ACW #618 – Blackhawk

Action Comics Weekly #618 (Blackhawk)
“Unhappy Landing”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Rick Burchett
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Gold

Even though Blackhawk’s been back for a little bit, I still can’t quite get used to this feature not being the “anchor” of Action Comics Weekly.  I keep feeling like tomorrow we oughta be doing our compilation wrap-up!

Oh well, gotta change with the (31 years ago) times!

We pick up right where we left off.  If you remember, Olaf and Jan were tusslin’ and a shot was fired by a very shapely silhouette.  Naturally, it’s Natalie… hey, that sorta rhymes!  She tells Janos that his guess about her son’s father is “all wet”, ie. it ain’t Olaf.  No word on how she lost her left eye, however.  Anyhoo, the two fellas agree not to fight anymore, and actually go one step further and insist the other one “have her”.

We shift scenes to Sumatra, where Master Van der Houten is informed that the Blackhawks had chartered a nearby airfield for landing… and on their charter is the name Leslie Richardson.  The baddie suggests they be escorted to him, as they will be his “guests”.  Though, if they resist… they will be shot dead.  Welp, that’s not much of a choice, is it?  We learn here that the Aviatrix Richardson’s co-pilot has finally succumbed… and his body will be dumped in a nearby volcano.  Hmm… You smellin’ what I’m smellin’?

We jump four hours ahead, and the Blackhawks are preparing to land.  Jan assumes that the crash site will be rather well “scrubbed”, leaving no physical evidence of the event.  Leslie is more concerned with “greasing” the right palms in order to procure the official Investigator’s Report.  Upon landing, they are greeted by Van der Houten’s men.

It doesn’t take long before this devolves into a firefight… something that appears to take Janos by surprise.  Not so much the fact that there’s danger afoot, but just how itchy Mr. Richardson’s trigger finger appears to be!

It appears as though the good guys have managed to flee, and Richardson tells them the exact direction they need to head.  This is pretty surprising to the Blackhawks, as up to this point, they’d been led to believe that Leslie’s never been here.  It’s all a moot point, however, as before they can reconnoiter, they are surrounded by the rest of Van der Houten’s men!

Great chapter here!  It’s so hard to believe we’re just about halfway through this Blackhawk arc already!  Few things we learned here… none of which are all that mind-blowing, but neat all the same.

First, there’s more to Leslie Richardson than he was letting on.  I mean, I think we all kind of figured that… especially as he’s paid so much up front, and came along for the trip.  We get a comment from Van der Houten about Les “supposedly” being the Aviatrix’ husband… I suppose that will play out over time.  He’s also very quick to pull the trigger… and he appears to know more about Sumatra than he’d led the Blackhawks to believe.  I’m looking forward to seeing this thread through.

We learn that Olaf isn’t Natalie’s baby-da… nope, not gonna say it.  Ahem, he’s not the father of Natalie’s child.  No word on whether or not he caused her to lose her eye though (unless I missed it).  If I were Janos, I’d probably be more miffed about the missing eye than the parentage… though, only one of those options implies boots were knockin’… so, what do I know?

There was also a brief mention of a “crater”, where the Aviatrix’ co-pilot’s body was to be dumped.  I’m getting the feeling this is sort of a “Chekhov’s Volcano” situation here.  I feel like this will loom large later on in the arc… especially with Van der Houton’s aide’s trepidation about dumping the corpse there.

Overall, this chapter managed to provide so much information and deliver a highly entertaining (and action-packed) firefight!  Heckuva good time… I highly recommend checking out these ACW Blackhawk arcs if you haven’t already, and I’m looking forward to eventually hopping into the follow-up New Format ongoing series!

Tomorrow: The Adventures of Susan King (feat. Wild Dog)!

One thought on “ACW #618 – Blackhawk

  • Billy Hogan

    This was another great Blackhawk installment. As much as I enjoyed the first Blackhawk story, I think this one might be even better.


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