Nighthawk is a fictional character, a cowboy in the DC Comics universe. His real name is Hannibal Hawkes and he first appeared in Western Comics #5. In his secret identity, he worked as a traveling repairman. He had a sidekick named Jim Peyton.
Created by Robert Kanigher and Charles Paris, his later adventures were handled by writers France Herron, Don Cameron, and Gardner Fox; and artists Gil Kane and Carmine Infantino.
Fictional character biography
He was shown as dying during Crisis on Infinite Earths, although this has been retconned twice to fit in with the later revelation that he was a reincarnation of Prince Khufu — who would later be reincarnated as Carter Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman. Current continuity has it that he was shot by a criminal named Matilda Roderic, who was presumably a reincarnation of the evil priest Hath-Set, who is apparently destined to kill Khufu in every life. Roderic's descendant is the current Hath-Set.
The 2002 retcon also revealed he was the partner and lover of the Western heroine Cinnamon, who was the reincarnation of Khufu's wife Chay-Ara.
Nighthawk appears in Guy Gardner #24 during the "Zero Hour" incident. He sported white sideburns at this point in time. His group of allies, which includes El Diablo and Bat Lash, were forming to take on the villain Extant and several men Extant had brainwashed. Nighthawk calls this group the "Rough Bunch" on more than one occasion. The time-lost heroes Steel, Supergirl, Guy Gardner and a version of Batgirl show up to help in the fight.
A modern-day version of the character appears in the Western-themed Robin Annual #6, as a mercenary. He worked with Robin and the modern day Pow Wow Smith to track down the modern day Trigger Twins. They have a literal Main Street showdown in a Western-themed tourist attraction located near Gotham City.
Nighthawk appears in All Star Western in both its backups and in the main Jonah Hex story. Nighthawk's new origin is that he left home as a child and worked on a whaling boat. The captain, a former slave, became a second father to him and Nighthawk was there when the man died. This death inspired Nighthawk to fight for justice and for the oppressed. Nighthawk is teamed with Cinnamon once again. Nighthawk uses a special medallion he found at an Indian burial site, which gives him enhanced strength and healing abilities.