Having written about Quality Comics yesterday, today I thought I would do a pictorial on what might be their third longest running title. Blackhawk debuted in Military Comics #1, August 1941. It proved to be one of Quality Comics' most popular features. Blackhawk received his own title in winter 1944.
This is Blackhawk #9, winter 1944. Although it is the first issue of Blackhawk's own title, it is numbered "9" because it took over the numbering of Uncle Sam Quarterly. It was in Jim Steranko's History of Comics that artist Chuck Cuidera explained the look of the Blackhawks' the uniforms. He said, "The Germans had designed such great costumes, we decided to use them ourselves. It was like fighting fire with fire." By this time Blackhawk was very popular, selling as much as superheroes such as The Flash and Captain America. Here I feel like I must apologise for the very stereotypical Chinese man conducting the Blackhawks. That is Chop-Chop, the Blackhawks' cook in the early days of the series and hence the squadron's sidekick. Sadly, Chop-Chop was a very typical portrayal of Asians during World War II. It is to be noted that over the years Chop-Chop would change to the point where he would also wear a Blackhawk uniform and pilot his own plane.
Because of that, every revival ha salso featured the Blackhawks in their original uniforms. There was another short lived revival in 1982, with stories by Mark Evanier. This revival was actually more successful, lasting from #251, October 1982 to #273, November 1984. In 1987 Howard Chaykin wrote a Blackhawk mini-series which was very revisionist. It gave Blackhawk a real name, Janos Prohaska. It also made him a rather vulgar drunk. A Blackhawk series followed in 1988 in Action Comics. It received its own title in March 1989. It lasted until #16, August, 1990. Since then Blackhawk has only appeared in Blackhawk Special #1, 1999. This oneshot was set in Vietnam and written by John Ostrander. Since then Blackhawk and his squadron have only made cameos in various DC titles. It is safe to say, however, that they will probably be revived again one day.
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