"The Doomed Dogfight":


Quote1.png That Messerschmitt I'm zeroed in on ... it's TAIL-HEAVY! They're ALL tail-heavy! Something's wrong ... real wrong! Quote2.png
Blackhawk

Blackhawk #112 is an issue of the series Blackhawk (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1957.

Appearing in "The Doomed Dogfight"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Colonel Eric von Cramm
    • his gunmen

Other Characters:

  • Dan Young

Locations:

  • Mid-western USA
    • County Airfield

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Doomed Dogfight"

In 1944 an aerial dogfight took place between a lone Allied fighter and seven German Messerschmitts, in which the Allied fighter shot down all but the Luftwaffe leader, Colonel Eric von Cramm. This fight was captured on film with a wing-mounted movie camera, and was considered the most famous dogfight of World War II. Von Cramm swore revenge and fled to fight another day. The allied fighter was Blackhawk.

In 1957, this gun camera footage came to the attention of Dan Young, the manager of a county fair, who proposed to recreate the battle, using live ammo and robot piloted Messerschmitts, for charity. At the fair that evening as Blackhawk rested, the rest of his team was captured by a series of traps, designed to exploit several of their own specialties, including Stanislaus' acrobatic skill on a mechanical trapeze, Hendrickson's marksmanship at a shooting gallery, and Olaf wrestling a robot. They each learned they were prisoners of von Cramm, who had escaped prison, and was using the staged dogfight to wreak his revenge. Blackhawk woke the next day to find the team missing, but decided to search for them after the staged dogfight. Once in the air, he soon deduced that his teammates had been strapped into the six Bf-109s that he was supposed to shoot down, and von Cramm was in the seventh plane. Blackhawk jumped from his aircraft onto Von Cramm's, seized the remote controls operating the other planes, and saved his men, while von Cramm fell to his death.

Appearing in "The Crimson Vultures"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Crimson Vultures:
    • B, leader (Dies)
    • H, marksman (Dies)
    • S, acrobat (Dies)
    • A, (Dies)
    • C, (Dies)
    • CC, (Dies)
    • O, (Dies)
  • Crimson, their Vulture (captured)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Burlington Coast-to-Coast Express, 14 cars (stolen)
  • Crimson Vultures' Giant Flying Bridge (dropped in the ocean)
  • Crimson Vultures' Island In The Sky (not seen or mentioned again after page 7 panel 1)
  • Blackhawk Lockheed F-90Cs

Synopsis for "The Crimson Vultures"

The Blackhawks are summoned to Washington, D.C., when an entire train carrying $3,000,000 in government gold bullion is stolen in the Midwest. When the team begins searching the 300-square-mile area, they discover a flying bridge being used to help inmates escape from an island prison, which is manned by a criminal team called the Crimson Vultures, who wear red vulture-inspired costumes. The Crimson Vultures apparently each come from the same nations as the Blackhawks, and are just as highly skilled and practiced to counter every move the Blackhawks make; they even have a pet vulture to fight Blackie.

The Vultures escape to an island in the sky that acts as their own counterpart to Blackhawk Island, where they plan Operation Downfall to bring down the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are forewarned about the trap when Blackie's radio falls off and catches on the pet vulture's leg, while they were fighting, and it transmits the Vultures' plans. Thus in the final showdown, when the Vultures electrify their flying bridge to freeze the Blackhawks in place, the Black Knights are wearing insulated boots and have no trouble taking out their rivals. The Vulture's leader, in a mad rage, dives the flying bridge in order to kill everyone. But the Blackhawks jump free and float to safety on their jacket-parachutes, a secret the Vultures did not know, which leads to the deaths of all the Vultures, except their pet vulture.

Appearing in "The Eighth Blackhawk"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Jim Turner

Antagonists:

  • Zorac

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "The Eighth Blackhawk"

While doing rescue work in a flood, Blackhawk is knocked unconscious and swept toward a waterfall and apparent certain doom. He is saved by a youth named Jim Turner. Jim tells them he is a life-long fan of the Blackhawks and desires nothing more than to be a member. Blackhawk tells him their charter limits the team to seven (an odd provision) tells Jim to go home and pack. They will fly him to Blackhawk Island for a special lifesaving award ceremony. We then see Jim in a secret meeting with Zorac, a crime boss who gives Jim an inertial navigation device that will calculate the location of Blackhawk Island when Jim is flown there. Jim is given orders to sabotage and disarm the island's defenses. At the island, Jim is given royal treatment and begins to have doubts about his mission, but he goes ahead with sabotaging the defenses. In the morning, he finds a Blackhawk uniform for him and a sign designating him as a reserve member. Now Jim really feels bad. When he is taken on a mission with them and treated like a full equal, he decides he can't go through with it. He leaves a note telling about his betrayal of them and when he returns to the mainland he is about to smash Zorac's device when Zorac stops him. Zorac has Jim tied up in his mountain hideout when the Blackhawks, having found Jim's note, parachute in. Unfortunately, they land in a mine field and Zorac is about to hit the detonator when Jim lifts a hand grenade from one of the hoods and blows up the cabin. Zorac and his men are finished but Jim is saved by a tactic he read in the Blackhawk handbook (throwing himself on the floor to avoid the shrapnel). The Blackhawks then tell him they picked up the device on their detectors before he even got to the island so they kept an eye on him and undid his sabotage but didn't say anything to give him a chance to make things right.

Notes

  • The Doomed Dogfight presents some serious continuity problems, mainly that the Blackhawk team apparently has not been formed as late as 1944.
  • Eighth Blackhawk
    • Zorac the crime boss doesn't know the location of Blackhawk Island. At least there's somebody who doesn't know where it is.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Blackhawk were:
    • Shorty
    • Charlie Cannonball by Henry Boltinoff
    • Codes of the Jungle (two-page nonfiction article, about ways that tribal peoples used drums, horns, and smoke to communicate over distances)
  • Includes a list of the winners of the "DC Slogan Contest."

Trivia



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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