Blackhawks #1 Review

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The Blackhawks are recreated for the DCnU.

Blackhawks #1

As part of remaking the various corners of the DC-nU, we now see a re-imagining of the Blackhawks, formerly a World War II era group of fighter pilots. Now they are tough modern warriors working for the UN with high tech toys and improbable nicknames. The former Russian speical ops man is called “Irishman,” the computer/intel guy away from all the action is “Wildman,” etc. Oddly, Wildman was the name of one of Sgt. Rock’s commandos back in pre-reboot WWII, but I digress.The only Blackhawk related character to appear regularly over the last several years has been Lady Blackhawk Zinda Blake, a character who was a part of Gail Simone’s late, lamented Birds of Prey. It was hinted strongly that this title would contain a different version of the character, and, indeed, Zinda is nowhere to be seen. The new/reboot Lady B may appear in the first action sequence, but if it’s her, she’s shown in one panel, back to the viewer, firing a rocket launcher and gets no lines.

A small group of Blackhawks get sent in to rescue some hostages, in what was supposed to be a covert mission, which of course devolves into an action scene. The leader of these Blackhawks is apparently a poor judge of character, as one of the agents sent on this “covert” mission seems to be the team hothead/daredevil, a woman with pink hair called Kunoichi. At least her nickname is as poorly picked as the rest- the word means female ninja, and the loudmouthed daredevil is about as far from that as you can get.

Oddly, Kunoichi seems to be set up for a superhero origin in this story, as she gets an open wound, falls into industrial waste, and then starts not being able to sleep, pressing into (dried) concrete hard enough to leave impressions of her hand, and then later smouldering.

We also get the stereotype man in a suit from the government who’s going to come tell them how to run things. He’s new here, so he’s our introduction to the Blackhawk’s base, called the Eyrie. The suit is Delegate Schmidt from the UN, who gets introduced to the concept of microscopic machines which can be introduced into someone’s body without them knowing. Schmidt has come to see the leader of the team, Andrew Lincoln (who is so cool he wears his red sunglasses and various pistols in his office) about the team’s logo showing up on the internet. Apparently they were supposed to be SECRET agents. With a huge base and multinational membership. Yeah, that’ll work.

Elsewhere, a woman we’ve not seen before, who is referred to as “Mother,” arranges for a meta-human prison in Asia to be attacked from within, using an unwitting accomplice to smuggle in “nanocites,” the aforementioned micro-machines. She talks to her stooge for a moment and then blows him, and much of the cell block, up. Back at the Eyrie, Kunoichi keeps feeling strange, and then suddenly checks herself for more of these “nanocites” and looks very upset at the result.

What I liked and what I didn’t:

This was some mindless action with an attempt at an espionage feel. The action scene at the beginning was all right, in a turn your brain off kind of way. I would have liked some kind of tie to, or at least passing in joke about, the original Blackhawks.

The contrary nicknames were a bit overdone as a recurring theme. The “send the hot shot on the secret mission” cliche has been done too many times. Actually, there’s a lot of cliche here- the field ops disdaining medical treatment, the government rep in a suit, etc. Also, the bizarre “super hero origin” bit with Kunoichi seemed really out of place here, as if two different plots were put in the same book. And I believe “nanities” are pretty well known in sci fi/adventure, did we need a new version here? And what was the point of putting this version of Lady Blackhawk, sure to be a talking point, in the opening, or even the first issue, at all if she’s only in one panel with no lines?


Pros Cons
“mindless cliches, the gaining powers subplot

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I have been a comic collector and reader for decades now (wow that hurts to say). My major interests have been hero titles in DC and Marvel. At one time, I was co-owner of a small comic and gaming store, and at that point I read EVERY hero book coming out, Marvel, DC, Milestone, Malibu, and Valiant. I am pleased to have been asked to contribute here, for the moment on the Teen Titans title. I am a frequent poster on the DC Message boards, there under the name Kingsmythe. I hope you enjoy my posts, and feel free to ask questions or make corrections as needed.