Hawk (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
Hawk toy
Created by

Voiced by

Ed Gilbert (Sunbow and DiC's Season One)
David Kaye (DiC's Season Two and Sgt. Savage and His Screaming Eagles)
Phil Hayes (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom)
Anthony Salerno (Sigma Six)
Lee Majors (Renegades)
Species Human
Nationality United States
File name

Abernathy, Clayton M.

G.I. Joe, Star Brigade
Primary specialty

Artillery, Strategic Command Operations, Ranger
Secondary specialty

Radar, Military Intelligence (G-2)

Hawk (later General Hawk or The Tomahawk) is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and cartoon series. He is one of the original members of the G.I. Joe Team, and debuted in 1982. Hawk is portrayed by Dennis Quaid in the 2009 live-action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.


Hawk's real name is Clayton M. Abernathy, and he was born in Denver, Colorado. His primary military specialty is strategic command operations and his secondary military specialties are ranger, artillery, intelligence and radar. His original rank was that of colonel. He was later promoted to brigadier general and then major general.

Hawk is the original field commander of the G.I. Joe Team. According to his 1982 file card, he comes from a wealthy family, whose influence enabled him to enroll in West Point. He graduated at the top of his class. He also graduated from Advanced Infantry Training and Covert Ops School, and served on the fictional North Atlantic Range Command and USA ENG COM EVR Missile & Radar Training.[1][2] Hawk is a qualified expert in the use of the M16 rifle and M-1911A1 automatic pistol.[3]

As a colonel, Hawk served under General Lawrence Flagg, and was responsible for recruiting most of the team's early members, including Stalker and Snake Eyes. After General Flagg was killed in action and his successor General Austin retired from active duty, Hawk assumed full command of the G.I. Joe Team.[4]

In the Devil's Due Publishing version of the G.I. Joe comics, General Hawk was instrumental in the reinstatement of the G.I. Joe team after it was temporarily disbanded. This was due to his involvement with "The Jugglers", a top-secret group of generals who had frequently interfered with the team's operations. Hawk was able to undermine corruption from within by keeping tabs on them, and blackmailed them into immediately reinstating the team once evidence was presented that Cobra was again operating on domestic soil.[4]


Hawk was part of the first wave of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero action figures that were released in 1982, packaged with the Mobile Missile System playset.[5] Although he held the rank of colonel and his file card has flattering statements about his leadership abilities, his job description was "Missile Commander",[6] though in the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series he was G.I. Joe team's field commander. All of the original sixteen figures from 1982 were released with "straight arms". The same figure was re-released in 1983 with "swivel-arm battle grip", which made it easier for figures to hold their rifles and accessories.[7]

In 1986, Hasbro released a new Hawk action figure who carried the rank of brigadier general.[8][9] Concurrent with that, he became overall commander in both the comics and the Sunbow cartoon following the death of General Flagg in the comics. A new action figure was released in 1991, with the name changed from "Hawk" to "General Hawk".[10][11] General Hawk was also released in 1991 as part of the "Talking Battle Commanders" line.[12][13] In 1993, two new versions of General Hawk were released as part of the Star Brigade line.[14][15]

When new G.I. Joe action figures based on the ARAH line were released in 2000, Hasbro could no longer release the character with the name "Hawk" attached. They had failed to renew their trademark claim to the name and he had to be released as "General Tomahawk", with the rank of major general. His name changed further in 2004, to "General Abernathy", and then to "G.I. Joe Hawk" in 2008.

Comic books

Marvel Comics series

Hawk first appeared in the Marvel Comics series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (June 1982) as the field commander of the G.I. Joe team.[16] Hawk served under General Lawrence J. Flagg, the overall commanding officer for the team. Hawk, who was a colonel, had been responsible for recruiting many of the original members of the team,Template:Issue and he often led missions personally. In one instance, he and Grunt went undercover to infiltrate an illegal militia run by a man named Vance Wingfield.[17] In one mission on the outskirts of Washington D.C., Hawk is shot point-blank in the back by Cobra Commander and left to die, but lives due to a bulletproof vest.[18]

