b Being “stronger” doesn’t mean a character is the most powerful in terms of physical attributes; rather, it is about being the complete package of mental strength, fighting skill, and knowing when to make the right decisions.
Considering this definition of “strong”, one would have a valid argument in claiming that Hawkgirl is the strongest member of the Justice League. Bear in mind, in this list we’re considering all versions of Hawkgirl (with DCAU’s Shayera Hol having most consideration), with her powers and abilities only being part of the argument, not being the deciding factor.
10 Thanagarian Army Back-Up
In the DCAU, the Thanagarian army was made up of expert strategists, who were biding their time before they could launch a full-scale assault on Earth. They succeeded too, as the army quickly overwhelmed Earth’s forces.
Being a lieutenant within this army, Hawkgirl was among the topmost powerful members. She was easily capable of taking out multiple Thanagarian soldiers on her own; considering this army managed to top the Justice League, it’s a testament to how strong Hawkgirl really was. Even without the army, Hawkgirl was seen fighting and winning against four members of the Green Lanterns Corps.
9 Nth Metal Control
Those native to Thanagar have access to Nth metal, an isotope of iron that has wondrous qualities. Those who make use of Nth metal develop powers like super strength and resistance to temperature increases and drops.
On top of that, controlling Nth metal brings with it the ability to defy gravity, which means the user can use an Nth metal substance to fly, among other things. Hawkgirl has been trained with Nth metal since her youth, making her well-versed in controlling this material and understanding the great benefits that come along with it.
8 Communication With Winged Creatures
You never know where you might need to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language, and Hawkgirl is more than prepared for this. The Thanagarians have a device called the Absorbascon, which is a tool they use to learn the Earth’s languages.
Along with Hawkgirl speaking most of the languages humans have devised, she is also capable of communicating with birds. This is more important than you’d realize since talking to birds would pretty much give Hawkgirl knowledge of most of her surroundings and the situation of places far away.
7 Strategic Mind
How did Hawkgirl manage to bring the army of Thanagar to Earth in the first place? She put up a whole charade of being an ambassador of Thanagar to gain the humans’ trust. This was done despite the Justice League having mind readers like J’onn, and technical masters like Batman.
It was because of this act that Earth was caught completely unawares, which allowed the Thanagarians to conduct their plans and successfully capture the planet. In a later episode of Justice League Unlimited, Aquaman mentioned that Hawkgirl regularly defeated Batman in chess, which probably should have been a clue as to how superior her strategic skill was.
6 Fierce Personality And Making The Hard Choices
If you think about it, none of the DCAU version of the Justice League had it in them to make the hard choices - not even Batman, who refused to kill. It was only Hawkgirl who was the exception here, as she would tap into her innate ferocity to achieve her mission.
However, this ferocity wasn’t misplaced either, as Hawkgirl turned on her own Thanagarian people when she realized they planned to destroy Earth; this led to her once again making the hard decision and dooming her own race for the good of humans. It is this fierceness that the Justice League needed to face the toughest of moments.
5 Knowledge Of Former Lives
The criteria for which characters can have a previous life is rather wonky to say the least, as Justice League Unlimited showed that even the Green Lantern John Stewart had a past life. Regardless, Thanagarians have the added advantage of remembering their previous lives.
This also brings with it the ability to recall all the former lifetimes’ worth of combat experience, meaning that Hawkgirl could have potentially centuries of memories that she can utilize for her match-ups. With so many potential opponents she must have faced, there’s no telling how much Hawkgirl must have also learned along the way.
4 Softer Side
The anger for which Hawkgirl is famous for is supplemented by a softer disposition that comes out in the best of times. This was best seen in her friendship with Solomon Grundy, someone whom no-one gave a chance to show off his disappeared humanity other than Hawkgirl.
It was because of Hawkgirl’s compassion that she had the will to defeat the Solomon Grundy who was cursed with chaos magic, whom not even AMAZO had been able to kill. Due to her attachment with the Flash, Hawkgirl managed to reach out to him before he was permanently stuck in the speed force; had she not done so, then Flash would have been gone forever.
3 Multi-Weapon Expertise
It’s strange to consider, but the core Justice League members hardly ever make use of a diverse set of weapons. While Hawkgirl’s mace is her most well-known tool, she is, in fact, a master of melee combat, to the point where her experience might be the greatest from the Justice League.
Falling within the arsenal of weapons that Hawkgirl has experience with are swords, axes, shields, and she even has experience with gunfighting. Due to her innate ability to remember all her experiences, once she’s mastered fighting with any particular weapon, that mastery will remain with her for her future incarnations as well. Who knows, maybe in time Hawkgirl might be a master with every kind of weapon that’s ever been made.
2 Nth Metal Durability
The gifts bestowed by Nth metal continue here, as the substance awards Hawkgirl with enhanced durability. This level of endurance has been shown to surpass those of Superman and Wonder Woman as well at times, with the best example being when the Justice Lords electrocuted all of the Justice League, with only Hawkgirl left standing tall.
It was the mace that allowed her to absorb the punishment being doled out on her and then deflect it back. With the mace in tow, Hawkgirl can take greater levels of attacks, as the Nth metal gives her a regeneration ability that makes wounds only a matter of temporary worry.
1 Resistance To Magic
Easily the biggest factor in Hawkgirl’s survivability is the fact that she’s resistant to magic. The Nth metal plays its part here too, as Hawkgirl’s mace empowers her against magical attacks, meaning she can’t go down to any spellcasting.
We saw this best in Hawkgirl’s fight with Doctor Fate, where she no-sold each and every one of the former’s offensive maneuvers. The most powerful members of the league in Superman and Martian Manhunter have fallen prey to magic-based attacks, but Hawkgirl swings her mace at them with her victory record standing perfect in this regard.