The man that became Hook was once Roy Martin Matson. At one time, Matson was the Sensei's protege but Matson failed at his attempt to assassinate Senator Kane, a former astronaut who had the ambition to become the United States' next president. Matson used a high-powered rifle to take out Kane but Kane's personal bodyguard saw Matson from afar and took the bullet for the senator. Matson was ordered to abort the mission by the Sensei's facilitator William Smith. The Sensei was disappointed that Matson had failed to conceal himself from Kane's security detail but he was willing to give Matson a second chance to redeem himself. As punishment, Matson was order to perform Yubitsume, a Japanese ritual that is meant to atone for one's offense or failure toward another. Matson's focus was on the blade that hanged over his finger while unaware that the Sensei had an axe in his hand. Just as Matson was about to perform the ritual, the Sensei takes one swift stroke and Matson's right hand is severed. Matson screams in agony as the Sensei gives him his next mission. The Sensei tells Matson that he must find and kill a worthy target who possesses prowess and agility. With Matson's handicap, he must now succeed in perfecting his marksmanship or face the consequences.
The Hook was created by Jack Miller and Neal Adams.
Major Story Arcs
Matson arrives in Gotham and finds a poster of Boston "Deadman" Brand as the main performance at Hill's Circus. Matson decides to target Boston Brand in order to regain the Sensei's good favor. Matson succeeds in killing Boston while he was in mid air during his trapeze performance. However, Brand's spirit lives on thanks to the intervention of Rama Kushna and begins to hunt down the Hook.
Deadman's first opportunity to find the Hook takes place when his spirit is summoned by Ms. Magruder, a retired medium from Hill's Circus. Magruder has recently opened her home to the Forever People, a band of teenagers from New Genesis. The Forever People were present when Magruder tried to summon the spirit of her fallen carnie comrade. At first, Magruder's powers were working and Deadman started to take shape in an astral form. He was only visible to Magruder's psyche but Marc Moonrider's Mother Box made Deadman visible to everyone when it bunched together his ectoplasmic atoms.
Deadman told everyone his sad story and about the man with the hook for a right hand. After hearing his story, the Forever People were determined to help Boston achieve inner peace by bringing his murderer to justice. Serifan, Moonrider, Vykin, Big Bear and Dreamer designed a robot that could latch onto Deadman's ectoplasm thereby enabling him to control and inhabit a physical form. Serafin designated this robot as the Follower and designed it to look like Deadman in order to drive terror into the man who murdered Boston.
Unfortunately, the Forever People's stay on Earth has aroused the attention of the Scavengers, a team of highly trained thieves who steal the latest tech from all four corners of the globe. The Director of the Scavengers wants the New Genesis technology that the Forever People possess. The Director has had an operative spy on the Forever People and the operative's latest report disturbs the Director. The operative disclosed that he saw someone resembling Boston Brand within the company of the Forever People.
It turns out the Director was once a member of the League of Assassins just like Matson. Anyone who has failed the Sensei on a mission, has had their right hand severed and replaced with a hook as a sign of dishonor toward the League's reputation. The Director started the Scavengers organization in order to appease the Sensei by equipping his assassins with the latest advances in weaponry. The Sensei was pleased by the Director's ingenuity and rewarded him for his continuous efforts in supplying the League. Director also developed an affinity toward other failed assassins who endured the same punishment as he did. The Director along with the other failed assassins created a board of directors who each controlled a certain operation around the globe. Each director raised their hooks with pride and the Scavengers were born.
The Director was well aware that the Sensei had taken Matson under his wing and despite his failure to kill Senator Kane, the Sensei had given Matson a second chance to prove himself worthy within the ranks of the League. Matson turned down the Director's offer to join the Scavengers but the Director still felt a personal responsibility to protect his handicapped comrade from the wrath of Deadman. The Director orders one of his operatives to steal the Follower robot before its completion thereby slowing down the Forever People's efforts and allow the Scavengers to dissect the Follower for any promising tech. The operative was successful in stealing the Follower robot but he failed to anticipate the tracking device that Serafin installed inside the robot.
