Flight Plan

under blood red skies

:: ✠ who is the HAMMER OF H E L L?

Based on the real life Manfred von Richtofen, HANS VON HAMMER is Germany's greatest ace of aces; flying in his red Fokker Dr.1 during The Great War, he defends his country and demonstrates why friend and foe alike deem him "THE HAMMER OF HELL." Hans lives the worst dichotomy imaginable: a soldier who is the epitome of excellence in his field, a " human killing machine," but a man who detests war and savagery, and all it has wrought onto his fellow soldiers and his young pilots, towards whom he took the habit of calling his "fledglings." For him, the code of honor taught to him, paramount to life, is nothing more than a lifeline for him to continue to be human, rather than fall prey to the monster produced by wars. Yet he himself acknowledges the very human emotion of exhilaration brought about by flight and combat with a worthy opponent. It is no wonder then, the "killer skies" are both the space he loves the most and the space he fears the most.

:: ✠ Official Biographies

As far as I know, there are three biographies for Hans. Each one has something different, so I will be listing all three. Right now, the only one missing is the biography from The DC Comics Encyclopedia, which is notable for being the only post-Crisis on Infinite Earths bio.

✠ ✠ ✠ ✠ ✠

(from Who's Who: The Definite Dictionary of the DC Universe issue 7, September 4, 1985)
(Full page coming soon once I get a good scan)

The wraparound cover below comes from preview images of the digital copy. Hans can be found on the back cover of the printed version. Click to enlarge.

Note: I did fix the spelling for 'von' and 'Muller', only because my anal-retentiveness asked for it. (Plus, correct German.)

Personal Data

Full name: Baron Hans von Hammer
Occupation: Fighter Pilot
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Unnamed Father (deceased), Ingrid (sister)
Group Affiliation: Jagdstaffel 17, German Flying Corps
Base of Operations: Germany, circa 1917
First Appearance: OUR ARMY AT WAR #151
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 161 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Auburn


Scion of an aristocratic German family, Hans von Hammer was one of the first to enlist in his country's service during the early days of the First World War. While a cadet at flight training school, von Hammer was provoked into a duel of honor by fellow cadet Heinrich Müller, and received a permanent scar across his left cheek. Graduating from flight school with honors, von Hammer quickly became Rittmeister of his own Jagdstaffel (or hunting squadron) 17.

An exceptional flyer, with an unparalleled 70+ kills to his record during the course of his career, von Hammer was also a man with a rigid code of morals and honor learned from his father, and he would frequently refuse to shoot an unarmed or wounded foe, feeling that would be murder, not combat.

A loner by nature, von Hammer spent much of his free time wandering the nearby Black Forest, often in the company of a silent black wolf that von Hammer considered a kindred spirit and his only true friend.

Believing that "the sky is the killer of us all," Hans von Hammer fought with courage and ingenuity. Though it has not been officially documented, it is believed that von Hammer did not survive the final days of the First World War, becoming yet another victim of those killer skies.

Powers & Weapons

A highly skilled athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, Hans von Hammer was also an expert with pistol and sword, though his greatest weapon was his crimson Fokker DR.-1 Triplane with its twin Spandau machine guns. Von Hammer was perhaps the finest pilot of his time, with uncanny reflexes and instincts, and an almost inhuman ability to anticipate the actions of his adversaries in the air.

HANS VON HAMMER (from Men of War issue 2, September 1977)
(Full page coming soon once I get a good scan)

The cover below comes from the Grand Comics Database.

Note: I did fix the spelling for 'von' and 'Muller', only because my anal-retentiveness asked for it. (Plus, correct German.)


NAME: HANS VON HAMMER (code name: "The Hammer of Hell")


Through the reports from our espionage agents are rather sketchy on this enemy, the information that we have indicates that he is a particularly dangerous foe. He has incredible skill in piloting the German fighter planes. His special favorite is a crimson Fokker DR 1, a tri-plane with a 110 horsepower oberusel motor and twin spandau machine guns. The three wings give it unequalled manueverability in air-fighting, and with his skilled handling, the machine is highly deadly to opposing planes. This is also the plane favored by another German top ace, Manfred von Richtofen, the so-called "Red Baron."

