Issue No. 273

November 1984

No Information Available at Press Time!: Chop-Chop's girl friend, Mali, calls the Blackhawks to China to help him fight a huge mechanical flame breathing dragon unleashed by the Japanese. Reporter Virginia Mueller shows up to cover the story. Wu Cheng (Chop-Chop) and Mali track the dragon back to its hidden cave base, but are captured by the Japanese.

Detached Service Diary: inserted as a second chapter, the story tells how Wu Cheng returned to China in his new Blackhawk uniform. Almost immediately, his plane is destroyed on the ground by a Nakijima fighter. Wu Cheng hears rumors that the Japanese are building a dragon. He discovers the Americans are selling the equipment to build the dragon to the Japanese, apparently unconcerned that the weapons may some day be turned on them. He sneaks into the Japanese camp and burns the plans, but it is too late, the dragon is completed and goes out to terrorize the Chinese.

Back to the main story: Wu Cheng and Mali break out of their cell and rejoin the Blackhawks. The team is hard pressed. Wu Cheng taunts the dragon's commander and leads in through the village. He ducks into a building and the dragon blasts it with flame. The building contains the villages store of explosives and the explosion destroys the dragon. Wu Cheng has escaped out the back door and is shaken but t safe. Blackhawk learns that Virginia Mueller knew about the dragon before he did, and tells her not to file her story until he plugs the leak in intelligence. Chop-Chop rejoins the Blackhawks.

This was the last issue of Blackhawk in its original number series. Editor and writer Mark Evanier and artist Dan Spiegle had produced what were some of the best of the Blackhawk series. (See History of the Blackhawk Comics:The Evanier/Spiegel Revival for more about the cancellation of the series.) In the letters column, Evanier said that DC was considering a mini-series by Bill Dubay and Carmine Infantino. This would have been nice, but it never materialized. The next appearance of the Black Knights was in Howard Chaykin's Blackhawk in 1987.

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