Who's Who: Bravo


Both pictures from #183, art by Dick Dillin & Chuck Cuidera.
Bravo, the Blackhawk chimp, made his debut in issue #183 in a story called "Bravo - The Blackhawk Chimp." The story opens with the arrival at the Blackhawks' mainland base of a crate containing a young chimpanzee. A note accompanying the crate explains that their animal-training friend, Kit Hunter, has become very ill and is unable to care for the chimp so he has made a gift of him to the Blackhawks. When the team scrambles to catch a costumed-crook called the Copter Man (though he actually flies a clunky looking autogyo, not a helicopter), the chimp puts on one of Blackhawk's shirts and follows. He hitches a ride on the rear winch of the Black Knights' command vehicle and when the Copter Man has the team pinned with machine gun fire, the chimp swings from a flagpole into the cockpit of the autogyro, causing Copter Man to lose control and crash. Blackhawk decides to name the chimp "Bravo" because of the bravery he showed, but states that he isn't an official mascot yet because he hasn't passed a Blackhawk training course. They put Bravo through various tests, including parachuting from an airplane. Bravo passes with flying colors and is welcomed to the corps. After Bravo is mentioned in a number of newspaper articles describing his exploits with the Blackhawks, we are shown that Bravo was actually planted with the Blackhawks by a crook named Dagan. When four of the Blackhawks take a job guarding a train carrying valuable historical relics, Dagan uses an ultrasonic whistle to activate Bravo's previous training and uncouples the treasure car so the crooks can get to it. Dagan then takes Bravo to the airport where the rest of the team is getting ready to fly a cargo aircraft with the more of the valuable items. Bravo pulls the emergency brake, preventing the airplane from taking off. Dagan's gang gets the drop on the Blackhawks, but Blackhawk gives Bravo a secret hand signal and the chimp takes the keys from the gang's escape truck. Finally, Bravo is caught in the middle between his original master and his new friends. Of course, he chooses the good guys and throws sand in Dagan's eyes, allowing the three Blackhawks to over power the crooks. Bravo is a Blackhawk from then on.

Bravo made only three appearances after his origin story. All of them were as partners with Blackie, the Wonder-Hawk. In #185, Bravo and Blackie are rivals and hinder the Blackhawks rescue efforts of a flooded town until the appearance of crooks causes them to start working together. In #190, Bravo and Blackie team up to rescue four of the Blackhawks when they are captured by crooks who intend to pose as the Black Knights in order to rob a passing liner. And Bravo made his last appearance in #191 when he helped Blackie and Lady Blackhawk rescue the Blackhawks from some crooks who are holding them.


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