We’re about to take on the second installment of our Rankin/Bass trilogy with the 1986 animated series, SilverHawks. There are way more characters than I thought possible in this show. Not only are there two teams of title heroes, each of them has their own “weapon-bird,” which is now the first thing I’m putting on my Christmas list.
If you want to see these weapon-birds in action over the course of the show’s 65 episodes, you can pick up the complete series on DVD, split into Volume 1 and Volume 2. If you planned to buy SilverHawks anyway, please consider making your purchase through our referral link since it helps to fund the podcast.
Check out the character guide for SilverHawks below, lifted in its entirety from Wikipedia due to laziness:
- Commander Stargazer (voiced by Bob McFadden) – A tough and grizzled old cop with bionic capabilities, he captured Mon*Star several years ago and had him imprisoned. Older than the other SilverHawks, he longs to return to Earth for either a vacation or for retirement. He chiefly serves as the SilverHawks “eyes and ears”, keeping them apprised of their current situation. His first name is apparently Sinman. Stargazer’s weapon-bird is Sly-bird. In the Silverhawks’ first adventure, Stargazer is depicted as being the original keeper of Tally Hawk, who from the pilot movie onwards was teamed with Quicksilver. His armor is gold, covering the upper left portion of his head as well as his body, and his left eye has been replaced by a telescopic lens. In addition, he dresses as a typical plainclothes police officer (white shirt, loosened necktie, suspenders, slacks).
- Quicksilver (voiced by Peter Newman) – Captain Jonathan Quick was the former head of the Interplanetary Force H, and is the field leader of the SilverHawks. He has a cyborg/bird companion called Tally Hawk. Known for his quick reflexes (and even quicker thinking), Quicksilver is an accomplished tactician and athlete. His armor has the lightest silver-shade.
- Lt. Colonel Bluegrass (voiced by Larry Kenney) – He is second-in-command of the SilverHawks and the chief pilot of the group, as well as a cowboy at heart. He is the only SilverHawk who cannot fly (other than Stargazer), but he is the one that flies the team transport vehicle, “the Mirage”. He likes to use his weapon/instrument (portrayed in the toyline as his weapon-bird with the name Sideman) and his lasso, has an interface with the Miraj’s advanced dynamic piloting system, which he has affectionately dubbed “Hot Licks”. His armor has a blue-silver shade, and he wears a red bandana around his neck along with a cowboy hat.
- Steelheart & Steelwill (voiced by Maggie Wheeler and Bob McFadden) – Sergeants Emily and Will Hart, twin siblings, became Steelheart and Steelwill, respectively, when they joined the SilverHawks. They are the “gearheads” of the team. They share an empathic bond in that when one sibling feels something, the other feels it as well. Physically, they are the strongest members of the Silverhawks team. They are the only SilverHawks who have had real stainless steel hearts implanted during their transformation. Their weapon-birds are Rayzor (for Steelheart) and Stronghold (for Steelwill). Their armors have the same dark steel tone shade.
- The Copper Kidd – He is the youngest member of the SilverHawks, and the only one not a Terran (Earthling). A mathematical genius from the Planet of the Mimes, he “speaks” in mathematically calculated tones and whistles. His skin is azurine except the face that is white (similar to a mime). His armor is copper-colored but the wings have a silver-like appearance that is similar to those of the other winged team members. At the end of each episode, he was quizzed in several astronomy lessons by Bluegrass as training to become the reserve Miraj pilot (sure enough, he was called in to fill Bluegrass’s shoes, albeit infrequently). A natural acrobat, the Copper Kidd has two razor-edged discs (one mounted on each hip) which he throws like Frisbees. His weapon-bird is Mayday.
- Hotwing (voiced by Adolph Caesar in earlier episodes, Doug Preis in later episodes) – A gold Silverhawk of African American heritage who was added in mid-season. He is amagician, and skilled illusionist. He receives his powers from a mystical energy force that ‘chose’ him to bear the powers to fight against injustice. He has to recharge these powers every 14 years, otherwise he will die. One notable time was when Zeek the Beak tricked the mystic force into giving him these powers, which would have resulted in Hotwing’s death. Hotwing has a weapon-bird named Gyro.
- Flashback – A green time-traveling Silverhawk from the far future. When he meets the ‘much older’ Stargazer, who tells him of the fateful day the SilverHawks died, Flashback travels back in time to save them from an exploding sun. He also traveled back in time to stop Hardware from destroying the SilverHawks (when the mad inventor sabotaged the Miraj during the S-Hawks hyperspace-sleep to Hawk-Haven from Earth, which would have caused the autopilot to fly them straight into the sun). Flashback’s weapon-bird isBacklash.
- Moonstryker – A turquoise Silverhawk. He can propel himself through space by a powerful cyclone generated from propellers that emerge from his waist. He is cocky but an expert marksman, as demonstrated when he shot a pen out of Stargazer’s hand when they first met in the episode “Battle Cruiser”. His fighting hawk is Tailspin.
- Condor – An old ally of Commander Stargazer, whom Condor calls “Gaze”. Condor left the Silverhawks to become a private detective before the series, but eventually returned. Instead of wings, he has cybernetic bodyparts similar to Stargazer’s, and also a jetpack. Condor always talks like Humphrey Bogart. His weapon-bird is Jet Stream.
NOTE: Only TallyHawk appeared in almost all of the episodes in the series. All the other “weapon-birds” only appeared in a handful of episodes. Per the episode “The Fighting Hawks”, the Hawks for the Steel Twins were accidentally switched in the toy versions.
