30 Days of Comics, Day 28: Blackhawks #1
Blackhawks represents another interesting attempt by DC to revive one of their previously discontinued properties. The original Blackhawks squadron was an elite team of operatives active in World War II. This was an alternate history of sorts where the Blackhawks regularly fought Nazi superweapons and the like. The squad members were also fairly diverse, representing different European nations such as Sweden and Poland. There was also an offensively drawn Chinese member named Chop-Chop who served as a comic relief sidekick; an unfortunate reminder that this series premiered in 1941.
The Blackhawks have also had a number or reboots over the years that mostly kept them as a WWII squadron but made some changes; most notably, Chop-Chop was redesigned and made a full-fledged member of the team. The token female Blackhawk, Zinda Blake, was also sent forward in time and became a member of the Birds of Prey, hence why I was even a little curious as to how this newly relaunched Blackhawks franchise would play out.
Our new Blackhawks have been modernized and serve as a covert military arm of the United Nations. They seem to be called on to pacify advanced threats involving dangerous technology and superhumans. We open with the team taking out a group of highly advanced terrorists who have seized control of an airport in Kazakhstan. We get decent introductions to some of the team members, most notably Kunoichi, The Irishman, Attila, and Wildman. We get a good look at how the team operates as well as their distinct temperaments and fighting styles.
Afterwards we get a tour of the group’s headquarters when they’re visited by a U.N. delegate. This scene provides some good exposition on the Blackhawks’ purpose and their leadership structure. This also provides excellent background on the kind of threats they need to deal with and ties nicely into the book’s ending.
Overall I felt this was a pretty good book; as far as military comics go it isn’t as “realistic” as something like Men of War but that’s always been the point when it comes to Blackhawks. I should also note that I enjoyed this one a lot more than Men of War and it doesn’t come across quite as obnoxious or preachy. If you like your military comics with a grain of salt, then you’d probably like this book; think Metal Gear Solid but with better and less pretentious writing.
We get a good introduction to the core team members as well as the establishment of a relationship between Kunoichi and Wildman. I would have liked some more development to this relationship, but I think that will be expanded on later given they fit quite a bit of action and exposition into this first issue.
We get a decent look at our villain and how she operates but we don’t learn much about her or her motivations. She’s still quite villainous and I definitely want to see where they go with this.