After the death of General Flagg,[19] Hawk assumed command of the G.I. Joe team.[20] Operations at the Pit (the team's headquarters) kept him busy and he relegated field command to a new character, Duke. Duke had just saved the lives of Hawk and other team members by assisting in shooting down an attacking plane.[21] Eventually, Hawk was promoted to general.Template:Issue

The Joe team then invaded the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield. However, the only real evidence they gained of Cobra was some of their weaponry on the airfield.[22] This was not enough to convince Hawk's superior officers that the assault had been necessary and the team was in danger of being shut down. Hawk met with three high-ranking military officers deep in the otherwise empty Pit, and the facility was attacked by robotic Cobra soldiers known as Battle Android Troopers. Two of the generals were killed but the survivor, Hollingsworth, put all his influence behind Hawk and the team was reinstated.[23]

Hawk led the team through the first Cobra civil war, which took place on Cobra Island. During the conflict, he was involved in a fist-fight with the Dreadnok Buzzer atop the Thunder Machine.[24] Upon returning from this mission, most of the Joes are arrested as a way to 'blame' them for the unclear victory of the entire situation. General Hawk and General Hollingsworth were kept prisoner in a small hospital, under guard by government agents. They are commanded by another general who considers killing the two. The few freed Joes team up with allies and mount a rescue. It goes badly, with a running firefight in the corridors and the general attempting to assassinate Hawk with a grenade. Only a hastily used mattress saves Hawk and Hollingsworth. However, Destro, who had been monitoring the situation, finds the lack of respect for his enemy intolerable. He neutralizes the entire situation by breaking into the very hospital the Joes had and revealing to everyone various illegal dealings the general in question had conducted.[25]

Hawk led the team in the catastrophic Battle of Benzheen. Many Joes are executed while in Cobra custody. A bombing run kills all but one member of Battleforce 2000. Sneak-Peek and Cool-Breeze die in separate firefights.[26]

Hawk's final act as G.I. Joe commander was to oversee the ceremony of the closing of the Pit when the Joes were decommissioned at the cancellation of the series.[27]

Comics - Alternate Continuities

G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: Marvel

In the original alternate continuity series, the Joes come into conflict with the Transformers and Cobra over a mobile power station that could increase energy reserves for anyone who takes control over it. Notably, Hawk strikes up a brief romantic relationship with a U.S. Senator. This ends badly when the politician, disgraced by scandal, is murdered. The Baroness is nearby at this moment.[28]

Devil's Due Series

When Cobra returned a few years later, he lobbied for the re-reinstatement of the G.I. Joe team. He was successful in getting the team reinstated, however he did not re-assume full command. The leadership responsibility was passed onto Duke while Hawk took on a more advisory role, and also devoted time keeping an eye on the Jugglers, a cabal of generals with an agenda of their own. He also mentions that several younger officers have nicknamed him 'General Tomahawk'.[29]

When the Joe team managed to capture Destro, one of Cobra's high-ranking officers, Destro offered to help them capture Cobra Commander in exchange for his freedom. A plan was put into effect, and Cobra attacked to rescue Destro. During the action, Hawk was shot in the waist by Cobra Commander, who was in turn shot by the Baroness and captured. Hawk lapsed into a coma in which he had a dream where he was finally retiring and settling down with his wife Carolee, who in reality was long dead. He then visited Cobra Commander in prison and the two argued before Cobra Commander moved from the shadows to reveal Hawk's face. When Hawk woke up for real he learned the bullet that hit him was lodged within his spine and had left him paralyzed below the waist.[30] This experience made him a bit crazed, intensifying his hatred for Cobra Commander. Unknown to Hawk, it was not Cobra Commander that shot him, for Zartan had switched places with the Commander shortly before the incident.

Devil's Due: America's Elite

In the G.I. Joe: America's Elite series, Hawk underwent physiotherapy, and was scarcely seen. General Joseph Colton (the original G. I. Joe) assumed command of the Joe team, at the President's request. Hawk was still obsessed with the capture of Cobra Commander, who had not been seen since Cobra's defeat a year earlier, and he sent the tracker Spirit to search the world for Cobra Commander. Spirit managed to locate Cobra Commander, but was captured.[31] Spirit was later found and rescued, and he revealed his findings to Hawk and the rest of the team. Hawk eventually returned to the team in an advisory role, after Snake Eyes was brought back from the dead. Hawk was a member of the team when they were attacked by Phoenix Guard, as well as during the World War III event.