Von Hammer comes from a long line of distinguished forebears, whose ancestral home is located near the German Black Forest. At an early age, his father set about to instill in him a sense of his heritage as a gentleman of honor. (Refer to the accompanying psychological report.) He was taught the tradition of personal combat, and became both a highly-skilled marksman and an excellent swordsman. He is known to have fought many fencing bouts with the best swordsmen of Germany, and acquitted himself notably. In his early days at flight training, he made an enemy of another trainee by the name of Heinrich Müller. Müller challenged von Hammer to a fencing duel, and gave the ace an identifying scar on the left cheek.


We do not have an accurate count of the number of planes that von Hammer has shot down. He is known to have downed at least 53 planes, and experts estimate that his actual total is nearer 70 planes.

Several top ace fighters have flown against him with no success. The Canadian Ace, "The Hunter" was one of the first to go down before the German Ace. Though some held high hopes for his victory over von Hammer, the enemy proved even more skilled at combat flying than the Canadian.

The famous French Ace, Count Andre de Sevigne, known as "The Hangman" because of the hood he wore to cover his scarred face, had the best record against von Hammer. The two sparred several times with no decisive victor, until both planes were forced to land, and "The Hangman" took the "Hammer of Hell" a prisoner. Unfortunately, the German Ace managed to escape, and later killed "The Hangman" in an aerial duel.

The Enemy Ace also battled the famous English flier known as "St. George," who chose his colorful name because of his intention to rid England of its enemies. Our reports indicate that this battle was finished with swords after both planes landed near an old castle. The German proved the superior swordsman, as his training record would indicate.


Because of his upbringing as a gentleman, Hans von hammer is ingrained with a strong code of personal honor. It is reported that his father often told him (here translated into English), "Before land...before fortune...before victory...comes HONOR!"

This sense of honor is perhaps the single most important aspect of the German Ace's personality. He is known to salute his victims after he defeats them, and to honor those whom he feels are worthy opponents.

Outwardly, von Hammer projects a cold, uncaring attitude. Indeed, his men term him "a human killing machine." Though he does possess the killer instinct, or he would not be such a successful fighter-pilot, he does not enjoy killing, and indeed dislikes it. From information gained during the time he was a prisoner of the French Ace "The Hangman", we learn that he fights only out of a sense of duty to his country. He is not a cruel butcher, as some propaganda reports have made him out to be, but a sensitive, feeling man, genuinely concerned with the loss of life brought about in war. We have the report from the sister of "The Hangman" who once challenged The German to an aerial battle to avenge her brother's death. Von Hammer not only refused to slay her when he had the chance, he even saved her life when her plane was in danger of crashing.

It is also reported that at one time the Enemy Ace carried a small puppy with him on flights, until the dog was jarred from the plane in a battle, and fell to its death.

Von Hammer is also said to be seen often in the woods with a wild wolf that has become his friend. Whether this is true or not, it is known that the German has very few close human friends, and is very much of a loner. He is withdrawn and close in his personal life. Though revered in his native Germany, he is also held in awe and feared as "the Angel of Death" by many who have met him.


Hans von Hammer, the Enemy Ace, is a deadly foe, and it is advised that any of our pilots who encounter him use extreme caution.

Additional Details
Notes from across other stories and real life details.

The following are details that other creators have given to Hans. You can consider them canon or not, it's all up to you. I will be adding some personal thoughts, however, and of course, it's up to you whether you agree or not.

Coming soon, oops, because it's taking me a while to properly organize these. But expect notes about things such as Hans' actual aristocratic title, Prussia, Bavaria, and...math! Because nobody ever thinks about proper math in comics. (And I'm not even a math nerd!)

That said, have this for now. I think it's funny lol


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ENEMY ACE belongs to Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert, with further copyright to DC Comics. All stories and images belong to their respective creators, as listed in their respective sections, no ifs, ands or buts. Unless noted, all write-ups (C) NAAN.
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