ACW #630 – Blackhawk

Action Comics Weekly #630 (Blackhawk)
“Mr. Blackhawk Goes to Washington”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Art – Rick Burchett
Letters – Steve Haynie
Colors – Tom Ziuko
Editor – Mike Gold

Hey gang, just wanna beg your indulgence a tiny bit up in the preramble and thank you for letting me vent some of my frustrations on the loss of steam this blog has experienced over the past little while.  I’ve received a lot of thoughtful words of encouragement both here and elsewhere, and I appreciate all of it more than I can properly put into words.

Seems, as much as we’d like to pretend we’re above such things, I guess sometimes I need a bit of validation and a gentle shove forward to shake off some doubt, paranoia, and inertia.

Thanks again, gang!  Now, let’s Blackhawk!

We open with Mr. Claiborne, at least I think it’s Mr. Claiborne, exiting the Hotel Bedford.  A car sidles up to the curb… inside, an equally obnoxious-looking fellow asks the way to the Quay.  When Claiborne can’t answer, the occupants of the car chase him down and beat him down soundly.  We shift over to the Blackhawk Airways Offices at Changi Airfield, where Janos is filling Natalie in on the particulars of the last arc.  Their chat is interrupted by the arrival of Mairzey and the bird.

Jan ain’t too keen on her walking in on him in his skivvies… gotta say, I didn’t realize he was so modest… anyhoo, Nat informs him that Mairzey is her new assistant, and everything kinda blows over.  It’s a much cuter scene than I’m explaining it to be.  She tells him that there’s a dude from the State Department waiting to speak with him… to which, Janos finally decides to throw on a pair of pants.

The State Department guy marches in, and immediately ingratiates himself to Nat and Jan, by referring to the former as “Miss Young Communist League, 1937”.  She also realizes, in reading the letter from Washington, D.C., that she is not among the invitees.  This looks like it’s going to be a boys trip… or at the very least, a non-Communist one?

The suit introduces himself as Wendell Hardesty, and he informs Jan that Claiborne is now “out of the picture”… but doesn’t go into any actual detail.  He is particularly careful with his words while Natalie is present.  From here, we jump right on over to the White House, where Janos critiques President Truman’s methodologies.  Truman kinda pushes the blame for the recent “microwave thing”… and the blame makes its way almost completely around the room.  Again, a much cuter scene than I’m explaining it to be.

When the President finally gets to make his pitch, we come to find that it has to do with the creation of the C.I.A.  As they not yet have the authority to conduct covert ops, Truman has decided to turn to Blackhawk… and make him a Special Agent of the President!

Like we have for the past few weeks, we now shift over to Munich to check in with the Reich.  Frau Koblenz is still being chatted up by a pair of dudes.  Turns out, there’s this “truth serum” the Germans have used… whose formula is now owned by an American pharmaceutical firm called Darabont-Catchart, Incorporated.  This neatly dovetails into Janos’ world, as this current “covert op” has to do with the transporting of said drug out and Germany and into the United States.

We wrap up back in D.C., where we get the particulars on this “truth serum” (from a time-traveling Ted Cruz?).  Turns out, Janos’s trip… might just get trippy, because the serum is actually an hallucinogen called D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, otherwise known as L.S.D.  Far out…

Another fun installment for Janos and the gang!  I tell ya what, one thing I wasn’t expecting when we started this journey was for Blackhawk to have elements of situational comedy.  In my obliviousness, I assumed this would be a dismal “war book”… not that there’s anything wrong with war books, they’ve just never really been my speed.

I didn’t think I’d be able to draw parallels between this and the bwah-ha-ha era of Justice League International… and yet, here we are!  We get these moments of, I dunno, normalcy… but, with pretty great comedic timing.  Dunno… just really loving the tone and feel of this story, the situation, and this crew.

The L.S.D. angle kind of caught me by surprise, though admittedly, I’m not much of a student of “real” history (if this is even rooted in such)… so, more astute readers might’ve picked up on this right away.  Still, an interesting wrinkle… which opens up some very intriguing possibilities.  Whatever the case, I’m happy to see the beginnings for the disparate storylines (Blackhawks and Munich) dovetailing into one.

Just really can’t say enough good about this feature.  I’ll miss it when it’s gone!  Thankfully, there’s that New Format ongoing that follows.  Really looking forward to digging into that!

Tomorrow: We can finally stop looking at the damned elephant!

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