Earth One, 1st model
"The War Wheel was invented by Prof. Merson, who willingly defected to the Nazis even though it was believed at the time that he had been kidnapped.
It was in May, 1940, that the War Wheel first went into action, wrecking a town in Belgium. It was a gigantic wheel, spiked and heavily armored so that not even the largest artillery shell could penetrate it. Buildings and vehicles were crushed as it inexorably rolled along.
The Blackhawks landed and helped fight off Nazi soldiers just after the War Wheel left. Surprisingly, they found the War Wheel's tracks left the town, then mysteriously stopped. It must have been taken away by air, yet how could any aircraft lift this juggernaut?
The Blackhawks used every weapon they could think of against the War Wheel, from aerial bombs to Chop-Chop crashing his plane into it; nothing worked.
Blackhawk found Merson watching and demanded that he tell how his creation could be stopped. Merson replied that he had no idea. Only the men inside could stop it.
Blackhawk conceived his own scheme for stopping the great Wheel. He attached high voltage wires to a fence in its path. When the Wheel struck it, the shock killed the men within and the huge machine stopped and crashed to Earth.
Earth One, 2nd model
Later, when Blackhawk was on a mission to trap Domino, the other Blackhawks received word that the War Wheel was active again - this time in a Spanish town against people there giving aid to the forces fighting the Nazis.
The Blackhawks did find out how the War Wheel vanished - it was lifted by a group of dirigibles, with artificial cloud cover. The Blackhawks attacked and damaged the dirigibles, rendering them incapable of supporting the Wheel. Stanislaus came up with the way to defeat the Wheel, luring it into quicksand, where it bogged down. The men inside surrendered.
Quality Universe version
In 1952, the tiny European country of Malkaria was attacked, by one of the countries in the Soviet Bloc. It was wrongly believed that this weapon was created by Professor Dekker, a Malkarian patriot. Blackhawk infiltrated the aggressor nation disguised as Dekker and found this accusation to be false; Dekker had killed himself rather than aid the aggressors. Blackhawk lured the giant weapon into quicksand, where it sank, drowning the crew.
The Wheel turned up time and again, only to be defeated by the Blackhawks or Task Force X.
It seems this War Wheel, or a later one, was salvaged, or replicated, by the Blackhawks, as it later turned up as an exhibit in their Victory Museum on Blackhawk Island."
- An earlier appearance (chronologically) of a weapon called "The Smasher", featured in Tomahawk #105, was very similar to the War Wheel. It was originally designed by Leonardo Da Vinci but was never built until King George had it constructed "somewhere in the South" during the American Revolution.
- The War Wheel makes its appearance in the Justice League three-part episode "The Savage Time", where it was one of many superweapons designed from future technology by Vandal Savage and were used by the Axis Powers during World War Two and were fought by the Justice League. In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Justice League Unlimited Episode: I Am Legion", a War Wheel was among the enhanced weapons that were captured and stored on Blackhawk Island by the Blackhawk Squadron, and incorporated into the island's defense systems.
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