Real Name: Alan Laurel
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Affiliations: Margaret Silver, Round Table of America
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Red Roc, Microbe
Base of Operations: Circle City
First Appearance: Big Bang #12
Powers/Abilities: Permanently shrunk to 6" tall, but can shrink smaller by using the bands on his uniform. His helmet allows him to communicate telepathically with some species of bird. Able to fly. Later learned how to grow, and took on the identity of the Red Roc.
History: Earth A, the early 1960's. In the woods outside Circle City, Alan Laurel, a newly qualified ornithologist, was on a hike with his friend Margaret Silver, an ambitious young reporter. They were looking for a new breed of hummingbird reported seen in the area. Not for the first time, Alan declared his love for Margaret, but she reminded him that she thought of him only as a good friend and that she was saving her love "for a stalwart hero". Their discussion was interrupted by the shocking sight of Circle City's mayor being escorted through the woods by two sinister looking men. Even more shocking was when the men removed their human disguises, revealing themselves as aliens in bird like uniforms, who then activated a shrinking ray device that reduced them and the mayor to only 6" in height. They led the mayor into a tiny hidden spaceship. Realising that the aliens were the source of the "hummingbird" sightings, Alan and Margaret used the shrinking ray on themselves.
Disguised in captured guards uniforms, the couple discovered the alien plot when they saw the mayor being hypnotised. It was standard procedure for the alien Kr'wallian to capture and brainwash leaders before invading a world, so that those leaders would order their forces to surrender at once. Alan freed the mayor with some old fashioned fiticuffs. Using the ray to restore Margaret and the mayor to normal size, he sent them back to Circle City to raise the alarm, while he kept the Kr'Wellian at bay. Unfortunately, he hadto destroy the shrink ray to prevent the aliens from using it, trapping himself at 6".
While fighting the furious aliens single handed, Alan discoverd that he could temporarily shrink even smaller by touching the uniform's wristbands together. Moreover, the mask let him "communicate telepathically with certain birds". Help arrivedjust ast the aliens were ordered to withdraw - the invasion had been called off, but Alan's courage had earned him the respect of the Kr'Wallians. Alan had also earned the love of Margaret, becoming her "stalwart hero" at last. His situation making a secret identity impractical, Alan made the best of it, deciding to become the heroic Hummingbird, eventually becoming a charter member of the Round Table of America.
Comments: The Hummingbird first appeared in BIG BANG # 12 in a cameo apperance with the RTA. His origin was revealed in BB # 19. A text feature in BB 27 explains that he eventually found how to become normal sized, then giant sized (as the Red Roc, though he was too heavy to fly) and briefly assumed the identity of The Microbe.
Another text feature in BB # 27 explains that there was a similar hero on Earth B in the 1940's - The Mighty Hummingbird. He was Lester Manley (or Manson) a naturally strong farm labourer who accidently prevented an alein invasion, capturing an alien "hover harness" in the process. He promptly headed for the big city to become a superhero and join the Knights of Justice. However, this hero has yet to appear in an actual story.
The Hummingbird is a clever amalgam of the silver age Atom and Hawkman, with dashes of Dollman, Marvel Comics Henry Pym (Ant-Man: Giant-Man: Goliath: Yellowjacket) and even the TV show "Land of the Giants" (he fights off the aliens with a pencil). The Mighty Hummingbird is basically a strongman, not unlike the golden age Atom.
All information on this page kindly supplied by Chris Adams.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Hummingbird, member of the Honor Guard
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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