Deadman and the Forever People track the robot to the Director's Scavenger Depot. Deadman infiltrates the Director's quarters and finally takes possession of the Follower. Once he was inside the robot, Deadman noticed the Director's right hand was actually a hook. Deadman automatically assumed that the Director was his murderer. Deadman charged after him but the Director came prepared. The Director used a replica of Mr. Freeze's freeze gun and froze Deadman's robot body. The Director was disappointed that he had to destroy such a priceless piece of machinery but he was proud none the less when he shattered the robot's frozen body into a million pieces.
Deadman was once again reduced to his spectral form. The Forever People made short work of the Scavenger operatives and managed to apprehend William Smith, the manager of the Scavenger Depot. The Sensei placed Smith within the Scavenger organization in order to make sure the Director wasn't holding out on the League. As Deadman wept over his short period of being physically visible, Dreamer used her illusion casting abilities to terrify the Director to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The Director and Smith were now under the mercy of Deadman. The Director informed Deadman that there are many Scavenger directors who have a hook for a right hand and they would rather die then divulge any information.
Boston was left with a dead end. Forever People wished Deadman the best of luck in finding his killer but they took the liberty of escorting Smith and the Director to the proper authorities. Deadman returned to the realm where Rama Kushna resided in order to seek more guidance. Unfortunately, Smith was able to escape the Forever People's custody and returned to the Sensei's side.
Hook, Line & Sinker
Rama decides to give Deadman one more opportunity to bring the Hook to justice. Rama's guidance leads Deadman to William Smith who was just contracted to kill a mass murderer named Phil Carling. Deadman follows Smith all the way to Hong Kong. Smith takes the beeline to an antique shop filled with relics and curios. Smith greets the shop dealer and opens the suitcase that he brought with him from Gotham. The suitcase was filled with money. Deadman presumes that a third party must have paid Smith to kill Carling but Smith's services belong to someone else who benefits from the blood money.
The shop keep takes the suitcase full of money and gives Smith another suitcase along with a note. Smith reads the note and swallows it in order to dispose of any evidence. Deadman follows Smith who goes behind the antique shop and finds a car. Deadman tags along as Smith drives the car to his next destination which is the Hong Kong Waterfront. As he was driving, Smith opened the suitcase and pulls out a strange looking gun.
Smith searches all the gin mills along the waterfront until he finally found his quarry...the Hook. Hook notices Smith at the other end of the bar and opens fire. Smith was unable to get a clear shot because Vishnu, the Indian mystic who was present at Brand's murder, was in his line of sight. The Hook escapes to the docks where he had a boat waiting for him. Hook's boat was fast but it was no match for Smith's dead on aim. Smith uses his strange gun to shoot the motor of Hook's boat but rather than stopping the boat, the bullet caused the engine to explode.
Smith grabbed his own boat and searched the wreckage of Hook's getaway boat. Smith finds Hook floating on a piece of the boat and still alive. Smith disarms Hook, binds him with rope and places him in the trunk of his car. Deadman was glad that the Hook had survived Smith's attack because he wanted to dish out his own brand of justice. Deadman followed Smith to the mountainous countryside of Hong Kong until they reached a temple. Smith drags Hook out of his car and brings him before a ghastly stone figure who kinda resembles Buddha.
Smith then activates a trap door by pushing a fake stone tile. Smith and Hook are then transported to the caverns beneath the temple. Deadman follows the two assassins but his attention is turned away when he notices an armory full of strange weapons and artillery. Deadman figures that the Scavengers have been working with Smith's employer. All of sudden, Deadman hears jeers and shouting from a room across the way. Deadman finds Hook standing in the middle of a room surrounded by other assassins who have nothing but contempt for him then a cloaked figure enters the room. The figure unveils his cloak and reveals that he is the Sensei. Deadman recognized the Sensei as the shop keep that Smith had met with earlier.
The Sensei expresses his disappointment that the Hook has failed the League three times. The Hook tries to convince the Sensei that he did kill Boston Brand to prove his worth but he couldn't explain how Brand managed to return from the dead. Boston remembers that his brother Cleveland had kept his trapeze act going in order to trick his brother's killer and lure him out into the open again but Boston's mind was more overwhelmed with anger. Boston couldn't that the Hook had murdered him just to prove himself to a League of Assassins.
The Sensei was well aware that Hook made a second attempt to kill the supposedly resurrected Boston Brand but even then he failed to kill Cleveland Brand thanks to Deadman's involvement. The Sensei could no longer tolerate Hook's ongoing line of failure so he decided to end Hook through combat. Boston couldn't let the Sensei kill the Hook so he took possession of Smith's body and tried to defend the Hook. The Sensei felt a presence over Smith so he disarms Smith and immobilizes him. The Sensei then turns his attention to the Hook.
Boston had only one other option and that was to enter the Sensei's body. Unfortunately, the Sensei's body was the current host of Jonah, Rama Kushna's former crusader of Nanda Parbat. As long as Jonah inhabited the Sensei's body, Boston could not enter. The Sensei put an end to the groveling Hook who had taken quite a beating from his former mentor. The Sensei sends a deadly blow to back of the Hook's head. Boston watched as the Hook's body lay on the floor with his back facing Boston. Boston cries out to Rama that "It can't end this way."
The Sensei disposes of Hook's body by activating a trap door that leads to a river that flows beneath the temple. Just like that, Boston watches as his killer's lifeless body flows down the river's current into nothingness. The Sensei then commands his assassins to leave the room. The Sensei sits down and enters a state of meditation. With Jonah's help, the Sensei communicates with Boston. The Sensei tells Boston that he is well aware of what Hook meant to him. The Sensei asks "You have walked among evil men to find your killer but now he has suffered for his crimes. Does this not put things in balance?"
Boston exclaims his gratitude that the Hook's death was met with swift justice and the Sensei smiles by saying "Then you are satisfied?" The Sensei's question angers Boston. Boston says "Satisfied? It should have been me who dealt the final blow not you. What you did is a mockery of justice. A farce. A fraud. There is no balance here." Jonah then speaks by saying "Now, you have learned as I did. Rama's greatest yet cruelest lesson is to live with an eternity of frustration and dissatisfaction."
Seven Men of Death
A new Hook is seen as a member of the Seven Men of Death, an elite group of assassins who act as Ra's al Ghul's personal hit squad and are answerable directly to him. However, this particular Hook has lost his left hand rather than his right hand. Its possible that this particular Hook may have failed Ra's at some time or another and in the Arabic world, one uses their left hand more than their right.
The New 52
In the DC Universe Presents #0 issue, The Hook is re-imagined as an overweight former Mafia enforcer named Jimmy with a prosthetic limb hook. When Rama Kushna sends Deadman into his body, an associate of Jimmy's, Joey, reveals that Jimmy had murdered the performing Boston Brand in order to show his mob boss he was still capable of assassinating a moving target. Deadman leaves Joey to kill him, but Jimmy puts up a struggle in which he mentions that he has a wife and a child to support, and he felt 22 years of service should have bought him some loyalty. When Deadman tries to re-enter the Hook, it causes his gun to go off, killing an old woman living next door. The police arrest the Hook, but Deadman is left feeling guilty for causing the accident himself.
Hook appears as a member of the League of Shadows who is sent to capture Selena Gonzalez. He is defeated by the team and captured, but later escapes from custody along with fellow assassin Black Spider.
Powers and Abilities
The Hook has no notable superhuman abilities. He lacks a right hand, which is replaced with a large, sharp metal hook affixed to his arm. He is a skilled assassin, and proficient with a number of weapons.
In Other Media
The Hook appears in the Young Justice episode "Infiltrator," wherein he is sent by the League of Shadows to assassinate Dr Serling Roquette. He fails in this mission and is defeated by Miss Martian, who knocks him unconscious with his own retractable hook. He later appears in the episode "Terrors" as one of the inmates of Belle Reve. In his first appearance his hook replaces his left hand, in the second his hook is on the right. He does not speak in his appearances.