Issue No. 198

July 1964

The Origin of the Blackhawks: The most extensive telling of the origin story to this date; the story describes the meeting of the various men (except for Chop-Chop, who joined later) who would become the Blackhawks. They are gathered together by Allied Intelligence in England shortly before D-Day where they are extensively trained for a secret mission to destroy a Nazi secret weapon that threatens the success of the entire invasion.

It is a good story, well told and illustrated, but tying the Blackhawks' origin to D-Day is very inconsistent with the established continuity of the Blackhawks. The first appearance of the Blackhawks in Military Comics #1 (see History of the Blackhawks) occured in 1941- before the United States entered the war and nearly four years before D-Day. The Blackhawks fought continously throughout the war, first on the European front and then in the Pacific.

The other problem with this story is that it emphasizes the difficulty of the Blackhawks' origin more than twenty years before the date of this story. The Blackhawks should have been middle aged men in their forty's by 1964, while in the comic book they are still portrayed as men in their late twenties (except for Hendrickson, of course, who still looks fifty but by 1964 should have been seventy, at least). Other comic characters like Batman had this problem too, but that was "explained" by having the older, 1940's characters exist on another Earth, and adjusting the origin of the characters to a more contemporary time. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks origin, as exemplified in this story, was so closely tied to WW II that it could not be explained away. As the time since WW II increased, this paradox of an exciting, war time origin and seemingly unaging heroes in the present made the Blackhawks less and less believable as current heroes.

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