Hawkgirl is the name of several female fictional superhero characters, all owned by DC Comics and existing in that company's universe. The character is one of the first costumed female superheroes. All of them are partners, and sometimes spouses or lovers, of the various incarnations of Hawkman, and share many features with the character Hawkwoman. Hawkgirl was ranked 80th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dennis Neville, Shiera Sanders first appeared in Flash Comics #1 (Jan. 1940), in the same 12-page story in which Fox and Neville introduced Hawkman. Archaeologist Carter Hall has a dream that he is an ancient Egyptian prince, Khufu, who has a lover, Princess Chay-Ara. The next day, Carter meets a woman named Shiera who looks exactly like the woman in his dream. Carter dons the identity of Hawkman and Shiera becomes Carter's girlfriend. Shiera first appears as Hawkgirl in All Star Comics #5 (July 1941), in a costume created by Sheldon Moldoff, based on Neville's Hawkman costume. During Hawkman's solo segment of the Justice Society of America story, Shiera dons a spare set of Nth metal wings developed by Hawkman, and masquerades as Hawkman in order to trick some criminals. Shiera continues to wear the costume and wings in later stories, eventually adopting the identity of Hawkgirl.
With the fading popularity of superheroes during the late 1940s, the Hawkman feature ended in the last issue of Flash Comics in 1949. In 1956, DC Comics resurrected the Flash by revamping the character with a new identity and backstory. Following the success of the new Flash, DC Comics revamped Hawkman in a similar fashion with The Brave and the Bold #34 in 1961. The Silver Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl became married alien police officers from the planet Thanagar who come to Earth in order to study police techniques. Silver Age Hawkgirl is introduced as Shayera Hol (phonetically identical to Shiera Hall), who appears in costume as of her first appearance. Although Silver Age Hawkman joins the Justice League in Justice League of America #31 in 1964, Silver Age Hawkgirl was not offered membership because Justice League rules only allowed for one new member to be admitted at a time. Several years later, Silver Age Hawkgirl joined the Justice League of America with issue #146 in 1977. In 1981, Silver Age Hawkgirl changed her name to Hawkwoman in the Hawkman backup feature of World's Finest Comics #274.
With the establishment of DC's multiverse system, the Golden Age Hawkgirl was said to have lived on Earth-Two and the Silver Age Hawkgirl on Earth-One. Although Golden Age Hawkman makes his first Silver Age appearance during the first JLA/JSA teamup in 1961 and continues making appearances during the annual JLA/JSA teamups, Golden Age Hawkgirl does not reappear until 1976, in the revival of the All Star Comics monthly comic. During the publication gap between the cancellation of Hawkman at the end of the Golden Age and the reintroduction of Earth-Two Hawkman during the Silver Age, Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl are married off-panel. Golden Age Hawkgirl made further appearances as the mother of Silver Scarab in the Infinity Inc. comic and as Hawkgirl as a member of the All-Star Squadron, a retroactive team of Golden Age heroes active in the 1940s.