Monday, 4 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 21

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 21

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 128

DATELINE
1 Sep 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Blackhawk saves the Director's life and receives a pain-inducing tork-band as payment.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Blackhawk's tork-band. First Black Hawk letters by Pete Knight.

INFORMATION
The Entertainers use metal tork headbands to maintain discipline. Removal of the tork causes the wearer great pain.

BLACKHAWK
He fights and beats the creature, but refuses to take its life. When the creature attacks the Director, Blackhawk kills it. He is rewarded with a tork-band and a demonstration of the pain it can cause. He passes out.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE DIRECTOR
When the creature attacks him, Blackhawk kills it.

DEATHS
One. Blackhawk stabs the creature to death with his sword.

BEST LINES
Blackhawk: "Skill? There is no skill in butchery! I am a warrior - not a weak-hearted murderer!"

WORST LINES
Blackhawk: "Much as I would like you dead, Director...I cannot stand by while a dumb animal slaughters an intelligent being!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Pete Knight

REVIEW
Belardinelli's art continues to impress. Blackhawk has a chance to let the Director die, but his ethics don't allow him to "stand by while a dumb animal slaughters an intelligent being!" Is that an uncharacteristic move that we will all come to regret.

It Is Half Man...It Is Half Bat...It Is Wholly Evil! Don't Miss The Claws Of Battak In Two Weeks Time!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Black Hawk, Park 20

NAME
Black Hawk, Park 20

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 127

DATELINE
25 Aug 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk finds himself on spaceship.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Stadium and its Director. First use of Blackhawk as one word. First Black Hawk by 'Alvin Gaunt', Massimo Belardinelli and Tom Frame.

INFORMATION
The Entertainers are a species capable of space travel. One of their spaceships, Stadium, transports individuals from other planets and forces them to fight in gladiatorial battles.

BLACKHAWK
He is transported from Rome to a spaceship called Stadium. The ship's director explains that he has been chosen to fight as a gladiator for an audience. Blackhawk refuses and contemplates suicide rather than provide entertainment as a slave. He changes his mind when the Director leaves him alone with a fellow gladiator creature.


OTHER CHARACTERS
THE DIRECTOR
He is in command of Stadium. He explains to Black Hawk his new circumstances and briefly allows him to contemplate suicide.

DEATHS
Two. Blackhawk kills two drones upon his arrival on the Stadium.

BEST LINES
Blackhawk: "I will take no part in your tests! In Rome I was a Centurion. Now you would make me a slave again...but I have torn off the chains of slavery once - I will not wear them again! I will die first!"

WORST LINES
Blackhawk: "Here's good Roman steel for you, Barbarian scum!"

Firstly, didn't happen. Secondly, that's not who Black Hawk is.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
The reprise from Part 19 isn't even close to how the story ended in Tornado.

RETROSPECT
This must have been a huge surprise at the time.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Belardinelli
Letters: Tom Frame

REVIEW
This is an exciting and intriguing development. Belardinelli's art is stunning and the dialogue is better than it has been for a long while. Black Hawk himself sometimes got lost in the original dynamic, this forces him front and centre with great results.

Next Prog: Man Against Monster In..."And One Must Die!"

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Black Hawk, Park 19

NAME
Black Hawk, Park 19

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado No 22

DATELINE
18 Aug 79

The last issue of Tornado featured The Angry Planet, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, The Lawless Touch, Storm, Captain Klep, Victor Drago and two of Tornado's True Tales, with a Storm cover by Cam Kennedy.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Crassus tries to frame Black Hawk, who kills him and is somehow transported away.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last Black Hawk to feature in Tornado, last appearance of Stronus, Batus, Crassus, Nero and the Hawk.

INFORMATION
None.

BLACK HAWK
He meets Nero who decides to inspect Black Hawk's men. Whilst waiting for the Emperor, he encounters an old woman who says his destiny lies in the stars and the night will bring death. He heads to the Emperor's Palace, where Crassus accuses him of planning to kill Nero. They fight and Black Hawk kills Crassus. A strange mist descends and he is transported somewhere else.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CRASSUS
He decides to frame Black Hawk in an assassination attempt on the Emperor Nero.

NERO
He meets Black Hawk and decides to review his auxiliaries.

