Issue No. 252November 1982
The War Wheel: This story introduces Domino, a beautiful young woman trained by the Nazis specifically to kill the Blackhawks. On the way to rescue a captured scientist, Professor Merson, working for the Germans, the Blackhawks stop to aid civilians whose town has been demolished by a huge metal machine called the War Wheel. At the casino where they expect to find Merson, who is a compulsive gambler, a beautiful woman calling herself the Countess Anna Hanfstaengl throws herself at Blackhawk, but he sees through her pretense and she uses martial arts to knock him out. She disappears and the team rescues Merson, but at his plane, Merson stuns Stan with an electrified pen and escapes. He's not being held by the Germans, he's working for them for pay. The Blackhawks do end up with a coded message that tells them where the War Wheel will be tested next. They seem helpless against the giant war machine. Their machine guns and bombs have no effect. On the ground, Blackhawks connects high tension wires to a metal fence that the War Wheel is about to cross and electrocutes the men inside, stopping it. As Blackhawk is about to put Merson into his plane, Domino hits him from behind and takes Merson back to the Germans.
This was an excellent story, with good action that uses old standards (the War Wheel) and introduces interesting new characters (Merson and Domino). There is also some good character development for the Blackhawks, something long over due. And finally, one of my very favorite covers, by Dave Cockrum (Click here to see the original art for this cover). Marv Wolfman takes over editing on this issue.
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