Thirty years ago a bookstore coworker saw me grading some Golden Age Blackhawk comics. "Those guys," he said, "look like they'd fit into the leather bar scene in San Francisco." My coworker was gay. I'd never thought of the Blackhawks that way, but who knows? Maybe they needed Lady Blackhawk, Zinda Blake, to make them look a little less, well, involved with one another.
What am I saying? The Blackhawks, like all DC super heroes of the era, are totally sexless. Well, maybe not André, who has hot French blood running in his veins, but the rest of the Blackhawks, dressed like Nazis or leather lads, as my coworker opined, didn't live up to their sexy image.
Lady Blackhawk, who is still a character in the DC Universe, dressed pretty hot for 1961 when these stories were published. Hat, leather tunic with a mini-skirt and high boots. My kinda lady. "Lady Blackhawk's Deadly Romance" is from Blackhawk #163, and "The Creatures That Controlled the Blackhawks" is from #166. Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera did the artwork. The Grand Comics Database credits Dick Dillin and Sheldon Moldoff for the cover of #166.
I can tell you exactly what I was doing on Thursday, June 4, 1961. When the local pharmacy opened at 10:00 a.m. my brother and I entered and waited for Gus the pharmacist to rack the latest comic books on the spinner so we could each get a copy of the Secret Origins giant, shown in this ad from Blackhawk #163. As the ad says, "you'll treasure it the rest of your life." I haven't lived my whole life yet, but yeah, I still have my copy. June 4, 2010 was 49 years since I bought it, and while I have a few critiques of it as a real "secret origins" issue I still like it.
The next two Thursdays Gus saw Rob and me again, waiting on June 22 for the Superman Annual #3, and then the most eagerly awaited on June 29, the first Batman Annual. I sold or traded the Superman Annual in one of my periodic collection purges, but held on to the Batman Annual, and yes, I treasure that one, also.