STRONUS
He trains Black Hawk's men in readiness for the Emperor's visit.

BATUS
As he is transported away, Black Hawk puts him in command of the men.

DEATHS
One. Black Hawk stabs Crassus with his sword.

BEST LINES
The Hawk: "Skee? Skee?"

WORST LINES
Black Hawk (thinks): "Those traitors were Nubians - black as me - but they valued another colour - gold, given them by an enemy, but who is it that wants to see me dead?"

For eighteen weeks, Black Hawk dealt with race in a surprisingly forthright and progressive manner only to throw it all away at the end of the Tornado run.

CATCHPHRASES
A roman screams an "Aieeeeee!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Caligula (or Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus)(AD 12–41) was Roman emperor from AD 37–41 and was indeed assassinated.

MISTAKES
Black Hawk says he lacks Crassus' "viper's toneue"

RETROSPECT
Black Hawk will continue as a very different strip in 2000AD

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G. F. Day
Artist: Azpiri
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
Black Hawk's Tornado era comes to an end and goes out in style. Nero, the old crone, Black Hawk killing Crassus are all great, as is Black Hawk's exit, it's just as shame that, for obvious reasons, it all seems a little rushed.

Find Out Next Week, In 2000A.D. & Tornado!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 18

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 18

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado No 21

DATELINE
11 Aug 79

This issue of Tornado also featured The Angry Planet, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, The Lawless Touch, Storm, Tornado's True Tales, Victor Drago and Victor Drago's Black Museum Of Villains, with a cover featuring The Lawless Touch by Barry Mitchell.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk survives another assassination attempt.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.

BLACK HAWK
He breaks up a fight between Sulphur and a Cretan. When they are caught fighting again, he leads them in a party to the market in Rome with the two Nubian recruits as escorts. He sends Sulphur and the Cretan to purchase fruit, while they are away the Nubians attack him. Sulphur comes to his aid.

OTHER CHARACTERS
SULPHUR
He spent years in the sulphur mines of Sicily and his skin and hair are stained bright yellow. He joins Black Hawk's auxiliaries. He brawls with a Cretan recruit until Black Hawk breaks it up. They fight again and destroy the men's supply of fruit. Black Hawk orders them to carry heavy baskets from a trip to the market in Rome. He saves Black Hawk from a second attempt on his life by the Nubian recruits.

THE CRETAN
He is from Crete. He joins Black Hawk's auxiliaries. He brawls with Sulphur until Black Hawk breaks it up. They fight again and destroy the men's supply of fruit. Black Hawk orders them to carry heavy baskets from a trip to the market in Rome. He saves Black Hawk from a second attempt on his life by the Nubian recruits.

BATUS
He breaks up a fight between Sulphur and a Cretan, but not before they destroy the men's supply of fruit.

NERO
Emperor. Black Hawk sees him in the streets of Rome.

CRASSUS
He hired the Nubians to kill Black Hawk.

DEATHS
Two. Both the Nubian assassins are slain, Sulphur drowns one, while the Cretan breaks the other's neck.

BEST LINES
Sulphur: "Don't call me yellow... I don't like it!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
Black Hawk says "Zeus!" again.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Nero (AD 37–68) was Roman Emperor from AD 54 to 68.

MISTAKES
The Cretan doesn't have a name, but at one point is referred to as if it was his name.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G. F. Day
Artist: Azpiri
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
Sulphur and the Cretan are another great addition to the strip and it's a shame that they aren't going to play much of a part in the rest of the story.

Next Week: The Dramatic Turning Point!

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 17

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 17

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 20

DATELINE
4 Aug 79

This issue of Tornado also featured The Angry Planet, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, The Lawless Touch, Storm, Captain Klep, Tornado's True Tales, Victor Drago, Big E In Action and Victor Drago's Black Museum Of Villains, with a cover by Unknown.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk meets some new recruits.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.

BLACK HAWK
He and his men arrive back in Rome. He is greeted as a hero by the slaves outside the city, but prevented from entering the city by Crassus. They are joined by several new recruits, including a couple of fellow Nubians and a blind man who saves him from an assassin within the quarry. Black Hawk suspects the assassin is one of his new recruits.

