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!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 14

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 14

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 17

DATELINE
14 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 Eric Bradbury.

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
The Britons attack the Roman base and Crutus turns the tide.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Britons call their scythed chariots, Reapers.

BLACK HAWK
He requests the use of a chariots and some horses for some special training. He demonstrates to his men that they must jump over the scythes.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE HAWK
She lands on Crutus' shoulder and when he need to jump the Reaper's scythes, he does. Whether she helps lift him just that little bit higher or whether he believed she did is not clear.

STRONUS
He drives the chariot for Black Hawk's special training.

BATUS
He affixes wooden stakes to the chariot for Black Hawk's special training, to represent scythes.

CRUTUS
Supply soldier and one of Black Hawk's men. He is infirm and walks with the aid of a crutch. He volunteers to attempt Black Hawk's special training, but is knocked to ground and mocked. Black Hawk puts him in charge of the field mess. When the rebels attack with their Reapers, Crutus stands firm, the hawk lands on his shoulder and he attempts to jump the scythes again. He succeeds and then jumps into the chariot itself. Crutus attacks the charioteer and takes control of the vehicle. He is killed by another charioteer armed with a spear, but not before the overturns the chariot in the path of the oncoming rebels. Black Hawk describes as the bravest man he has ever known.

DEATHS
Probably dozens. We see at least three Romans killed by the scythes of the Reapers, Crutus is speared by a British charioteer and the crash Crutus caused must have lead to a loss of life.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
Charioteer: "Curse you Roman dog! You did not look capable of such a feat!"

Uh, thanks.

CATCHPHRASES
A British charioteer screams an "Aiee!" and his victim joins in with a "Aieeeeeee!", when Crutus hits a charioteer with his crutch his victim lets out an "Aiieerrghhh!" and the crash Crutus caused elicits an "Aieee!".

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Hooray for Crutus. The most interesting character to appear in Black Hawk since it began. I hope he's around for a long time to come. Oh.

Next Week: Massacre!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 13

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 13

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 16

DATELINE
7 July 79

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

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk and his men escape Londinium.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Boadicea, although not explicitly named as such.

INFORMATION
Human beings can hold their breath for at least three minutes.

BLACK HAWK
He, Stronus and Batus demonstrate to the men that they can hold their breath for three minutes. He orders the men to hold their breath and swim underwater, and under the cover of the waterfowl on the surface, to avoid being caught by the rebels. They successfully traverse the river.

OTHER CHARACTERS
MISTRESS
She flies over he waterfowl on the river preventing them from flying off.

STRONUS
He, Black Hawk and Batus demonstrate to the men that they can hold their breath for three minutes. He stops a breathless Barabba from breaking the surface of the water. They successfully traverse the river.

BATUS
He, Black Hawk and Stronus demonstrate to the men that they can hold their breath for three minutes. They successfully traverse the river.

BARABBA
He runs out of whilst swimming underwater and Black Hawk forces him to breathe air from a discarded wineskin. They successfully traverse the river.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
None.

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
A Roman mile is equivalent to 1620 yards or 1481 metres (see MISTAKES below).

MISTAKES
Black Hawk estimates the distance to swim as half a Roman mile, so about 740 metres. The current freestyle world record for the 400 metres is 3 minutes 40.07 seconds, so well over the three minute mark. The closest distance measured for which a world record is collated that I could find was the 800 metres freestyle and 7 minutes 32.12 seconds, so it's no wonder Barabba was running out of air. That said the current record for holding one's breath underwater (without resorting to breathing pure oxygen) is 11 minutes 35 seconds.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This is dull. Black Hawk's demonstration of holding his breath and his yelling to Stronus and Batus whilst hiding from the rebels are both pretty daft.

Next Week: Chariots Of Death!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Black Hawk, Part 12

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 12

FIRST PUBLISHED
Tornado Issue 15

DATELINE
30 June 79

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

PAGE COUNT
4

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Black Hawk and his men attempt to escape rebel occupied Londinium.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Following the Roman departure from Londinium, the rebel troops turned on the Romanised Britons.


BLACK HAWK
He and his men are trapped in Londinium and surrounded by British rebel forces. Black Hawk orders his men to wrap heavy chains around a Roman archway, he confronts the rebels alone and leads them back to the archway where his men pull it down on them. They move their position, but are trapped again by a rebel barricade. Black Hawk considers an escape by water.

OTHER CHARACTERS
THE HAWK
She hovers over a hiding Barabba and Pocus.

BARABBA & POCUS
He and Pocus hide in an outdoor Roman bath rather than fight. He is revealed by the hawk. This inspires Black Hawk to escape via water.

DEATHS
At least a couple of dozen. We see five British rebels buried in falling masonry from the archway and an unknown number of Romanised Britons drown when their boat sinks.

BEST LINES
None.

WORST LINES
Black Hawk: "You wanted to see Roman London fall, Britons - now you have it!"

CATCHPHRASES
The crushed Britons scream an "Aieeeeeeeeee!", Black Hawk uses Zeus' name in vain.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
This strip achieves very little in story terms, but it adjusts the character of Barabba from conniving coward to comedy coward.

Next Week: The Way Out!