Art by Eduardo Barreto
Who's Who: Lady Blackhawk
Name: Natalie Reed (nee Gurdin)
Code Name: Lady Blackhawk
Occupation: Variously an actress, model, aeronautical engineer, and comic book writer.
Base of Operations: New York City, NY
Born: 7/4/20 Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY
Weight: 125 lbs.
Brooklyn born Natalie Gurdin was the child of Benjamin and Lucille Gurdin, who are known to have been card-carrying members of the Communist Party, U.S.A. They apparently raised their daughter to believe as they did.
At her parents' urging, Natalie entered and won the "Miss Young Communist League" beauty contest in 1937. The title led to a short-lived modeling career and a small role in the low budget 1938 film "Gun Molls in Trouble." It was at about this time that Miss Gurdin changed her name to Reed, in honor of John Reed, the American Communist journalist who died while a citizen of Soviet Russia. Perhaps further inspired by Reed, Natalie herself emigrated to Russia in 1940 to live and study.
While there, Natalie became an expert in the field of aeronautical engineering and chief designer with the Valentine-Prendergast Airplane Factory. It is true that Miss Reed has shown great skill as a pilot and some native ability in aircraft design, but whether her "expertise" is real or an inflated product of Soviet propaganda remains undetermined.
Miss Reed's connection with The Blackhawks came first with her contribution to the design and production of The Blackhawks' modified Grumman Xf5F-1 Skyrocket planes. Later, while aparently working with Soviet intelligence, she helped defeat Death Mayhew in his plot to destroy Manhattan. It is during this period that Natalie Reed was dubbed "Lady Blackhawk" by the U.S. press.
Aside from several publicity tours and a brief resumption of her modeling career, little is know of Miss Reed's post-war life. She is known to have briefly been an employee of Blackhawk Airways in Singapore in 1947, but she dropped out of sight shortly thereafter.
Natalie Reed surfaced again in New York in 1948, employed as the writer of The Blackhawks' licensed comic book adventures. In connection with this, an attempt was made to frame her for sneaking Communist doctrine into her scripts, though she was later cleared of this charge.
Little is known about the accident that cost her the use of one eye, or of the identity of the father of her child, a boy born in 1945.
All files on Natalie Gurdin Reed remain classified and her current whereabouts, if she is alive, are unknown.
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