- Mon*Star (voiced by Earl Hammond) – The quintillionaire alien mob boss who escaped from his cell, located on Penal Planet 10. He appears as a feline muscular humanoid with dark hair streaked with red over all the body, a voluminous red mane and beard and an eyepatch (with the symbol of a black star) covering his left eye. Utilizing beams from Limbo’s Moonstar, Mon*Star’s body becomes encased on spiked armor-plating as he recites “Moonstar of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!”. In this state, he temporarily regains his left eye with it able to fire the crimson Light Star beam which has various effects, destructive and stunning. Mon*Star rides a giant “space-squid” called Sky-Runner and has a weapon-bird named Sky Shadow. He has some bad blood with Stargazer due to their past conflicts and extends that animosity to the SilverHawks.
- Yes-Man (voiced by Bob McFadden) – Yes-Man is a half-man half-snake creature. He is basically Mon*Star’s all-purpose lackey, thrall, and/or sycophant. As his name suggests, he is notorious for constantly saying “Oh yess, Boss…yess.” Yes-Man once used the powers of the Moonstar alongside Mon*Star, but did not change form. The Moonstar primarily gave him increased mental abilities and ambition. This led to a feud between himself and his boss until the powers faded.
- Hardware (voiced by Bob McFadden) – An extremely intelligent, short but bulky, light purple-skinned creature who carries an over-sized rucksack full of self-engineered weapons and equipment. Hardware has the uniquely honed talent for invention, and can devise devilishly effective machines. Mon*Star considers Hardware his most dangerous minion because of this talent. Hardware’s weapon-bird is Prowler.
- Melodia (voiced by Maggie Wheeler) – A musical mistress who serves as a nemesis and counterpart to the SilverHawks’ Bluegrass. Melodia is usually seen cruising around in the Limbo limo, causing havoc and assorted acts of terror as diversions. Melodia almost always carries a musical synthesizer called a “Sound Smasher” as a weapon. Her usual dressing are an exaggerated costume of a rock-singer: two-shaded green hair; a short black dress; red belt with plug up battery pack for “Sound Smasher”; long red gloves; half dark purple, half light pink tights and; dark blue glasses with a red ‘music note’ frame (in contrast to Bluegrass’ blue ‘music note’ frame). In “Switch”, while both Melodia and Bluegrass were under effect of a gas that temporarily turns good people into bad people and vice-versa, Bluegrass was the one with a red music note frame and Melodia had a blue one. It’s not specifically stated if that was another direct effect of the gas or if the weapons/instruments could be regulated into different colors.
- Windhammer (voiced by Doug Preis) – An eco-terrorist with a huge “blasted” tuning fork that enables him to manipulate or generate destructive weather patterns either on a planet or in space. He is a muscular humanoid with azurine skin, long blonde hair and large elf-like ears.
- Mo-Lec-U-Lar (voiced by Doug Preis) – A molecule-themed shapeshifter whose primary form is a humanoid body composed of many spheres in various copper shades. He is Mon*Star’s master of disguise and leading hitman. Besides shapeshifting, he one time became invisible in order to infiltrate the Silverhawks’ base. His weapon-bird is Volt-ure.
- Mumbo Jumbo (voiced by Peter Newman) – A copper-skinned robotic minotaur who is basically the grunt for the mob, aided by his ability to “bulk up”, growing larger and more muscular, increasing his strength by doing so. He speaks in metallic grunts which his associates seem to understand (though he usually pronounces Mon*Star’s name properly) and appears to be on the low scale of the intellectual spectrum. His signature attack is a quadrupedal charge at an opponent. He is a sworn enemy of Steelheart because of Steelheart’s strength and skill which takes him down easily. Mumbo’s weapon-bird is Airshock.
- Poker-Face (voiced by Larry Kenney) – A robotic member of Mon*Star’s mob who has slot machines for his eyes and carries a cane decorated with playing card suits. He is the owner of the Starship Casino which was run outside of the “Lightyear Limit” and was the extent of the SilverHawks’ jurisdiction. He always charges Mon*Star billions for new inventive ideas against the Silver Hawks.
- Timestopper (voiced by Larry Kenney) – A cocky juvenile delinquent nyctophobe with a chest device that has the ability to suspend all ambient motion and kinetic energy around him (freeze time, as it were) for a minute. He is often in the services of Mon*Star but has no qualms about getting in his way if he isn’t paid for the job. His nyctophobia is most likely from the fact his chest device is light-powered.
- Buzz-Saw – A totally cybernetic (and independently sentient) war machine of a light copper-shade with razor sharp circular saw cutting blades over its body that can be used as projectile weapons. It speaks with a high-pitched metallic voice. His weapon-bird is Shredator.
- Zero the Memory Thief – A long-nosed shady character who steals memories using a cattle prod-like weapon and records them on cassettes. He occasionally did business with Mon*Star’s gang when the opportunity suited him. While he can steal memories, they don’t teach him how to use the memorized data the way his victims know.
- Smiley – A mummified boxer robot that is brought back to life by Poker-Face. He was once stopped by Commander Stargazer. Smiley is the heavyweight champion of Limbo. Pokerface (and then Mon*Star) use a remote control to tell Smiley what he has to do. In the Starship Casino, Smiley defeats easily both Mumbo Jumbo and Buzz-Saw, but later on could not beat the SilverHawks.