OTHER CHARACTERS
CRASSUS
Now a Tribune, he prevents Black Hawk or his men from entering Rome and instead sends them to the quarry where they first trained.

BARABBA
The blind man could tell he was concealing some wine.

THE BLIND MAN
He hears so well that he fights as well as a sighted man. He volunteers to join Black Hawk's auxiliaries and fights Black Hawk and two of his men. He prevent an assassination attempt on Black Hawk's life. He can smell poison and claims to be able to smell treachery and deceit.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Blind Man: "The feathers I hear are not of that bird..."
Black Hawk: "An arrow! And it was heading straight for me!"
Blind Man: "Aye. Those were the feathers I heard!"

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The blind man who sees better is an archetype that goes back as far as Greek mythology and Tiresias.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G. F. Day
Artist: Azpiri
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
This is great stuff and the blind seer would have been a welcome addition to the last sixteen parts. It's a shame we don't meet more potential assassins.

Next Week: Can Black Hawk Escape The Assassin?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 16

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 16

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 19

DATELINE
28 July 79

This issue of Tornado also featured The Angry Planet, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, Wagner's Walk, Storm, The Lawless Touch, Big E In Action, Victor Drago's Black Museum Of Villains and Victor Drago, with a cover by Massimo Belardinelli.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk reluctantly searches for Boadicea, but finds Barabba.

FIRSTS & LASTS
Last Black Hawk set in Britain.

INFORMATION
None.

BLACK HAWK
He and his auxiliaries are ordered to join the search for Boadicea. He orders Barabba be dressed up as Boadicea and ride her chariot past the Roman victory celebrations. Weeks alter he receives new orders to return to Rome.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BARABBA
He attempts to find Boadicea's body in the forest to sell to the Roman generals, but Black Hawk discovers him and knocks him out of a tree. Wearing a fallen bird's nest as a wig, he is forced to ride Boadicea's chariot past the Roman victory celebrations.

DEATHS
One. A Briton dies of an arrow wound. We do not see definitive evidence of Boadicea's death.

BEST LINES
Black Hawk: "Look, a Roman victory in full swing! I knew it wouldn't be long before they were gorging themselves!"

WORST LINES
Briton #1: "Boadicea! But she is dead! It's a trick!
Briton: "But not a trick on us. Look at those Romans scatter! Ha, Ha!"

CATCHPHRASES
A falling Barabba screams an "Aieeee!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Nobody knows how Boadicea died, Tacitus (Circa AD 56–after 117) wrote that she poisoned herself, while Dio (Circa AD 155–235) says she fell sick and died.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G.F. Day
Artist: A. Azpiri
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
This is a nice note to end Black Hawk's British visit on, but I'm not sure how creating the illusion that Boadicea is still alive means the Romans will stop looking for her.

Next Week: All Roads Lead To Rome!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 15

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 15

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 18

DATELINE
21 July 79

This issue of Tornado also features The Angry Planet, The Mind Of Wolfie Smith, Wagner's Walk, The Lawless Touch, Storm, Captain Klep, Victor Drago's Black Museum Of Villains and Victor Drago itself, with a cover by Ian Kennedy.

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk spares Boadicea's life.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
None.

BLACK HAWK
He and his men fight the rebels until they are routed and then as the Roman Legions take their revenge. Black Hawk misses Boadiciea, apparently on purpose.

OTHER CHARACTERS
BOADICEA
Black Hawk misses her with his javelin.

DEATHS
At least eight, but presumably hundreds. We see two Brits killed in battle and Black Hawk spears at least eight buzzards with a single throw.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
Barabba: "Wait! The Centurion's picked up another Javelin!"

CATCHPHRASES
A Roman soldier mentions "Zeus!" and a British Rebel screams an "Aieeee!".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
The collective noun for "a pack of buzzards" is apparently a wake of buzzards.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: G.F. Day
Artist: Azpiri
Letters: Unknown

REVIEW
Black Hawk is shamed by his actions and appalled by those of the Legions. This should be a great character moment, but it's lost. It's a shame that we don't really get to see their atrocities as Black Hawk's turnabout comes seemingly from nowhere and results in some unnecessary avicide.

Next Week: Pride Goes Before A Fall!