My Hero Academia Reveals Hawks’ Hidden Origin

WARNING: The following contains spoilers up to My Hero Academia #291, by Kohei Horikoshi, Caleb Cook and John Hunt, available now in English from Viz Media.

My Hero Academia's Number Two hero, Hawks, is one of the most complex characters in the series. Intelligent, savvy and calculating, Hawks adopts the persona of a carefree and somewhat lazy hero in order to disarm his opponents and hide the fact that he's a spy for the Hero Public Safety Commission. He's unafraid to lie, act as a double agent and even kill in the name of preserving the lives of others. All this may be coming back to haunt him now that he's found his way into the villain Dabi's crosshairs.

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In My Hero Academia Chapter 291, Dabi reveals his true identity as Toya Todoroki on a public broadcast to all of Japan. He's not content with merely ruining Endeavor's reputation and dragging him down from his Number One pedestal – in a surprise twist, he also reveals previously classified information on Hawks' origin to paint him as a monster. It's an extremely unlucky turn of events for a hero who has already seen more than his share of suffering recently, possibly even losing his Quirk permanently.

During Dabi's broadcast to Japan, he uses selectively edited footage of Hawks' confrontation with Twice to portray him as a ruthless murderer who sliced down a man that was only trying to help his friends. He's able to accomplish this thanks to the advanced technical skills of the villain Skeptic, as well as the cameras they'd placed on Hawks to ensure he wasn't selling them out. It's no surprise Dabi is willing to ruthlessly smear the man who tried to outsmart him by playing double agent, but it is a surprise that he knows as much about Hawks as he does.

On account of having been taken in by the Hero Public Safety Commission at a young age, almost all of Hawks' personal information is classified, despite most heroes' public identities being widely known in the setting of My Hero Academia. Somehow, Dabi is aware of Hawks' full name – Keigo Takami – as well as the details of his personal life.

Dabi follows up his twisted portrayal of Twice's death with the revelation that not only has Hawks killed Best Jeanist, but that murder is in his bloodline. He states that Hawks' father was a serial robber and murderer -- in other words, a villain. He adds that Endeavor was the man who brought Hawks' father to justice, a connection that likely explains Hawks' longtime admiration for Endeavor. It's certainly a grim and perhaps ironic twist that the man who suffered as a child at Endeavor's hands now has zero empathy for Hawks' own complicated father situation.

Though Hawks' career as a hero may be finished if he's indeed lost his Quirk, his story will most certainly continue on what with these latest developments. What was Hawks' relationship with his father? Is he in Tartarus alongside other maximum-security prisoners of the series, including All For One and Stain? How exactly does Dabi know all this? The answers are anyone's guess, but they're ones My Hero Academia surely intends to deliver.

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