Norda Cantrell was born the son of Fred Cantrell, a human scientist, and Osoro, a female member of a race of humanoid avians called Feitherans who lived in an isolated city near the North Pole. Fred Cantrell was a friend of Carter Hall, the Golden Age Hawkman, and invited him and his wife Shiera Sanders Hall to attend the birth of his son, who like other Feitherans were hatched from eggs. On the day of Norda's birth, the newborn Feitheran saw Carter Hall wearing his hawk-faced Hawkman mask and immediately bonded with him, mistaking him for his father.
Over the years, Hawkman and Hawkgirl visited their godson Norda, who took him flying while their own son Hector Hall stayed behind with Norda's grandfather Worla, scowling and jealous at the attention his parents were giving the young Feitheran. Later on, as a young teen, Norda visited his human grandmother who was dying in a hospital, who believed that her son Fred Cantrell was dead and that, in the form of Norda, he had come as an angel to take her home to heaven. While he was scrounging around for food in a dumpster along with other birds, a nearby apartment building landlord shot at Norda, wounding him. He managed to reach the Hall Estate, where Carter and Shiera tended to his wounds before taking him back home to Feithera, while Hector still looked on, jealous of Norda.
When Norda had come of age where he was assigned a life-mate and a role in Feitheran society along with other Feitherans his age, he chose to reject them and flew off to join with a group of young adults who were the children and proteges of various Justice Society members to form their own superhero group Infinity, Inc. He remained a faithful member in good standing with the team until he was called back to his own people, where he found out from his grandfather Worla that he had a special destiny concerning an upcoming confrontation with Carter and Shiera's son Hector, who at birth was cursed by Carter's eternal nemesis Hath-Set to become their enemy. When the curse finally took hold, turning Hector into the villainous version of the Silver Scarab, Norda helped his fellow Infinity, Inc. members defeat him before retiring from duty as an active superhero for a time.
Later, Norda and the rest of the Feitherans seemed to either evolve or devolve into creatures that were even more bird-like. They now have grown wings out of their backs, and beaks. None of them seem to be able to speak, either. At some point, Black Adam convinced Norda to join his team, which took the stance that killing villains was a necessary evil to protect the world. They eventually invaded Kahndaq (Black Adam's home country) and unseated its dictator/ruler. With Black Adam in charge of the country, all of the Feitherans were welcomed within its borders. Northwind became very loyal to Adam, and helped defend Kahndaq several times.
- Unique Physiology: In his original form, Northwind appeared as a human being with a coat of thin brown feathers over his skin, as well as a pair of wings. In his current form, he is more avian in appearance, and has grown a beak and talons in place of his hands and feet.
- Flight: Northwind is capable of atmospheric flight by way of his naturally grown wings.
- Animal Empathy: He can communicate with birds.
- Superhuman Stamina: He can withstand to fly by extended periods without rest.
- Regeneration: In his present state, Northwind's body heals itself from dramatic injuries. During the liberation of Kahndaq, Hawkman tore one of Northwind's wings from his body, but he quickly healed soon after.
- Migra-Power: He, like some birds, can detect the northern direction.
- Flame Projection: It seems a magical power learned in Feithera, not part of his physiology. 
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- 89 Appearances of Norda Cantrell (New Earth)
- 12 Images featuring Norda Cantrell (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Norda Cantrell (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Norda Cantrell (New Earth)