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Saturday, 8 April 2017

Blackhawk 191 - the Molecule Man, and Lady Blackhawk teams with Bravo and Blackie

Blackhawk 191 (Dec. 63) features two Dillin and Cuidera stories.

The cover tale pits the Blackhawks against the Molecule Man, a thief with a gun that can break down items into the component molecules, transport those anywhere, and then re-assemble them. He does this with a bank right at the top of the story, but is trying to figure out how to affect and safely restore living creatures.

The Blackhawks spend the story on his trail, but always one step behind. They figure out what he is working on when a herd of cattle go missing, and are prepared when he hits a film set and uses his gun on an actor. Blackhawk races into action, and Molecule Man shoots him with the gun, as seen on the cover, but just leaves him in the disassembled state. The actor proves to be Olaf in disguise, and he takes down Molecule Man, and uses the gun to restore Blackhawk.

The second story in the issue uses Blackie the Hawk, Bravo, and Lady Blackhawk, and despite being patterned on a style of Batman story, already old hat by this point, actually comes together to make a fairly decent tale.

The Blackhawks have gone missing, shortly after being presented with a book about the uses of the Blackhawk emblem. Lady Blackhawk reads the book, mostly to herself, though Blackie and Bravo seem to be paying attention. This allows for some flashback scenes to never before seen adventures where the emblem itself saved the day, much like the stories about Batman's costumes, or the Bat-signal, or his utility belt, and the like.

The story takes a different direction when Lady Blackhawk spots a bookmark in the tome, and realizes that the last story she was reading had a clue to the gold never found when the Blackhawks had captured a man years earlier. We get this confirmed by a flashback, which shows how the Blackhawks reached the same conclusion while reading the book, stuck in the bookmark, went off to catch the guy, and then got captured.

Lady Blackhawk powders herself, Blackie and Bravo to make them all look like ghosts, scaring the bad guys and giving her the jump on them. They free the Blackhawks, defeat the villains, and find the missing gold, painted to look like a Blackhawk emblem.

This is the final appearance of Bravo. Maybe he got critically wounded in the fight. Or maybe he inhaled too much of Lady Blackhawk's powder and it poisoned him. Either way, I'm glad he's gone. This is also the final appearance of Lady Blackhawk before the book undergoes some big changes.

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