Blackhawks at DC

Second Era: DC's Silver Age

Created by Will Eisner and Chuck Cuidera

FIRST APPEARANCE: Blackhawk #108 (January 1957)

History

... this is largely unwritten... to come...

In pre-Crisis terms, if Quality Comics adventures were all on Earth-X, when DC began publishing Blackhawk, does that make those adventures technically Earth-Two?

Zinda fails to mass muster first time around. Two panels from Blackhawk #133 (1959). Art by Dick Dillin.

At DC, the Blackhawks continued under the same art team as at Quality: Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera. Over the years, they began transitioned from fighting big machines to more super-villains (the Killer Shark recurred often), and sci-fi menaces that mirrored the types of stories being produced in DC’s other superhero titles. Regardless of the quality, something was working, and the title kept going into the mid-1960s. (#108-196)

In 1958, they were joined by a Lady Blackhawk, Zinda Blake. (Blackhawk #133) In her first adventure, she failed to make the cut, and she appeared off-and-on for some time, and eventually disappeared amid the time fluctuations caused by Zero Hour. She emerged decades in the future. (Guy Gardner #24). She was invited by Oracle to join the Birds of Prey as their pilot. (Birds of Prey #75)

In Blackhawk#197 (June 1964), their uniforms were updated to a red-and-green scheme that was less military and more akin to contemporary adventurers like the Challengers of the Unknown. (#196-227) Lady Blackhawk came under the thrall of the Killer Shark, as Queen Killer Shark. (#200)

Super-Blackhawks

The all-new (all-improved?) super-Blackhawks! From Blackhawk #230 (March 1967); art by Dick Dillin & Chuck Cuidera.

In order to keep the Blackhawks hip to the times, an embarrasingly bizarre move was made beginning with issue #228 (Jan. 1967) to recast the Blackhawks as true superheroes! That issue featured the Justice League on the cover, and on the next, Blackhawk rather desperately cried to the reader, “Don’t quit on us! Everyone says the Blackhawks are washed up… but you be the judge!” They were now known as the Leaper (Olaf), Dr. Hands (Chop Chop), the Weapons Master (Hendrickson), the Big Eye (Blackhawk), the Listener (Chuck), M’Sieu Machine (Andre), and the Golden Centurion (Stan). (#228-241) Just before it was canceled, DC attempted to return the Blackhawk to its traditional setting (and uniforms). (#242-243)

Powers

No member of the Blackhawks has ever exhibited metahuman powers.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  •   Justice League of America #

Lady Blackhawk:

  • Blackhawk v.1 #140, 143, 147, 151, 155, 161, 163, 166, 170, 182, 186, 188, 191. As Queen Killer Shark: Blackhawk v.1 #200, 204, 216, 225, 228
 

» SERIES:

  • Blackhawk #108-243 (1957–68)

» SEE ALSO: