Who's Who: Blackie

Both pictures from #111, art by Dick Dillin & Chuck Cuidera.
A black hawk named Jet helps Blackhawk defeat a flying cannon and rescue the rest of the team in issue #75. This may be the first appearance of the Blackhawks' flying mascot who was later known as Blackie.

Blackie was an amazing bird who showed intelligence far beyond that expected of the avian world. In fact, Blackie often appeared to be much more intelligent than any of the humans in the stories in which he appeared. His fearlessness would put Daredevil to shame. Blackie never worried about the odds against him or the difficulty of the task he faced. He simply went ahead and did whatever was necessary.

Blackie had a special "caw" that he only used for Blackhawk, a fact Chuck was able to use to identify the team's chief when he masqueraded as the Question Mark to test the other Blackhawks' leadership capabilities (#109). In issue #111, Blackie stared in two stories, one in which he was the primary player as he battled eagles and enemy aircraft to deliver a vital message, and another in which he made the decisive move to defeat a seemingly invincible flying carpet. Blackie continued to fly to the rescue of the Blackhawks in issues #s 127, 142, and 146, defeating two of the Black Knights' most infamous foes, King Condor and The Scorpion. A freguent plot twist had one of the Blackhawks replaced by a double for evil purposes, and this also happened to Blackie in #160 when the evil scientist, Professor Proxy, replaced the Wonder Bird with a proxy to spy out the Blackhawks' plans. Blackie even had a movie made about his fantastic exploits (#162).

Blackie teamed up with the lovely Lady Blackhawk for the first time in #166, when they combined forces to defeat evil aliens who were mind-controlling the Blackhawks. In his next two appearances (#s 174 and 176) he had to save the Blackhawks by himself, but he had little trouble handling the job.

In #185, Blackie teamed with Bravo, the chimp. Obviously, as the senior mascot Blackie wasn't going to take any guff from this upstart simian, but when the chips were down he worked with Bravo to defeat the crooks. Once the pecking order was established and Bravo understood that he had to play second banana to Blackie, the two mascots teamed again in #190 to rescue their human comrades. Blackie and Bravo joined Lady Blackhawk in #191 to rescue the male humans of the team one more time.

Blackie worked solo in #194 to rescue three of the Black Knights from a Nazi criminal. And he was on his own when he rescued the team for the last time in #214. I don't know what happened to Blackie after that but I suspect he saw the "secret identity" phase coming and decided he really wanted no part of that humiliation. And perhaps he thought it was time the human Blackhawks learned to take care of themselves and stop counting on him to come to their rescue when they got in over their heads. So he retired to a nice quiet oak tree on Blackhawk Island where, hopefully, he found an attractive female hawk with whom to spend the rest of his days.

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