The man that became Hook was once Roy Martin Matson. At one time, Matson was the Sensei's protege but Matson failed at his attempt to assassinate Senator Kane, a former astronaut who had the ambition to become the United States' next president. Matson used a high-powered rifle to take out Kane but Kane's personal bodyguard saw Matson from afar and took the bullet for the senator. Matson was ordered to abort the mission by the Sensei's facilitator William Smith. The Sensei was disappointed that Matson had failed to conceal himself from Kane's security detail but he was willing to give Matson a second chance to redeem himself. As punishment, Matson was order to perform Yubitsume, a Japanese ritual that is meant to atone for one's offense or failure toward another. Matson's focus was on the blade that hanged over his finger while unaware that the Sensei had an axe in his hand. Just as Matson was about to perform the ritual, the Sensei takes one swift stroke and Matson's right hand is severed. Matson screams in agony as the Sensei gives him his next mission. The Sensei tells Matson that he must find and kill a worthy target who possesses prowess and agility. With Matson's handicap, he must now succeed in perfecting his marksmanship or face the consequences.
The Hook was created by Jack Miller and Neal Adams.
Major Story Arcs
Matson arrives in Gotham and finds a poster of Boston "Deadman" Brand as the main performance at Hill's Circus. Matson decides to target Boston Brand in order to regain the Sensei's good favor. Matson succeeds in killing Boston while he was in mid air during his trapeze performance. However, Brand's spirit lives on thanks to the intervention of Rama Kushna and begins to hunt down the Hook.
Deadman's first opportunity to find the Hook takes place when his spirit is summoned by Trixie Magruder, a retired medium from Hill's Circus. Magruder has recently opened her home to the Forever People, a band of teenagers from New Genesis. The Forever People were present when Magruder tried to summon the spirit of her fallen carnie comrade. At first, Magruder's powers were working and Deadman started to take shape in an astral form. He was only visible to Magruder's psyche but Mark Moonrider's Mother Box made Deadman visible to everyone when it bunched together his ectoplasmic atoms.
Deadman told everyone his sad story and about the man with the hook for a right hand. After hearing his story, the Forever People were determined to help Boston achieve inner peace by bringing his murderer to justice. Serifan, Moonrider, Vykin, Big Bear and Dreamer designed a robot that could latch onto Deadman's ectoplasm thereby enabling him to control and inhabit a physical form. Serafin designated this robot as the Follower and designed it to look like Deadman in order to drive terror into the man who murdered Boston.
Unfortunately, the Forever People's stay on Earth has aroused the attention of the Scavengers, a team of highly trained thieves who steal the latest tech from all four corners of the globe. The Director of the Scavengers wants the New Genesis technology that the Forever People possess. The Director has had an operative spy on the Forever People and the operative's latest report disturbs the Director. The operative disclosed that he saw someone resembling Boston Brand within the company of the Forever People.
It turns out the Director was once a member of the League of Assassins just like Matson. Anyone who has failed the Sensei on a mission, has had their right hand severed and replaced with a hook as a sign of dishonor toward the League's reputation. The Director started the Scavengers organization in order to appease the Sensei by equipping his assassins with the latest advances in weaponry. The Sensei was pleased by the Director's ingenuity and rewarded him for his continuous efforts in supplying the League. Director also developed an affinity toward other failed assassins who endured the same punishment as he did. The Director along with the other failed assassins created a board of directors who each controlled a certain operation around the globe. Each director raised their hooks with pride and the Scavengers were born.
The Director was well aware that the Sensei had taken Matson under his wing and despite his failure to kill Senator Kane, the Sensei had given Matson a second chance to prove himself worthy within the ranks of the League. Matson turned down the Director's offer to join the Scavengers but the Director still felt a personal responsibility to protect his handicapped comrade from the wrath of Deadman. The Director orders one of his operatives to steal the Follower robot before its completion thereby slowing down the Forever People's efforts and allow the Scavengers to dissect the Follower for any promising tech. The operative was successful in stealing the Follower robot but he failed to anticipate the tracking device that Serafin installed inside the robot.
Deadman and the Forever People track the robot to the Director's Scavenger Depot. Deadman infiltrates the Director's quarters and finally takes possession of the Follower. Once he was inside the robot, Deadman noticed the Director's right hand was actually a hook. Deadman automatically assumed that the Director was his murderer. Deadman charged after him but the Director came prepared. The Director used a replica of Mr. Freeze's freeze gun and froze Deadman's robot body. The Director was disappointed that he had to destroy such a priceless piece of machinery but he was proud none the less when he shattered the robot's frozen body into a million pieces.
Deadman was once again reduced to his spectral form. The Forever People made short work of the Scavenger operatives and managed to apprehend William Smith, the manager of the Scavenger Depot. The Sensei placed Smith within the Scavenger organization in order to make sure the Director wasn't holding out on the League. As Deadman wept over his short period of being physically visible, Dreamer used her illusion casting abilities to terrify the Director to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The Director and Smith were now under the mercy of Deadman. The Director informed Deadman that there are many Scavenger directors who have a hook for a right hand and they would rather die then divulge any information.
Boston was left with a dead end. Forever People wished Deadman the best of luck in finding his killer but they took the liberty of escorting Smith and the Director to the proper authorities. Deadman returned to the realm where Rama Kushna resided in order to seek more guidance. Unfortunately, Smith was able to escape the Forever People's custody and returned to the Sensei's side.
Seven Men of Death
A new Hook is seen as a member of the Seven Men of Death, an elite group of assassins who act as Ra's al Ghul's personal hit squad and are answerable directly to him. However, this particular Hook has lost his left hand rather than his right hand. Its possible that this particular Hook may have failed Ra's at some time or another and in the Arabic world, one uses their left hand more than their right.
The New 52
In the DC Universe Presents #0 issue, The Hook is re-imagined as an overweight former Mafia enforcer named Jimmy with a prosthetic limb hook. When Rama Kushna sends Deadman into his body, an associate of Jimmy's, Joey, reveals that Jimmy had murdered the performing Boston Brand in order to show his mob boss he was still capable of assassinating a moving target. Deadman leaves Joey to kill him, but Jimmy puts up a struggle in which he mentions that he has a wife and a child to support, and he felt 22 years of service should have bought him some loyalty. When Deadman tries to re-enter the Hook, it causes his gun to go off, killing an old woman living next door. The police arrest the Hook, but Deadman is left feeling guilty for causing the accident himself.
Hook appears as a member of the League of Shadows who is sent to capture Selena Gonzalez. He is defeated by the team and captured, but later escapes from custody along with fellow assassin Black Spider.
Powers and Abilities
The Hook has no notable superhuman abilities. He lacks a right hand, which is replaced with a large, sharp metal hook affixed to his arm. He is a skilled assassin, and proficient with a number of weapons.
In Other Media
The Hook appears in the Young Justice episode "Infiltrator," wherein he is sent by the League of Shadows to assassinate Dr Serling Roquette. He fails in this mission and is defeated by Miss Martian, who knocks him unconscious with his own retractable hook. He later appears in the episode "Terrors" as one of the inmates of Belle Reve. In his first appearance his hook replaces his left hand, in the second his hook is on the right. He does not speak in his appearances.