At the end of the series Hawk, using Velocity's jet pack, finally takes down a fleeing Cobra Commander, after the Commander shoots General Colton in the back. Hawk and Colton are later asked by the President to continue leading the G.I. Joe team, as it is fully reactivated. Hawk later visits Cobra Commander in his top secret underwater prison where the two exchange words. Cobra Commander tells Hawk that when war breaks out again Hawk will have him to thank for it, to which Hawk responds, "Maybe, Commander. But understand this: no matter what happens...you won't be taking part in any of it."[32]

G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers

This series as of 2007 is composed of four mini-series that chronicle a new origin to the G.I. Joe team through the discovery of the Transformers by the new terrorist organization, Cobra. This series is published by Devil's Due.

Hawk is the commander of a group of U. S. Army soldiers (including Stalker and Snake Eyes) assigned to protect a peace conference in Washington D.C., when they find themselves under attack by unknown forces using high-tech military-grade equipment. Some of this equipment transforms into high-tech robots.

After the attack, Hawk is made the leader of G.I. Joe, a special unit assembled for the purpose of taking down this organization, identifying itself as Cobra. G.I. Joe would learn the truth about Cobra both from Mercer, a defector, and Wheeljack and Bumblebee, two alien robots who avoided being found when their ship was discovered by Cobra, and decided to throw their lot in with the Joes. With the help of an encrypted signal sent by one of the enslaved robots, the Joes discovered the location of Cobra's hidden island base. As the Joes were preparing for an assault on the island, Hawk received orders to subdue the two alien robots that had allied with them, and take them to Area 51 for study while the Cobra base was nuked. When Wheeljack warned Hawk about the catastrophic reaction of the Energon Cobra was trying to stockpile with a nuclear explosion, he defied his orders and went with their original invasion plan.

G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: Art of War (Vol 3)

Hawk is commander of the team stationed to protect a secret military base in Area 51. He is working with the Autobots to remove the remainder of Cybertronian technology from Earth, but later finds that the U.S. Military was secretly bioengineering a Super Soldier, Serpent O.R. from the remains of Megatron, the fallen Decepticon leader and the genetic make-up of history's greatest military leaders. Hawk is part of the team that goes to Cyberton and is captured by the Decepticons. In the final battle, Hawk uses the Matrix and becomes connected to it.

G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: Black Horizon (Vol 4)

Hawk left the G.I. Joe team after allegations of the events that occurred in Area 51, which have branded him a traitor. He is still connected to the Matrix and is troubled each night by a specific nightmare. This nightmare shows a future in which all humanity is destroyed. During an interview, Hawk is summoned by the Autobots, whom he is secretly working for, because they have discovered an ancient race in the Himalayan Mountains. Hawk calls in the aid of Flint and goes with Optimus Prime to investigate. There they encounter Bludgeon and Cobra-La. As they are making a run for it, Prime is attacked by Bludgeon. Hawk uses his connection to the Matrix and uploads energon energy to Bludgeon that temporarily knocks him out. As they continue to escape, they find they are trapped, until they meet Joseph Colton, who knows of Hawk.

Colton leads them further inside and after a few battles with the Honor Guard of Cobra-La, the Joes put together a plan to save the day. Flint goes into space with spores designed to destroy technology, while Colton, Hawk, and Optimus Prime go to rescue Firewall and stop Cobra-La. Hawk faces off against Golobulus much like Falcon did in the original movie, but is aided instead by Optimus Prime.

As the series ends, Hawk is seen again with the woman he once left, trying to put his life back together.

