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Monday, 10 April 2017

Blackhawk 242 - Blackhawk's evil brother


More changes take place in Blackhawk 242 (Aug/Sept. 68), largely designed to bring the Blackhawk series back to what it had been. Marv Wolfman joins Bob Haney on the script, while Pat Boyette takes over the art.


The story opens with a massive explosion, which takes out the entire headquarters of GEORGE, and presumably kills Mr. Delta. The Blackhawks go to investigate, and find graffiti indicating that a man named Black Mask is taking credit for the destruction.


The only thing to have survived is the two headed hawk plane, the only thing I would have chosen to keep from the super hero days. The Blackhawks decide to get back into their old outfits, and head for the plane. They find Lady Blackhawk there, and learn that she was attacked as well, by Black Mask. Blackhawk recognizes the handwriting that Black Mask has been leaving behind, and knows that the villain is really his brother, Jack Hawk.


This leads to a flashback, as Blackhawk, whose real name is given as Bart Hawk, and his brother Jack were flying a mission against the Nazis. Jack was shot down, taken by the Nazis and turned into the psychotically evil Black Mask. The Nazi base got bombed, and Jack was in a coma until now. Blackhawk had believed his brother died when shot down, so had never gone looking for him.


The story climaxes on Blackhawk Island. Black Mask takes control of the War Wheel, and tries to kill the Blackhawks with it. The heroes use the Flying Tank to fend it off. Blackhawk has the opportunity to kill Black Mask with a bazooka, but refuses to fire. Black Mask is defeated, but gets away. The conclusion teases a future, ongoing conflict between Blackhawk and Black Mask, but we would never wind up seeing the brother again.

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