to kill Eddie, but can't and gets beaten and arrested. It isn't long after that when Nocturn, the man who tricked Blacklight and hired Zap!, attacked Eddie and weaken him for the man who started all of this, Luke Hatfield Jr. aka Hawk's Shadow, the racist villain who originally fought Paul. Luke put up a good fight, but lost after Paul Johnstone took over Eddie's body to finish off Luke.
After teaming up with with the new Blacklight, Lina Juarez and fighting off the new Arson (one of Eddies firecrazy classmates), Luke Jr. sends out a new mercenary, Komodo, to get the helmet from Eddie. Komodo kills Eddie's friend, Steven, beats Eddie to a pulp, and manages to steal the helmet. Luke kills Komodo (for killing Steven), and then wears the new helmet as the new ShadowHawk, who goes around mercilessly killing criminals. Luke Hatfield Sr. confronts Luke Jr and tries to stop him, but doesn't succeed, so he calls in an old friend, Astroman, to help take down Luke Jr. Eddie finally forgives himself for Steven's death, and with the help of the Nommo, manages to get back on his feet to feet. Vendetta, one of Paul's original enemies, is upset that Luke is messing with her business, so she sets an explosion in his office building, but accidentally kills Luke Sr instead. Luke Jr and Eddie both see the explosion and try to make it to the top floor as Blacklight and Astroman stop the fire and rescue hostages. Eddie and Luke Jr both make it to the top floor, where Eddie beats Luke Jr into the ground and takes back his helmet.
Eddie returns home, and after talking to a few ShadowHawks from the Nommo, Eddie decides that he needs to be his own hero and asks all of the other ShadowHawks to remain silent so he can grow as a hero and make his own mistakes. Eddie gains a new costume and new girlfriend, Rebound, and begins his career anew. Eddie would go on to become a major part of the Image Universe, fighting with heroes such as Savage Dragon, Spawn, Witchblade and Invincible. He would also become part of New York Youngbloods during Image United, but only for a short while.
During the events of Image United, Eddie was outmatched against one of Omega Spawn's demons and was being beaten close to death. In order to save his son, Eddie's father, James, begged with the Nommo and offered himself as a sacrifice to save his son. James was quickly transformed into Paul Johnstone, the Shadowhawk before Eddie. Paul came back into New York and dealt with an armored maniac named KillSwitch, and managed to stop a woman named Eve Hohner, who would hypnotize men to kill, in order to bring her lover back to life. Paul is now on his own and on the lamb as he returns back to his old ways of breaking backs and being overly violent with his victims
As of right now, ShadowHawk has been put on hiatus. He has made recent appearances in the Bomb-Queen series however.
Powers and Abilities
Spirit of Justice
All ShadowHawks contained the Spirit of Justice, which increased their agility, strength, and fighting skills. Eddie Collins possessed the Helmet of Heru which increased his speed,strength and agility, as well as created armor, weapons, and tools that he could control with thought. He was also able to keep in contact with the Nommo, which would give him advice during battle. This connection was severed, however, when Paul came out. It is unknown how or why this happened.
Luke Hatfield Sr., with addition to the abilities given by the Spirit of Justice, used a wide variety of Shadow themed weapons. Paul Johnstone uses a high-tech suit of armor that was bullet-proof and increases his strength and speed. The helmet had infrared lenses so he could see in the dark. His gloves had retractable claws that could be fired like a grappling hook or used for hand-to-hand combat. He also used special boomerang shurikens that came back to him when he trow them. He also carried his AIDS's medication in his belt pouches. Eddie Collins used the Helmet of Heru.
Paul Johnstone is skilled in unarmed combat and was trained to use exceptionally violent moves. Johnstone's physical attributes were in peak human levels, with the vigilante being able to exert sufficient strength to fracture the spinal columns of his victims using his bare hands.
However, Paul's strength and physical abilities gradually deteriorated over time thanks to the effects of A.I.D.S, forcing the vigilante to rely upon his equipment and armor. Following his resurrection it is unclear whether Johnstone still suffers from the symptoms of A.I.D.S.