Issue No. 251

October 1982

This time DC let almost six years go by before bringing Blackhawk back. Written by Mark Evanier, illustrated by Dan Spiegle, with lettering by Carrie McCarthy and coloring by Carl Gafford (the only carry over from the previous run) and edited by Len Wein; the story is set in World War II. This was a wise decision. This is the time in which the Blackhawks seem most at home. It is the situation for which they were created. Once again we see them in their blue uniforms, flying their twin engined Grumman F5F-1 Skyrockets, and fighting the Nazis -- foes worthy of their pure heroics. Aptly, the first story in this series is titled:

A Time to Fight, a Time to Die!: The date is 11 May, 1940. The Blackhawks are parachuting into a small Dutch village. Their mission is to keep the village from voting to accept German rule, but the local people are mostly women, children and old men, they can't fight. The town's leader is an art lover who believes it is worth accepting the Germans if it will protect his valuable collection. The team wipes out some German soldiers but that evening Blackhawk is captured and taken to Nazi lab where he is questioned under sodium pentathol. This is a neat vehicle for recounting his origin story, as he tells the inquisitors about how the Germans killed his family in Poland while he was flying against the Luftwaffe. The rest of the team tricks some German officers into telling them Blackhawk's location. They fly there, cleverly gain access to the bunker, and rescue Blackhawk, only to find themselves face to face with a super tank and them armed only with Thompson sub-machine guns. Team work enables them to commandeer the tank and make their get-away. Back at the village, they find that the villagers have voted against the Germans, led by the art lover whose collection was destroyed by the Nazis.

A great cover by Dave Cockrum.



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