Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DC's Blackhawks


Blackhawk is the eponymous fictional character of the long-running comic book series Blackhawk published first by Quality Comics and later by DC Comics. Primarily created by Chuck Cuidera with input from both Bob Powell and Will Eisner, the Blackhawk characters first appeared in Military Comics #1 (August 1941).

Led by a mysterious man known as Blackhawk, the Blackhawks (or more formally, the Blackhawk Squadron) are a small team of World War II-era ace pilots of varied nationalities, each typically known under a single name, either their given name or their surname. Though the membership roster has undergone changes over the years, the team has been portrayed most consistently as having seven core members.

In their most well-known incarnation, the Blackhawks operate from a hidden base known only as Blackhawk Island, fly Grumman XF5F Skyrocket planes, and shout their battle cry of "Hawk-a-a-a!" as they descend from the skies to fight tyranny and oppression. Clad in matching blue and black uniforms (with Blackhawk himself boasting a hawk insignia on his chest), early stories pitted the team against the Axis powers, but they would also come to battle recurring foes such as King Condor and Killer Shark, as well as encounter an array of gorgeous and deadly femme fatales. They also frequently squared off against fantastical war machines ranging from amphibious "shark planes" and flying tanks, to the aptly named War Wheel, a gigantic rolling behemoth adorned with spikes and machine guns.

At the height of his popularity in the early 1940s, Blackhawk titles routinely outsold every other comic book but Superman. Blackhawk also shares the unique distinction of being just one of four comic book characters to be published continuously in his own title from the 1940s through the 1960s (the others being Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman). The comic series has spawned a film serial, a radio series and a novel.

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