Friday, July 03, 2015

Number 1756: Lady Blackhawk shows her stuff!

Zinda, the only female with those testosterone troopers, the Blackhawks, stumbles into a mystery while on vacation in France. She changes into her Lady Blackhawk costume (tunic with mini-skirt and boots), just in time to dive into the water, chasing some crooks. After presenting the mystery to the Blackhawks, she basically disappears for a few pages, just in time to reappear, parachuting into the finale.

I am sorry that the writer could not think of more for Zinda to do than be a bit player in the story. It is of its time, 1963. Other female superheroines and plucky non-super females appearing in DC Comics notwithstanding, girls usually didn’t do the rough stuff, not when they had a gaggle of guys to do it for them.

From Blackhawk #186. Drawn by Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera.

Meet me after the story, okay?

When I scanned this from my copy of the comic I picked up on this. Even though I have owned the comic since it was new, I had not noticed this. Dillon and Cuidera got away with something in this Comics Code approved issue. As Zinda parachutes down she flashes an unidentified member of the Blackhawk team. I call it as I see it. What would you call it?

There is a similar situation in this posting from last fall. Click on the thumbnail to see what I mean.


Daniel [] said...

One way of understanding why a culture might want to keep the dames away from the rough stuff is to consider how long it would take for the population to recover if 50% of the young men were killed, as opposed to how long if 50% of the young women were killed. When it comes to reproduction, women are intrinsically more scarce.

(I occasionally wrestle with the fact that I adore brave women, and dislike cowardice in either sex, yet would want my partner to run from danger.)

The panel with the flashing is so badly composed that I don't know what to make of the flashing in this case. In any case, it is Blackhawk himself who is being flashed, but he's turned his head, and would be presumed to be looking downward, rather than at Zinda.

Back in the early '70s, Supergirl was being drawn by an artist who was fond of drawing Kara qua Linda facing the viewer, with her legs spread. (I don't remember the artist, and I'd have to move furniture to get at my collection right now; but you probably have that datum immediately at hand.) A lot of people noticed. When a different artist was assigned to the character, someone else at DC was reportedly heard to joke that “crotch shots” drawn by the one would now be replaced by “crotch shots” drawn by the other.

Alicia American said...

She nose how 2 have adventures & look fashionebable shes a roll modal yo srsly omg

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

I think the lowest point in the group's career was in 1967, when someone decided to turn them into "superheroes" of sorts, changing their names and costumes (Blackhawk = "The Listener"), and introducing "hip" dialogues.

Quote from "World's Worst Comics Award" n. 2 (Kitchen Sink 1990):

"We should note that the Blackhawks did all this for a secret agency called G.E.O.R.G.E. (Group for Extermination of Organizations of Revenge, Greed and Evil). In an era lousy with secret agencies, G.E.O.R.G.E. was the lousiest."

It was not U.N.C.L.E., for sure.

It didn't last long, thank heavens, but anyway their glory days of Nazi-busters were gone. Subsequent wars and political warfare were not so good as WW2 for any comic hero I guess.

By the way, as a 70's kid I can't help but note that the Hawks (as a concept) could have inspired the GI-Joe line of toys (both in their 70's and 80's version) and some neat Mego stuff:

Pappy said...

J D, I believe I had given up on the Blackhawks after a point because I thought they had become silly. I was in the U.S. Army in 1967-68, and didn't buy many comics. Mercifully, I missed this phase of the Blackhawks career.

Pappy said...

Daniel, you are hereby excused from this session of D.O.M.A, the Dirty Old Men of America club. At D.O.M.A. we look for softcore porn in everything. It is a lot more fun when it is more subtle, not as blatant as it is nowadays.

Pappy said...

Alicia, well observed, youngster.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

@Daniel: Art Saaf, maybe? He drew lovely crot... gals, I mean. Very feminist artist. No need for complicated costumes, he showed us that a Super-Girl surely can do her deeds just while wearing her panties, plain and simple. For example:

Super-suction breath is a remarkable power ! :-)

Mr. Pappy. how can I get a D.O.M.A. premium card? Sounds better than an affiliation to G.E.O.R.G.E.

Daniel [] said...

JD, I think that you've identified the culprit. (And I'd forgot about the panties, which I thought stupid at the time, and think stupid now.)

The first Blackhawk issue that I saw (and which I still have) was the one in which they were recast in '67. Lousy.

Darci said...

Cross reference your supposition with panel 3 of the story's page 11 (aka page 31 of the book). I think the parachute harness eliminates the possibility.

FWIW, I think Zinda (as well as Kara in some of her shorter-skirted outfits) wore something resembling the skirts for cheerleaders and ice skaters.

It's generally agreed that the art for the Blackhawks declined after the sale to DC. By this time Chuck Cuidera was 48 and Dick Dillin was 35, not exactly over-the-hill. I guess they just felt they would ride that gravy train until it crashed. Anyone have any idea who wrote this? It's such a generic story it could have been in Challengers of the Unknown or Sea Devils with hardly any changes.