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A soldier from the planet Thanagar, Paran Katar was sent to Earth in 1939 to find out whether it was a fitting target for an invasion. Taking the alias of "Perry Carter", the spy soon dropped his initial mission as he befriended Earthlings Carter Hall and Shiera Sanders. Like Hall, Paran conducted experiments to master gravity. Combining their results while also mixing them with the magic of a Thanagarian Hawk-God, Paran rediscovered the ancient Thanagarian nth metal, and secretly substituted the results of Carter Hall's failed experiment with the nth alloy to see how it worked and how Carter would use it. Carter used it to become the Hawkman, and Paran followed the hero's career throughout the 1940s.
Following Hawkman's retirement in 1951, Paran returned to Thanagar inspired by Earth's Hawkman, Paran used the nth metal to create a military force of Thanagarian Wingmen.
Before retreating from Earth, Paran also met and fell in love with a Native American named Faraway Woman (or "Naomi Carter"). Naomi had met Paran through Carter and Shiera Hall, to whom she'd served as a translator for the Cherokee people. Their love was so strong that she agreed to return with him to Thanagar. Naomi later gave birth to a son who Paran named Katar Hol in honor of Carter Hall.
On Thanagar, Paran was forced hide her true identity as an Earthling and in time, Naomi found their high society distasteful. She decided to return to Earth, but Paran would not allow her to take their son. Young Katar never knew his mother; the two met for the first time many years later on Earth thanks to Carter Hall.
As an adult, Katar Hol was tragically manipulated by the evil Kanjar Ro into killing his own father, Paran Katar. However, he would eventually migrate to Earth and continue the heroic legacy of Hawkman.