Fun Publications

In the mirror universe created by Fun Publications, Hawk's counterpart is Vice President Clayton "Clay" Abernathy, serving in the administration of U.S. President Joe Colton. In the story Eye in the Sky, Clay advised the president during the loss of control of an orbital defense satellite to the evil alien robots called the Decepticons, and its eventual destruction thanks to the efforts of the heroic Autobots.[33]

A version of Hawk is also among the members of The Convoy, a group of leaders from various realities united by the Transtech in order to deal with various threats,



In the Sunbow G.I. Joe cartoon, General Hawk (voiced by Ed Gilbert) was brought in to lead the G.I. Joe team. His first appearance is in the second season premiere episode "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" Pt. 1. His first task is to have Sgt. Slaughter retrain the Joe team, after a humiliating battle against Cobra forces. At the time when Serpentor had invaded Washington DC, General Hawk disguised himself as the President to lead a surprise attack on Cobra.[34] There was no on-screen explanation as to when Hawk became the leader. However, according to Buzz Dixon in an interview for G.I. Joe: Yearbook #2, Hawk "has never been seen before because he was in Washington with the Joint Chiefs of Staff". In "Not A Ghost Of A Chance", it was further revealed that Hawk was also the founder of the G.I. Joe team.[35]

G.I. Joe: The Movie

Hawk also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.[36] After Serpentor is freed by the Dreadnoks, General Hawk scolds Lt. Falcon for abandoning his post which led to Serpentor escaping and the Dreadnoks' new allies injuring three G.I. Joe members in the process. General Hawk ends up condemning Lt. Falcon to quarters till court martial and orders Low-Light and Scarlett to get Lt. Falcon out of his sight. At the court martial, General Hawk brings up the charges against Lt. Falcon which involved the incidents involving Serpentor's escape and not being present with the other Rawhides in Beachhead's training exercise. Duke pleads to General Hawk to not inflict a harsh punishment on Lt. Falcon and to have one done that would unlock his inner G. I. Joe. Upon discussing this with the other four generals, General Hawk decides to have Lt. Falcon reassigned to the Slaughterhouse. After Duke was wounded when protecting Lt Falcon from Serpentor's attack, General Hawk comforts Lt. Falcon and orders him and the other Rawhides to stay behind while the rest of the Joes end up assaulting Cobra-La.

DiC series

In DiC Entertainment's G.I. Joe series, General Hawk (reprised by Ed Gilbert in Season One, voiced by David Kaye in Season Two)[37] continues his leadership of G.I. Joe in the fight against Cobra. In the first season, he is seen wearing his flight suit and using his jetpack, to coincide with the release of his new figure. In the second season, Hawk appeared more frequently, and wore the same uniform as that of his Talking Battle Commanders figure.

Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles

General Hawk appeared in Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles where he was voiced by David Kaye. General Hawk leaves Savage in charge of a group of talented but irresponsible sergeants facing court martial. Savage quickly whips them into shape.

G.I. Joe Extreme

General Hawk appeared in the G.I. Joe Extreme series, where he is again voiced by David Kaye.

Valor vs. Venom

Hawk appeared in the direct-to-video CGI animated movie G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, voiced by Phil Hayes. In this continuity, Hawk was abducted by Cobra, and was mutated and brainwashed into Venomous Maximus, who collaborated with Overkill to take over.

Sigma 6

In G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, Hawk serves as a mentor to Duke. By the time Sigma 6 started, Hawk was still recuperating from the events of G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, and an antidote had returned Hawk to his old self. Here, it was revealed he had a teenage son named Scott who is an expert with computers. He also was afraid that Cobra might become too strong for the Joes alone and commissioned Lt. Stone to create a new Sub Base and several new vehicles that are revealed in the opening of Season 2. Hawk was not seen again after Season 1.


General Abernathy has appeared in the Hasbro TV-produced series G.I. Joe: Renegades voiced by Lee Majors. In this show, General Abernathy is depicted as being bald and wearing an eye patch. General Abernathy is a full general in the US Military who doesn't trust Cobra Industries. When he got a call from Scarlett about what she learned, General Abernathy tells her that her team made the front news. When Duke claims they were set up, General Abernathy tells them to turn themselves in, because unless they have proof of their innocence, he can't help them. When General Abernathy asks Baroness if she needs help quarantining the nearby town, Baroness says that the military has done enough. General Abernathy then appointed Flint to lead a team of military officers to bring Duke's team in. In "Revelations" Pt. 2, General Abernathy was with the Falcons when the Joes and Professor Patrick O'Hara turn themselves in with the proof that General Abernathy wanted. General Abernathy then plans to have a debriefing as he shows the group that Breaker is officially working for both of them.

