The War Wheel was a Communist superweapon during the Cold War.
Earth-One, 1st model
The War Wheel was invented by Prof. Merson, an American academic who had willingly defected to the Nazis.
The machine first saw action in May 1940, wrecking a town in Belgium. It was a gigantic wheel, spiked and heavily armored. Buildings and vehicles were crushed as it inexorably rolled along.
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. This time, they defeated it by 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 original War Wheel appeared in 1952 in Malkaria, in Blackhawk #56. The Merson Nazi War Wheel appeared thirty years later, but chronologically earlier, in Blackhawk #252.
- 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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