Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Number 865

Blackhawk and the Mona Lisa's smile

The thing that caught my eye about this otherwise routine middle story from Blackhawk #55, 1952, is the character emulating Da Vinci, and even his muse, Mona Lisa. You have to get to the next-to-last page of the story before you find out why this particular Mona Lisa is smiling.

No artist credits by the Grand Comics Database; the art is pretty good, but it's no Da Vinci.

I like Blackhawk comics, but they ask us to accept a lot. Like, how do these guys afford their lifestyle? They have their own island. They fly around in jets burning expensive jet fuel. Jets need a lot of maintenance, and who does that? That's not to mention the cost of the jets from the manufacturer, unless the Blackhawk crew build their own jets on the side. We just have to believe these guys fly around the world righting wrongs (and they are always on the right side, aren't they?) without benefit of any visible income. Maybe the part of the story the writer skips is after they save a country from the communists they present the president of that country a bill for services.


Daniel [] said...

I never pondered the issue when reading the Blackhawk stories in the '60s; but, if asked, I would have guessed, first, that the Blackhawks were funded by an alliance of states, and, second, that (à la Doc Savage) they could tap into some hugely valuable reserve of something-or-another.

Perhaps they were selling technology — some combination of their own innovations and those got from defeated villains.

Pappy said...

Well, of course pondering the source of Blackhawk funding would spoil the fantasy. Maybe they were transporting drugs!

Darci said... lists the Republic F-84 Thunderjet as the Blackhawks first jet. wikipedia's article on the F-84G lists they cost $237000 (in 1950s dollars). Running that through an inflation calculator yields $1967215 in 2010 dollars.

They also offer the conjecture that the plane might be the Dassault Ouragan.