Tomahawk is a comic book character whose adventures were published by DC Comics
during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s as a backup feature in Star Spangled Comics
and World's Finest Comics
and in his own eponymous series. He was created by writer Joe Samachson and artist Edmund Good, and first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics
Tomahawk was a backup feature in Star Spangled Comics
from his first appearance (June 1947) to issue #130 (July 1952), and in World's Finest Comics
from issue #33 (Mar. 1948) until issue #101 (May 1959). The Tomahawk
series lasted 140 issues, from 1950 to 1972.
Known as either Tom Hawk or Thomas Haukins, depending on which of two versions of his published history the reader prefers, "Tomahawk" was a soldier who served under George Washington in the warfare between the British, French and Iroquois forces during the decades prior to the American Revolutionary War and acquired his nickname due to its resemblance to a trademark weapon of the Iroquois Confederacy's warriors, and to the skill he developed with that weapon.
He subsequently achieved further fame as one of Washington's most capable operatives during the Revolution itself, leading a band of soldiers under the informal nickname of "Tomahawk's Rangers".
Tomahawk contains examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: Lord Shilling was Tomahawk's arch-enemy.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Tomahawk's arch-enemy was the British spy Lord Shilling.
- Army of The Ages: Tomahwk is dragged through time to become part of one in the 2008 The War That Time Forgot mini-series.
- An Axe to Grind: Tomahawk's preferred weapon was his namesake axe.
- The Berserker: Wildcat. Although originally a member of a pacifist sect, he became a wild man in combat and was the most enthusiastic member when it came to charging into battle.
- Calling Card: Lord Shilling's trademark was leaving a single shilling with a hole in the middle after a successful mission.
- Captain Patriotic: Miss Liberty
- Cattle Drive: In Tomahawk #119, Tomahawk and the Rangers have to drive a herd of steers to besieged Yankee fort that is starving.
- The Chief's Daughter: Moon Fawn
- Combat Medic: Healer Randolph
- Dawn of the Wild West: When the book became Hawk, Son of Tomahawk, it focussed on Tomahawk's half-Indian son and was set in the early years of the 19th Century in the American midwest.
- Evil Brit: Lord Shilling
- Hunter Trapper: Tomahawk and Dan Hunter
- Indian Maiden: Moon Fawn, Tomahawk's eventual wife. He first comes across her when she is bathing in a river and saves her from a bear attack. She falls in love with him and he has to prove his worthiness to her father, Chief Grey Elk.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Most of the members of the Rangers.
- Master of Disguise: Lord Shilling
- Mixed Ancestry: Hawk, Son of Tomahawk was the son of the Caucasian Tomahawk and the Apache Moon Fawn.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Tomahawk's Rangers, who were essentially a Revolutionary War version of Sgt. Rock's Easy Company. The members included the immensely strong Big Anvil; the dandy Brass Buttons; Cannonball, who was Tomahawk's 2IC; acrobatic French sailor Frenchie; black Combat Medic Healer Randolph; sniper Long Rifle; Stovepipe who was the son of a general and carried a small arsenal in his stovepipe hat; and Wildcat, a Quaker pacifist who turned into a berserker in combat.
- Ranger: Tomahawk's Rangers
- Retool: Tomahawk had two retools towards the end of its run. First, the comic was changed from "hey kids isn't Davy Crockett cool?" to "the Howling Commandos in the Revolutionary War", with Tomahawk gaining a colorful supporting cast and a direct affiliation with the Continental Army. After about five years of that, the book (retaining the same title and numbering) jumped forward some 40 years and focused on Tomahawk's son Hawk, with the still-living Tomahawk being Hawk's mentor/sidekick. "Hawk, son of Tomahawk" didn't last too long, as the book was canceled within a year of Hawk's introduction.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: Tomahawk has this ability, unerringly following a trail invisible to everyone else across a dinosaur-infested jungle in The War That Time Forgot mini-series.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: In Tomahawk #106, the Royalist forces take advantage of Tomahawk's supposed death to create a 'ghost' Tomahawk which they use to attempt to lure the Rangers into an ambush.
- Sergeant Rock: Tomahawk was this to the Rangers.
- The Squad: Tomahawk's Rangers
- They Call Him Sword: They call him Tomahawk!
- Tipis And Totem Poles: Tomahawk is set in the original 13 colonies during the American War of Independence, yet many of the tribes shown have totem poles, a Pacific West Coat tradition.
- To Catch Heroes Hire Villains: One of the Crown's more successful plots against Tomahawk and the Rangers involved pardoning notorious criminals — giant strongman Bull, agile thief the Fly, a Native tracker called "the Indian", vicious pirate Captain Salt, and peerless gunman the Highwayman. They easily capture all the Rangers, including Tomahawk himself, though Tomahawk manages to lead an escape as their execution looms.
- Trading Bars for Stripes: An issue of Tomahawk saw the title character assigned to lead a six-man team of infamous criminals pressed into service for the Continental Army. At first, each plotted to kill Tomahawk and escape (and two of them actually tried it). Three of them died on the ensuing mission, each in such a heroic fashion that the remaining three vowed to be good guys from that point on.
- Weaponized Headgear: Stovepipe kept a small arsenal of weapons, explosives and other items inside his hat.
- Weapon Tombstone: In Tomahawk #106, the Rangers think Tomahawk is killed in an avalanche. They mark his resting place with his tomahawk and coonskin cap.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Miss Liberty was a Revoloutionary War heroine who wore a costume modelled after the Star and Stripes, making her (in-universe) the earliest flag based costumed adventurer.