Military Comics Issue No. 98June 1950
Blackhawk in The Tunnel of Death - It's the first and only story in the book pertaining to Blackhawk. Story: There is a mountain range that separates the nations known as HUANEC and GALARDO. The Blackhawks fly into HUANEC to meet up with it's chief engineer, RALGO and his associate, MATZLA who are attempting to tunnel through the mountains to GALARDO so that there will be future access between the two. The tunneling project has run into a problem of inner rock stratum that defies their digging efforts and the Blackhawks are there to offer their knowledge. Using a very small sample of an experimental explosive that they happen to have with them, (Chop Chop has invented it) it was demonstrated to the workers that this new explosive will save them time so they won't have to dig an additional several miles around the problem area. Since it is something new, the Blackhawks decide that all workers should leave the mine and they will try it out in case there should be any risks. It does work better than their expectations. While four of the Blackhawks (Chuck, Stanislaus, Chop Chop and Andrea) fly back to Blackhawk Island to acquire more of the explosives the remaining Blackhawks are turned upon by one of the workers because they all fear that the ancient devils existing beneath the mountain will punish these people for disturbing their resting place. A fight ensues, whereby, the disgruntled worker is discharged. When the new supplies of explosives do arrive only do the Blackhawks work extending the tunnel. A charge is set, and as six of the Blackhawks walk back to the tunnel entrance, an explosion is heard deep in the tunnel behind them. Apparently a second dynamite charge had been set off while they were still in the tunnel. They manage to escape unharmed, but because that a worker is seen to be lurking nearby, he is accused of setting the explosives. He denies it and is given his job back because the other miners are talking of quitting -- they fear for their lives. A verbal confrontation arises between RALGO and the miners and they all quit. While this is going on the Blackhawks are following the rehired miner into the mine (at a safe distance so that he doesn't know it) and when they arrive at the tunnels end they have not come upon the miner and they wonder what has happened to him. Blackhawk stands guard at the tunnel end while the others go back for more explosives. He notices what seem to be MAZTLA's footprints at the tunnels end, and while bending down to investigate, a section of the tunnel wall opens behind him and a hand holding a rock hits him over the head and then drags him through the same opening. When the others return to the spot where they left Blackhawk he is not anywhere to be found. RALGO tells the remaining Blackhawks that he orders that work on the tunnels will cease while he goes and reports the ongoing to his countries President. "Where is Blackhawk? question the remaining Blackhawks. Deep inside the mountain Blackhawk comes to surrounded by several hooded characters. They tell him that he is deep within the mountain where his friends can't find them. He realizes that the mountain is not only hollow but that there is a lake! buildings! and light in there! Apparantly it is an ancient civilzation that once flourished here. Not only is there gold in abundance from the first rulers of this region but also precious jewels. The hooded characters state that they have been scaring the local miners to believe that devils live in the mountain so that they will give up on the tunnel. The missing miner is brought forward in ropes and he and Blackhawk are to be condemned to a firing squard. A sudden explosion blasts out part of the cave wall and the remaining Blackhawks come charging to save the day. All of the hooded characters surrender except the one who has been acting as the leader. He jumps into a canoe and attempts to paddle across the lake but is stopped by Blackhawk. After a brief fight, the hood is removed to uncover MAZTLA, who is immediately charged with treason and sabotage by RAGLO.
Other stories in this issue:
• Blackhawk text story: "Blackhawk's Luck"
• Will Bragg
Thanks to Dunstan Eric Whitlock for providing the synopsis for this issue and to Don Secrease for providing the other stories.
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