Issue No. 69

October 1953

The Cyclone from Hell! - Duke Pardo, an American gangster, is hiding out in Europe. He is approached by Dr. Dragos with plans for a weapon that will make Pardo the dictator of all Europe. All Dragos wants is a share of the profits, or so he claims. The weapon is a giant top equipped with cannon and a propeller blades that can generate a powerful artificial tornado. Pardo uses it to break hoods out of prison to form his personal army. The Blackhawks' jets and weapons seem useless against the Tornado Top. Then Blackhawk is knocked out by flying debris and hauled aboard the Top. He seems to have amnesia and is convinced by Pardo that he is a gangster, too. He tries to talk the other Blackhawks into joining the gang and even hits Andre. Back in the Top, Blackhawk takes handfuls of industrial diamonds from Pardo's loot and feeds them into the Top's mechanism. It soon grinds to a stop and self destructs. Blackhawk's amnesia was all an act to get him into the Top. Wow, what a surprise! This story is interesting in that is an early instance of the Blackhawks fighting a gangster instead of their usual diet of Red conspirators and saboteurs. It presages the trend of stories when the title was acquired by DC.

Chop Chop - Chop goes west to become a cowboy. 'Humor' ensues.

The King of the Iron Men - In a 'tin democracy' (a term that apparently meant it was shaky in it devotion to democratic principles), the Blackhawks oversee uranium mining to ensure that the valuable mineral goes to the right place. But the first shipment is stolen by giant robots. The robots also wreck the Blackhawks' jets to foil pursuit. In the days to follow, the robots make more raids. Finally, the Blackhawks catch a break and manage to trail a damaged robot back to its lair, an abandoned prison. The Blackhawks are captured by the robots and taken to the inventor, Vorga, self proclaimed 'King of the Iron Men'. He is a small, shriveled figure but he is guarded by huge men. They turn out to be robots with plastic 'skin'. Vorga stages a fight between Blackhawk and robot X-12. Blackhawk evades the robot and captures Vorga. But 'Vorga' is just a robot, too, with plastic skin to make him look human. The real Vorga is still hidden. Blackhawk tricks X-12 into striking a fuse box, and the current conducted through the robot's metal body to the steel floor shorts all the robots out. The Blackhawks' rubber soled boots save them. Vorga turns out to be not a small man, but one of the giant guards. He was pretending to be a robot to mislead them. He takes on the Black Knights and is doing well until Blackhawk knocks him out with a metal fist from one of the robots.

No Clue of Danger - a text story. King Lois of Navarro has abdicated his throne and only wants to run a cafe in America. But Prince Trovino doesn't believe him and plans to assassinate him to insure that he doesn't try to return to claim his throne. The Prince is in the cafe, under watch by the Blackhawks. Blackhawk carefully watches Trovino eat a sumptious meal, then seizes him and accuses him of planning to assassinate Lois. His proof is the fact that Trovino wiped the silver ware clean before he left the table. This supposedly indicated he was removing finger prints so as to leave no clues. Sounds like pretty shaky evidence to me, and I doubt the DA would buy it.

The Conference of the Dictators - The World Court asks the Blackhawks to infiltrate a conference of Communist leaders in Moscow and discover the purpose of the meeting. The Blackhawks are smuggled into the Soviet Union by the freedom loving Russian underground. In the Kremlin, the Blackhawks try to plant a microphone in the conference room where the leaders of the Communist countries - Mao Tse-Tung (China), Boleslaw Bierut (Poland), Kim Il Sung (North Korea), Walter Tzbo (Hungary) and Malenkov (Russia) are meeting. But the cables supporting a giant hammer and sickle give way and drop Blackhawk into the middle of the meeting. The Black Knights are overpowered and captured. Malenkov plans to use them to test his new weapon which he claims will finally defeat the democracies. Demonstrating the weapon is the reason for the conference. The next day, the Blackhawks are pitted against the secret weapon, a giant tank that can instantly camoflage itself to match any terrain. Of course, the Blackhawks defeat the world conquering weapon in short order and make their escape in Malenkov's staff car. They meet their underground contacts and are smuggled out of the country.

Thanks to David Chapman for submitting the cover for this issue.

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