|First appearance||The Brave and the Bold #34 (February/March 1961)|
|Created by||Gardner Fox |
Byth Rok is a DC Comics supervillain who is the archenemy of the Silver Age Hawkman. He was created by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert, and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #34 (February/March 1961), titled "Creature of a Thousand Shapes".
Fictional character biography
On the alien planet Thanagar, a scientist named Krotan developed a pill that would empower the mind to control the molecular formation of the body. Just as he was about to swallow it, a thief named Byth assaulted him and swallowed the pill. Byth first transformed into a bird and left (via spaceship) to commit crimes on other planets. Katar Hol and his wife, Shayera, tracked his rocket to Earth.
For many years, Byth would escape on several occasions only to be captured again by Hawkman and Hawkwoman.
In the Hawkworld mini-series, Byth is a corrupt Wingman commander and Katar Hol's superior. He manipulated a drug-induced Katar into killing his father, aiding his rise to power. Now Administrator of Protection, he gains his shape-shifting powers from a new drug called Krotan. Katar Hol, with the help of Shayera Thal, uncover his schemes and Byth escapes arrest. He flees to Earth and runs some criminal operations in Chicago. He supplied Carl Sands with a shadow generator. He is later captured, and returned to Thanagar.
Byth was apparently defeated for good by the then recently resurrected Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Lord Byth is shown to be responsible for the creation of Ultra the Multi-Alien where he had combined the DNA of the alien prisoners in order to make Ultra the Multi-Alien the Slayer of Worlds.
Powers and abilities
Byth Rok is considered by many to be the greatest thief on all of Thanagar.
After consuming the Changeling Pill (or Krotan), Byth has the ability to shape-change into any other person or animal at will, whether they were indigenous to Thanagar or originated on an alien world (including Earth). There appears to be no physical restriction in terms of mass or volume when it comes to Byth's shape-shifting talents.
In other media
- Byth appears in Green Lantern: The Animated Series episode "Flight Club", voiced by Tom Kenny. He is the leader of a band of Thanagarian outlaws being interred in an intergalactic prison. So far, Byth doesn't have shape shifting powers.
- Byth appears in issue #9 of comic book series The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Batman and Hawkman teamed-up to defeat him and return him to Thanagar, awaiting trial.