AUTHOR: William Rotsler
PUBLISHER: Warner Books, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10019
COPYRIGHT: 1982 by DC Comics, Inc.
REVIEW: The story begins with a young Polish pilot fighting against the invading Germans. It recounts the standard origin story for Blackhawk, and then proceeds to describe his creation of the Blackhawk Squadron and its battles against the Nazis.
There are few surprises in the novel. There are several subplots that involve the Black Knights destroying Nazi super weapons like monster tanks and giant bombers. These stories are well told and they are exciting, but not particularly different from the stories found in the comic books.
What the novel does provide is a logical and believable explanation for the logistics of the Blackhawks. How they are funded, supplied, where Blackhawk Island is (one of the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland), and other details that make the Blackhawks real in a way the comics never quite achieved.
The area where the novel fails is character development. We never really get to know any more about them as individuals than we did in the comics (perhaps less than in Mark Evanier's stories, which were published at the same time as the novel). This is a shame. A novel is the one place where we would expect to find some real character development. I would have gladly given up some of the action to find our more about what makes these characters tick.
Despite this flaw, I still highly recommend this book to any serious Blackhawk fan. Apparently, it was not widely distributed even when it was originally published. Now, it is difficult but not impossible to find. I found my copy through on-line book finders.
Click here for another review of the Blackhawk novel, by Dr. Hermes.
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