Another Blazing Adventure with DC’S Magnificent 7!

Long-time ISB readers might recall that while I love the concept, I’ve had my difficulties with the Blackhawks in the past, most notably when they decided to forsake their careers as flying aces and instead become the Worst Super-Heroes Ever in a story not even the mad genius of Bob Haney could save.

Still, while I’m not the Blackhawk fan that Dr. K is, this was not a cover I could turn down when I ran across it yesterday:




Not only does this cover feature the phallocentric bondage that has been the hallmark of the Blackhawk name since 1941–what with the fact that Stanislaus is tied up straddling a spiked battering ram and all–but man. How much of a Nazi do you have to be to weld swastikas to your tank treads so that you leave little swastikas in your tracks?

Answer: Enough that you also have one of these:



Based solely on the cover and the title page, I’m already willing to declare this one of the best comics of 1965. The art comes courtesy of Dick Dillin, and while the writer’s uncredited, but I’m pretty sure this is a Bob Haney joint, based on four pieces of evidence I’ve been able to gather:

1. Haney wrote the surrounding issues of Blackhawk, numbers 212 and 214,

2. There’s a character in the second story named “Bo Baney,”

3. Blackhawk talks pretty much exactly like Batman does in Haney’s Brave and the Bold issues,

and most importantly,

4. It is fucking awesome.

It all starts back in World War II, where a Ratzi by the name of von Horst sets out with his own band of strapping Übermenschen to take out Blackhawk and his team of charming stereotypes. Of course, this (presumably) being a Bob Haney comic, von Horst is no ordinary soldier:



Yes, he’s got a steel skull, which is why he’s been nicknamed The Steel Skull. Pay attention, because this fact will come up exactly twice in the story, and will lead directly to our standard-issue last-page deus ex machina ending.

Needless to say, von Horst’s Sinister Master Plan doesn’t exactly work out and he’s eventually captured by the Blackhawks. Under normal circumstances, one has to imagine that a high-ranking German officer would’ve been taken prisoner or, I dunno, shot or something, but Blackhawk elects to settle things High School Bully Style:



They tie him up, put a sign on his back, and let him go back to his camp.

Truly, they were the Greatest Generation.

As you might imagine, von Horst is not one to take such humiliation lightly, and immediately sets about plotting his revenge, which takes twenty years of living in a cave and culminates in a plan involving a fake treasure map to a cache of stolen Nazi gold, a conveniently located Roman arena in North Africa, and of course, Robot Nazi Stormtroopers:



Even against those titanic odds, the Blackhawks manage avoid certain doom. Stanislaus is freed when Hendy makes a pair of amazing trick shots, electing to shoot the ropes binding his pal to the tank rather than the guy sticking out of it–because, you know, Comics Code–and the robots are defeated when they manage to drop a rock on them.

It’s a big rock.

Eventually, von Horst is tracked to his cave, where Andre and his moustache save the day by activating a giant yet previously unseen electromagnet that von Horst–who, if you recall, has a steel head–wandered underneath. In his own cave.



So yeah, maybe slightly less awesome than previously advertised. But still, robot Nazi stormtroopers being smashed with rocks… that’s gotta count for something, right?



BONUS FEATURE: And Then This Happened



33 thoughts on “Another Blazing Adventure with DC’S Magnificent 7!

  1. I’m going to shout “So much for ‘Big Daddy’ Ape!” at least once a day from now on.

  2. Nazi Tire Tracks. Because if you’re going to be a Nazi tool, you’ve gotta go the whole hog and ruin precious dirt. The dirt has more feelings than the Nazi in that cover art I’ll bet.

  3. the robots are defeated when they manage to drop a rock on them.

    It’s a big rock.

    Well played, Mr. Sims. Well played.

  4. Oh, Big Daddy Ape. I used to love him in the ’80s. “Warm it up Ape” is a stone-cold hip hop classic.

  5. Yumpin’ fucking Jimminy! Swastika tracks? Those hardcore swine!

  6. The second I read “deus ex machina” I thought “electromagnet”. I’d suggest that I’ve read too many Silver Age stories, if that was actually possible.

  7. Is there any writer in comics who can be so quickly identifiable from his work as Bob Haney?

  8. I have one unanswered, probably unanswerable question: Why do they all have ticks next to their head on the splash page… EXCEPT Hendrickson?

  9. Is there any writer in comics who can be so quickly identifiable from his work as Bob Haney?

    This weekend I was watching ROBOCOP 2 and I couldn’t remember if that was the one Frank Miller wrote, but there were hookers beating a guy up within the first five minutes.

    So yes.

  10. Ahh, Robocop 2. I remember sitting in the theater thinking: “This may be incredibly bad, but on the bright side, at least it means Frank Miller will never have a career in the movies.”

  11. Didn’t Frank Miller also apologize for RoboCop 2, vow never to make something like that again, then go on to make RoboCop 3?

  12. I keep having to move further and further back in time when Frank Miller snapped. Because, yeah, Dark Knight Strikes Back has nothing on Robocop 2 for weird WTF shit. However, it IS a hoot.

  13. Much of Robocop 2 was fun, but the mean-spiritedness of the overall tone sapped a lot of that from the end product. R3 took years to come out, I avoided it deliberately, then accidentally saw it on television – I laughed more than once, but oddly enjoyed it.
    I also enjoyed Batman and Robin. Yeah, I know it was crap.
    Still enjoyed it.

    That battering ram on the Blackhawk cover doesn’t look much like a phallus to me, but then I’m not one of the Borg.

  14. Why do they all have ticks next to their head on the splash page… EXCEPT Hendrickson?

    Because only Hendrickson had no alibi for the murder of Sue Dibny.

  15. You know bookrats, you’re making a joke. But one of the Blackhawks murdering Sue Dibney and setting up the deaths of Captain Boomerang and Robin’s dad makes JUST as much sense as Jean Loring…

  16. “Der Schweins”? For a Nazi, von Horst sure isn’t very good at speaking German.