ACW #615 – Blackhawk

Action Comics Weekly #615 (Blackhawk)
“That Was No Lady…”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Rick Burchett
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Gold

You know we’ve been at this for awhile when we find ourselves starting the second arc of a returning feature!

Today we welcome Blackhawk back into the fold, and I’ve really been looking forward to it!  I gotta say, it’s weird having a Blackhawk chapter… and it not being the anchor of the issue!

Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!

Singapore.  June, 1947.  Janos is meeting with a group of folks who want some freight delivered.  It looks like a whole bunch of flour sacks, however, the “client” lets it slip that those sacks are actually full of opium.  Janos ain’t digging the sound of that, and backs out.  The client doesn’t take kindly to that, and before we know it, we’re in a fire-fight!  Jonas uses the “boss” as a human shield… which, turns out was a pretty smart thing to do.  The “boss” gets shot in the chest a mere moment later!  Blackhawk retreats into the rainy night.

After emerging from a back alley, he runs right into a bicycle rickshaw.  He hops on, and finds himself sharing a ride with (I assume) an old associate… a one-eyed woman in purple named Natalie!

He and ol’ Nat Fury ride back to the brothel he’s been staying at.  Janos is immediately met by a, uh, lady of the house… but he’d rather make time with Natalie.  She passes on a trip “upstairs”.

She will, however, chat him up at the Singapore Sling Saloon.  We get the impression that this Natalie Reed might be a little on the “Red” side.  She left the United States, and a presumably lucrative entertainment career due to a “Red Consciousness”.  She asks Janos for a job… and also asks if he’d ever heard of a man named J. Parnell Thomas.

Blackhawk gives her a job at his Airline.  In a neat bit of continuity, we learn that he’d cashed in his share of gold from the earlier ACW feature to set himself up here.  Janos shares a Western Union telegram with Natalie about their next gig.  She’s not so sure it’s a good idea, but our man smells “mucho dinero” and also a potentially “great-lookin’ tomato”.

We wrap up with Natalie settling in to her new position as “Gal Friday”, “Flight-Traffic Clerk” and “Ground Crew” for Blackhawk Airways, and the arrival of Leslie Richardson… the point of contact for that Western Union telegram.

Perhaps not the “hot” start I might have been expecting, but a welcome return for this wonderful feature.  I was a little concerned about how much I would enjoy this without Mike Grell in the writer’s chair.  I probably shouldn’t have worried, as Marty Pasko seems to have a real good handle (and knack) for writing our fella.

I appreciate that we find out, right off the bat, that Janos does have a “line”.  He refuses to traffic Opium, when I gotta say, I wasn’t entirely sure he’d have any reservations about that kinda thing.  My familiarity with Janos Prohaska comes from… well, that first arc… and whatever I can remember from the Chaykin Prestige Format series.  He seemed to me as a guy who “had a price”, and wouldn’t ask many questions… keeping himself willfully ignorant in potentially “murky” situations, while still looking to profit.

Again, I don’t know a heckuva lot about this guy… so, my perception might be (or almost certainly is) completely off-base.

I like Janos having a “second”.  Last time out it was Sister Cynthia, this time it looks like it’ll be Natalie Reed.  I’m already looking forward to more of their back and forth!

Tomorrow: Welcome Back… Wild Dog!

0 thoughts on “ACW #615 – Blackhawk

  • Billy Hogan

    Marty Pasko did a great job in "Action Comics Weekly" and the short-lived "Blackhawk" series giving us a glimpse at post-WWII America, and it wasn't always pretty.


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