Art by Prentis Rollins (2017, Commissioned by Tim Board)

Jun 17, 2024

Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders I) 25th Anniversary

Art by Amancay Nahuelpan

   Kendra Saunders is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year! James Gunn posted about it on Sunday and it got a lot of attention. Even Isabela Merced, who will be playing Hawkgirl in Gunn's Superman movie, posted a comment on Gunn's post. 

   Kendra had her first story in JSA Secret Files and Origins No. 1, which was released on June 16, 1999. However, her very first appearance was a cameo on the final page of All Star Comics No. 2, which was released on March 31, 1999. After those first appearances, she became a full-time member in the JSA series and later moved over to the JLA series. She was of course in the Hawkman Vol. 4 series, and Hawkgirl got her own comic for the first time when Hawkman Vol. 4 ended its run at No. 49 in 2006 and the title of the book was changed to Hawkgirl from No. 50. The run ended at No. 66 but Kendra continued to show up in DC's events and team books. Her first run came to an end in 2009 when she was killed during the Blackest Night story and she disappeared for eight years. She appeared again during DC Rebirth's Metal event as Kendra Saunders II. After a few years as a member of the Justice League, she was given her own 6-issue series in 2023 and is now appearing in elseworld stories. We expect to see her again in the new Justice League series, whenever that will be. 

All Star Comics No. 2
Cover Date: May 1999
Art by Dave Johnson

All Star Comics No. 2
Release Date: March 31, 1999
Art by William Rosado

JSA Secret Files and Origins No. 2
Cover Date: August 1999
Cover Art by Michael Bair

JSA Secret Files and Origins No. 2
Release Date: June 16, 1999
Art by Louis Small and Michael Bair

Hawkman Vol. 4 No. 28
July 2004
Art by Greg Land and Jay Leisten

JSA No. 26
September 2001
Art by Rags Morales

   Kendra is now completely cut off from any connection to Hawkman. She never appeared in Hawkman Vol. V (2018-2021), and Hawkman nor Hawkwoman made an appearance in Hawkgirl Vol. 2 (2023-2024). She appeared to have some kind of relationship with the Martian Manhunter but we'll have to wait and see what happens with that. Many fans are now anxiously awaiting her appearance in the new Superman movie which is expected in the summer of 2025. She appeared to have ended the reincarnation cycle during the Death Metal event (World without a Justice League: Green Lantern, 2022), although it wasn't clear if it actually happened. In the recent Hawkgirl series, she had a lot of resentment towards Hawkman and Hawkwoman for ending their reincarnation cycle without her, so it's unclear where that stands. 

Hawkgirl Vol. 1 No. 50
March 2006
Art by Howard Chaykin

Hawkgirl Vol. 2 No. 1
September 2024
Art by Amancay Nahuelpan

   So it's been 25 years since her first appearance, and it looks like this character is here to stay. She may even get a wave of popularity with her appearance in the movies next year. Big things are ahead for Kendra! 

   For Kendra's complete history, check out my article on the history of Hawkman and Hawkgirl! LINK

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