Military Comics Issue No. 4

Click on the cover for a larger image.

November 1941

Writer: Will Eisner, Artist: Chuck Cuidera (Cover art by Cuidera)

Desert Death: The story opens with a hooded figure kidnapping a woman from an Arab compound. The kidnapper is Blackhawk and the woman is Edda, a beautiful blonde Nazi agent. She knows the secret plan the Nazis have devised to destroy the Suez Canal, the "life-line of the democracies". The other Nazi agents set out to find her. Meanwhile, back at the Blackhawks' hideout in an Egyptian oasis, Edda is a prisoner but casually asks Zeg to bring her a hairdresser so she can maintain her reputation as the most beautiful spy in Africa. Incredibly, Zeg does as she asks (no wonder he disappeared from the team soon after). Of course, the hairdresser is another agent and takes Edda's orders to the Nazi command. They raid the hideout and capture the Blackhawks. When the dwarfish Nazi leader attempts to shoot Blackhawk, Edda shoots him first, saying the "Black Tigress" will want Blackhawk alive. At the Nazi headquarters, there is much talk of the Black Tigress, apparently a ruthless and powerful leader of the whole operation. Blackhawk is taken to her. Instead of the hag he expects, she is a shapely blonde in a belly dancer's outfit with a veil covering her face. She professes her love for him, saying she knew they were meant to be together the first time they met. This seems like a pretty obvious clue, but Blackhawk is oblivious and claims they have never met. The Black Tigress is not a woman to be scorned. She orders him to be hung upside down by his heals and whipped. The other Blackhawks lanquish in their cell, helpless to escape, except for Chop Chop, who has been drafted to cook for the bad guys. Somehow he causes an explosion with a coffee pot (this is pretty vague in both story and illustration) that releases the rest of the team. They rescue Blackhawk and they all make their way to their planes. The Germans have already taken off in their planes to bomb a freighter loaded with ammunition in the Suez Canal. The theory is that the explosion will destroy the canal. There is a big dogfight that Blackhawk realizes is a diversion from the real attack. He flies off to find the real bomber, the Black Tigress, of course. They battle and both planes crash. The Black Tigress dies in Blackhawk's arms, her mask slipping off to reveal she is actually Edda (big surprise).

This issue also included the first map of Blackhawk Island.

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