Bert Day had wanted his daughter, Summer, to become a police officer – just like him. Disappointed for never having a son, he pressured Summer to engage in more masculine pursuits, such as athletics. When she became old enough, she enrolled in the police academy, but dropped out soon after. She quickly realized that law enforcement, was not the path for her. Instead, she applied her energy towards more humanitarian pursuits. She joined the Peace Corps and traveled across the world. Her missions of mercy led her to the impoverished African veldt and the war-stricken regions of Nairobi.
One evening, she found a wounded tribal warrior lying in the grass outside of her tent. She leaned in close to offer assistance, but the man turned around and bit her upon throat. The man then transformed into a tremendous were-hyena right before Summer's eyes. The incident raised an alarm and shoulders ran outside of their tents. They killed the were-hyena with several blasts from their weapons, but it was too late for Summer – she had been cursed. Soon after, Summer transformed into a were-hyena for the very first time. Her compassion and rationality soon gave way to a predatory, primal need to right injustices. Whenever she found herself at great distress, she transformed into the Hyena.
Summer returned to the United States and attempted to reinsert herself back into her family lifestyle. As the Hyena, she began prowling the rooftops of Manhattan, searching for prey. She was mindful to seek out victims whose disposition leaned towards criminal intent. As much as she loathed criminals, she despised law enforcement even more. Her actions soon led her into conflict with New York's newest super-hero, Firestorm. As luck would have it, one-half of Firestorm's composite form, Ronnie Raymond, had been dating Summer's sister, Doreen. During their first entanglement neither Firestorm nor the Hyena knew of each other's true identity. Firestorm failed to capture the Hyena the first several times that they had fought, and the Hyena entered into a brief partnership with another of Firestorm's foes – Multiplex.
Firestorm eventually discovered Summer Day's diary and learned that she was in fact the Hyena. They faced each other a few more times, and Firestorm was finally able to contain her. The Day family had Summer admitted into a special medical clinic in Arizona. She spent several months at the facility struggling to overcome the bouts of stress that led towards her transformations. She worked closely with a physician named Doctor Jivan Shi. Over the course of several weeks, Summer and Jivan developed a romantic interest in one another. One evening, in the throes of a passionate embrace, Summer reverted into her Hyena identity and bit Jivan Shi. She passed the curse along to him and he eventually transformed into a were-hyena himself.
Doctor Shi and Summer relocated back to Manhattan. Shi became a resident physician at the exclusive Eastside Medical Center. He kept Summer at the hospital as a patient and the two continued to work with one another in the hopes of assuaging the symptoms of the curse. Shi's employment at Eastside Hospital was wrought with frustration. The chief resident, Dr. Barry Gleason, was an arrogant, spiteful man and treated Shi as a second class citizen. Before long, Shi succumbed to his animal passions and began terrorizing New York as the new Hyena.
Meanwhile, Firestorm learned that Summer had returned to Manhattan. She continued to suffer from bouts of depression and was given to memory loss and sleepwalking. When Summer turned up missing one evening, Firestorm feared that the Hyena had struck again. He encountered the Hyena at Eastside hospital, but this version of the monster was Dr. Shi. Summer eventually learned that Shi was now attacking people and voluntarily transformed back into the Hyena to face him.
Unlike on prior occasions, Summer's personality was stronger now. Instead of attempting to attack Firestorm, she actually sought to save him. Summer and Jivan began battling one another and their fight carried over to the top of the World Trade Center. Firestorm attempted to stop both of them, but accidentally turned his powers against Summer. A blast of nuclear energy struck her in the chest sending spiraling off of the top of the building. Firestorm realized his error in judgment and successfully saved her from slamming into the concrete below. While Firestorm turned his attention back towards Jivan, Summer made her escape.
- Therianthropy: Under moments of emotional duress, Summer Day has the ability to transform into a were-hyena. The transformation diminishes her capacity for rational intellect in favor of a more predatory, primal instinct. However, the Hyena is still capable of functioning intelligently and maintains full command of her faculties, albeit in a more hyperactive state. In most instances, the Hyena will transform back into Summer Day during moments of rest or if she is rendered unconscious. With time and practice, Summer succeeded in accentuating her natural personality within the were-hyena form. Later, she could prompt the transformation between her human and hyena form at will.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One 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 should be considered apocryphal.
- The Hyena once employed diamond tips on her fingernails, which provided greater stabbing damage on her claw attacks.
- Only a small group of people are aware that Summer Day is a were-hyena.
- 26 Appearances of Summer Day (New Earth)
- 7 Images featuring Summer Day (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Summer Day (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Summer Day (New Earth)
- Hyena at dccomics.com
- Hyena at Wikipedia.org
- Hyena (Summer Day) biography page at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
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