Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Blackhawks vs. the Iron Emperor

"The Blackhawks vs. the Iron Emperor" from Blackhawk vol.1 #42 (Quality, 1951) by Reed Crandall

Did you know the Blackhawks were co-created by Will Eisner, and had both a movie serial and a radio series? Certainly one of the more marketable concepts of the Golden Age! While the Blackhawks were, I think, pretty unusual for Golden Age war comics in that the team featured representatives of different allied nations AND INDEED its leader wasn't an American, but rather, Polish (or more exactly, he WAS identified as American early on, but that changed in the 80s). Unfortunately, it doesn't mean the book's original creators portrayed each of those nationalities with sensitivity, as can be seen with the Chinese character Chop-Chop, clearly a racist caricature. Sure, Andre the Frenchman has a stereotypical thin mustache and love or women, but that's hardly on the same level.

Quality Comics actually premiered Blackhawk in Military Comics (1941), which became Modern Comics before its cancellation in 1950. In '44, in any case, they started publishing a dedicated Blackhawk book, which Quality would publish for 5 issues more than Military/Modern (to #107) before the company folded. No worries, DC would integrate the book into its own releases and even keep the numbering. (To be continued...)

4 comments:

  1. It's too bad that Zinda isn't there. She'd handle that robot with no problems.

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  2. Funny you should mention her...

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  3. Am I right in my understanding that the Blackhawks were the only non-hero characters continually published during the gap from 1950 to the first SA Flash story in 1955.

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  4. If you mean "DCU characters" which includes all characters belonging to the DCU eventually, I think so yes. But various humor comics, in particular various Archie comics also did.

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