Modern Comics Issue No. 78

October 1948

MADAME BUTTERFLY - The story begins with Blackhawk and Andre in a bar somewhere in the east. They hear a prospector boasting about a rich strike on an uncharted island. The prospector also reveals that his partners have sailed for the main island to register the location of the claim . The prospector is murdered as he leaves the bar and Blackhawk finds a dagger nearby that bears the symbol of Madame Butterfly, a beautiful female bandit that the Blackhawks are hunting. Madame Butterfly now has her hands on the map which shows the location of the rich strike and she dispatches her aerial Caterpillar Legion to prevent the dead prospector's partners from registering the claim. Realising that she will do this, the Blackhawks set out to stop her but they arrive too late and find the yacht covered in a cocoon of green fungus and everybody on board dead.

They are suddenly attacked by the Caterpillar Legion, led by Madame Butterfly herself and an air battle ensues in which the Blackhawks are victorious and the bandits are driven off. However Chuck and Stanislaus are forced down in the sea. Leaving the rest of the Blackhawks to rescue them, Blackhawk follows the fleeing bandits to the treasure island where they have set up a base to exploit its riches. On landing, Blackhawk is captured but not before he has taken the precaution of leaving his transmitter switched on. Madame Butterfly explains that, with regret, she must kill him, as she has sworn to kill all white men to avenge her dead lover, a former head of the Japanese secret service killed in the war. She empties a jar of the cocoon fungus near him and leaves him to choke to death. Blackhawk manages to free his hands and sets fire to the fungus. As he breaks out, the other Blackhawks arrive, having homed in on his transmitter. The Caterpillar Legion is defeated and rather than be captured, Madame Butterfly kills herself with the cocoon fungus. It is then revealed that the island is a mountain of corundum and full of sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Thanks to David Chapman for submitting the cover for this issue and to Colin Blake for the synopsis..



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