Who's Who: Stanislau

From #31, art by Reed Crandall

In the "New Blackhawk" uniform, from #199, art by Dick Dillin & Chuck Cuidera.

In his "secret identity" as Golden Centurion, from #231, art by Dick Dillin & Chuck Cuidera.

Name:Stanislau (last name unknown)
Occupation: Member of the paramilitary organization known as The Blackhawks
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: uncle (#154)
Base of Operations: Blackhawk Island, location classified
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

The first to join forces with Blackhawk, the Polish muscleman watched as his family and friends died, victims of the Nazi scourge. Stan is reputed to have been a circus strongman, as well as a brilliant student at the University of Warsaw.

When the team tried it's short lived experiment with "secret identities," Stan became the Golden Centurion by taking a suit of armor from the Emperor (#230).

In the last days of the Blackhawks' operations, Stan was the financial wizard for Cunningham Aircraft (#244). He may have continued on it that position when the team ceased to exist in the '70s.

Adam Benson brought a curious exchange in Stan and Olaf's "specialties". In the early days of the team, Stan was described as an acrobat while Olaf was the strongman of the team. Much later, they reversed those roles. Here's what Adam found when he researched the switich:

Issue # 112 (May, 1957): In the first story, "The Doomed Dogfight", both Stanislaus' acrobatic ability and Olaf's position as the team's strongman are highlighted. The third story, "The Eighth Blackhawk", Olaf is once again labelled "the strongman of the team".

I found no other references to either man's specialty until issue # 195. My collection is spotty until # 180, when it is complete; so there were no doubt references which I don't have.

Issue # 195 (Apr., 1964) has "The Return of the Tom Thumb Blackhawk" as the cover story. Integral to the plot is Stan going undercover at a circus--planned by Stan and Blackhawk because Stan's acrobatic ability is excellent to qualify as a circus aerialist.

The next mention of either man's specialty comes in issue # 197 (Jun., 1964)--and here is the first time Stan becomes the strongman. Issue # 197's story, "The War Between the Blackhawks" is the tale in which they switch to their crimson-and-olive costumes, and Stan is referred to and performs as "the team's strongman".

The next issue, # 198 (Jul., 1964)--which features the origin of the Blackhawks (at least one version of it, anyway)--and Olaf is shown performing an acrobatic trick, and refers to himself as "a trained acrobat".

Issue # 203 (Dec., 1964), in the first story, "Operation White Dragon" (the story of how Chop Chop joined the team), Stan squares off against Liu Huang (Chop Chop) and the caption refers to him as "the team's strongman"; while the second story, "Death of the Super-Sub", a Combat Diary tale, makes special mention of both Stan's strength and Olaf's acrobatic ability.

I scanned the next dozen issues or so, and from that point on, there were no changes--Stan was always the strongman; Olaf, the acrobat.

My theory--based upon the fact that Stan's last appearance as an acrobat was in # 195--is that there was a shifting of writing chores before the next issue. It is obvious (and I am, no doubt, preaching to the choir here, Dan) that a new direction was planned for the Blackhawks, as of issue # 196 (May, 1964). This is the first Mr. Cipher story in which the Blackhawks undertake a mission for the United Nations. The writing on this story is more sophisticated, somewhat more realistic, than in the previous issues. This obviously suggests a new writer. Since the next issue was the second and final Mr. Cipher/mission for the UN story, and this is where Stan becomes the strongman for the first time, I am guessing that the new writer made the change, either deliberately or inadvertantly making Stan the muscleman of the team. The next issue, the Blackhawk origin, also has the same flavour and tone of the previous two, and in this one, Olaf is established as the acrobat.

That's my best guess. Now I leave it up to you experts to corroborate or tear apart.

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