My favorite action comic when I was a little kid was Blackhawk. The Blackhawks were all allies during the Second World War. Blackhawk, whose real name was Bart Hawk, was Polish, Olaf was Danish, Chuck was a Texan, Hans was Dutch, Stanislau was Polish (but he was later dropped. I guess one Polish hero was enough), Andre was French, and Chop-Chop was Chinese. They later also added Lady Blackhawk. I could do without her. The comic was created in part by Will Eisner, one of the greats.

Some time in the late sixties the publishers decided to turn them into superheros. Big mistake to my way of thinking.

One character you didn’t see much of in that time was Chop-Chop. A little racial stereotyping maybe. I got this image off the web.

 You can see how they turned Chop-Chop into a less offensive character in the second cover above. He became Dr. Hands. And even before that they had given him a more heroic image. But Chop-Chop was a terrific character in my book. He was so popular they even gave him his own comic book for a while. I loved the Blackhawks.

Another comic I loved was Plastic Man

I got this cover off the web. I don’t think I have any Plastic Man comics. But I had lots before my old man threw out my comics. Darn. Notice that Will Eisner had a Spirit story in that issue. I have a great Spirit comic book somewhere, but I can’t find it. Plastic Man’s sidekick was Woozy Winks.

Speaking of Plastic Man, how about Plastic Octopus?

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4 Responses to Blackhawk

  1. Divad says:

    I read some 50s era Blackhawk that my dad had, including the introduction of Zinda, and her acceptance as Lady Blackhawk. They weren’t doing the superhero identities yet, but were mostly doing superhero/Sci-Fi adventures at that point. Even to the point of getting a cute alien animal mascot with amazing powers.

    Also, in the original 1940s comics, he was a Polish air force pilot named Janos Prohaska, which, coincidently, was also the name of an actor/stuntman active in the 60s and 70s, who died in a plane crash.

    Finally in the Blackhawk movie serial, Kirk Alyn starred as Blackhawk. Kirk Alyn, who was also the first actor to play Superman on screen. I have a copy, but still haven’t gotten around to watching it.

    • budgra5_wp says:

      Blackhawk was really great.It was my number one action comic when I was a kid.Stanislaus was also Polish. The Nazi’s first victims of invasion were the Poles. I was in Poland just after the Iron Curtain came down. Good people.

  2. Divad says:

    Well never mind about the name coincidence, several sources state that Blackhawk was named Janos in the late 80s revamp, in honor of the actor (who was Hungarian).

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