Live-action movie

Template:Infobox G.I. Joe character

Dennis Quaid portrays Hawk in the 2009 live-action film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In the film he is injured by Storm Shadow and has to use a wheelchair for a time. By the end of the film he has healed from his injuries and is walking unaided. Cover Girl was his aide-de-camp until she was murdered by Zartan.


Hawk is featured as a playable character in the 1991 Nintendo video game G.I. Joe. His appearance is based on the 1991 edition of his action figure.[38] Hawk is also featured as a playable character in the 1992 game G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor.[39]

General Hawk appears as a non-playable supporting character in the video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, voiced by Josh Robert Thompson.

Other works

Hawk has a brief mention in the non-fiction novel 'Paradise Of Bombs'.[40]

Hawk's figure is briefly featured in the non fiction novel 6 Sick Hipsters. In the story, the character Paul Achting spent four years collecting G.I. Joe figures to set up a battle scene between the Joes and Cobra. As he imagined the characters in his head, he described four of the Joes on front lines of the battle: Hawk, Leatherneck, Wet Suit, and Sci-Fi "stood in procession, weapons raised, adrenaline pumping feverishly. Anxious for another victory over the dreaded Cobra." He described how Hawk, "the original field commander, was now a general. This battle would be the one that defined his military career. The one that make or break him."[41]


  1. "Hawk (v1) G.I. Joe Action Figure - YoJoe Archive". yojoe.com. http://www.yojoe.com/action/82/hawk.shtml. Retrieved 2015-08-22. 
  2. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  3. Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie. ed. G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 58. ISBN 0-87135-288-5. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wherle, Scott (2002). G.I. Joe: Battle Files #1. Devil's Due Publishing. p. 11. 
  5. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  6. "Hawk's v1 filecard". http://www.yojoe.com/filecard/82/hawk.shtml. 
  7. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  8. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  9. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 107. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  10. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  11. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 133. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  12. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  13. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 139. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  14. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  15. Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  16. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (June 1982)
  17. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #4 (Sept. 1982)
  18. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #15-16 (Nov-Oct 1983)
  19. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #19
  20. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #33
  21. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #22 (April 1984)
  22. G.I. Joe:A Real American Hero #49-50
  23. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #53
  24. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #74-76
  25. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #77-78 (Oct 1988)
  26. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #109-113
  27. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #155
  28. G.I. Joe And The Transformers #1-4 (Jan.-April 1987)
  29. "G.I. Joe: A Great American Hero" Vol1 #1 (2001)
  30. G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero vol 1 #33 (August 2004)
  31. G.I. Joe: America's Elite: Hunt for Cobra Commander Special - "The Hunt for Cobra Commander" - Cover Date: May 2005 - ©Devil's Due Publishing
  32. G.I. Joe: America's Elite issue #36 - "World War III Part 12 of 12: Hell" - Cover Date: June 2008 - ©Devil's Due Publishing - Writer: Mark Powers, Pencilers: Mike Bear/Pat Quinn/Mike Shoykey, Color Art: Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Letterer: Crank!, Military Advisor: Phil Kost, Editor (Unknown Soldier): Mike O'Sullivan, Cover: Michael Golden & Jean-Francois Beaulieu, Cover B by Herb Trimpe & Wes Dzidba
  33. S. Trent Troop and Greg Sepelak (2008). Eye in the Sky. Illustrator Tom Whalen. Fun Publications. 
  34. "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  35. "Not a Ghost of a Chance". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  36. {{#invoke:Citation/CS1 | citation |CitationClass=audio-visual }}
  37. "The Voices of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989, Animated Series) - Voice Cast Listing at Voice Chasers". Voicechasers.com. 1989-09-02. http://voicechasers.com/database/showprod.php?prodid=4404. Retrieved 2014-03-30. 
  38. G.I. Joe game review Mania.com
  39. Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor for the NES". YoJoe.com. http://www.yojoe.com/archive/games/atlantis.shtml. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  40. Sanders, Scott (1993). The Paradise of Bombs. Beacon Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8070-6343-9. 
  41. Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp.. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1. 

External links

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