Friday, 8 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 25

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 25

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 133

DATELINE
6 Oct 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Blackhawk beats a Smiling Chukwalla and takes on Zog.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First and last Blackhawk art by Joe Staton.

INFORMATION
Macmac is an alien beverage.

BLACKHAWK
He defeats Henry in the arena and the Director introduces him to Zog.

OTHER CHARACTERS
URSA
He defends Blackhawk against the other gladiators.

THE DIRECTOR
He traps Blackhawk with Zog.

HENRY
A Smiling Chikwalla. Blackhawk kills him.

ZOG
A dwarf. The Director's scientists have removed certain neural connections from his brain and replaced brain cells with plasteen and steelex. Zog moves incredibly fast and will attack anything that moves. The Director sets Zog on Blackhawk.

DEATHS
One. Blackhawk kills Henry in the arena.

BEST LINES
Zog: "Zog? Zog! Zog! Zog! Zog! Zog?"

WORST LINES
Anti-Blackhawk Competitor: "Creepy alien-lover!"

This line makes no sense. The gladiators are all from different species.

CATCHPHRASES
This week Blackhawk swears "By the dark gods!" and "By the jackal!" and "By the stars!" and "By my ancestors...!". Ursa say "chop-chop" four times, while Blackhawk says it once. Zog says his own name six times.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
A Smiling Chukwalla was first seen in Strontium Dog: Two-Faced Terror, part 3 .

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Joe Staton
Letters: Jack Potter

REVIEW
The art is fresh and the story engaging. Zog is welcome addition here. The appearance of a Smiling Chukwalla draws Blackhawk into the same continuity as Strontium Dog and therefore the Dreddverse.

Next Prog: HateHateHate!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 24

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 24

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 132

DATELINE
29 Sep 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS

FIRSTS & LASTS
First Blackhawk art by Ramon Sola, first appearance Ursa's song(s).

INFORMATION
Gladiatorial fights are recorded on Hover-Vid.

BLACKHAWK
He and Ursa fight a Kraakhan Fear-Beast. After Ursa's kills it, Blackhawk swims him back to shore.

OTHER CHARACTERS
URSA
Ursa cannot swim. He and Blackhawk fight a Kraakhan Fear-Beast. Ursa kills it.

DEATHS
One. Ursa kills the Kraakhan Fear-Beast with his axe.

BEST LINES
The subtle differences between Ursa's battle song and Ursa's victory song: "My axe he chop with crashing thud! Soon he be spilling plenty blood!" and "My axe has chopped with crashing thud! He has been spilling plenty blood!"

WORST LINES
Ursa: "Axe make biggest ever chop-chop!"

CATCHPHRASES
Blackhawk swears "By the sacred jackal!"

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Alvin Gaunt
Artist: Sola
Letters: Peter Knight

REVIEW
This a nice triumph over adversity character building moment between Blackhawk and Ursa.

Next Prog: Zog! Zog! Zog!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 23

NAME
Blackhawk, Part 23

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 131

DATELINE
22 Sep 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Blackhawk beats Battak and spares him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
Stun-nets and vibro-clubs are weapons.

BLACKHAWK
He breaks one of Battak's talons to prevent him from harming Ursa. The Director pit him against Battak in the arena. Blackhawk beats Battak, but refuses to kill him. The native leader gives Blackhawk a choice between death or a fight against a predator from his planet. Blackhawk accepts and Ursa elects to fight alongside him.

OTHER CHARACTERS
URSA
Blackhawk breaks one of Battak's talons trying to protect Ursa. Blackhawk accepts a challenge and Ursa elects to fight alongside him.

BATTAK
He can fly. Blackhawk breaks one of his talons. The Director pit him against Blackhawk in the arena. Black

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Vendor: "Get your suxx here! They taste as good as they smell!"

WORST LINES
Blackhawk: "More death...always more death! But I cannot refuse a challenge! I will fight!"

CATCHPHRASES
Blackhawk says "spawn of the crocodile!" again.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Unknown.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
The fight against Battak is great and his character design is excellent, but everything he says is dull. As a reader, you are hoping Blackhawk will kill him.

Next Prog: The Kraakhan Fear-Beast!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Black Hawk, Part 22

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 22

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 AD & Tornado Prog 130

DATELINE
15 Sept 79

PAGE COUNT
5

REPRINTS
Black Hawk: The Intergalactic Gladiator.

SYNOPSIS
Blackhawk and Ursa must not help each to survive Battak's assault course.

FIRSTS & LASTS
First appearance of Ursa.

INFORMATION
(This strip is set "two thousand years ago", which if taken literally would mean 21 BC)

BLACKHAWK
He awakes surrounded by members of various species. He meets Ursa and Battak. He undertakes Battak's assault course and helps Ursa survive. He is not the first human to have been kidnapped by the entertainers.

OTHER CHARACTERS
URSA
He is friendly to Blackhawk and punished for it by Battak. Blackhawk helps him survive Battak's assault course..

BATTAK
Squad leader. He punishes Ursa for being friendly toward Blackhawk and orders the gladiators to the assault course. He later threatens both Blackhawk and Ursa for helping each other to survive the assault course.

DEATHS
None.

BEST LINES
Blackhawk: "Blood of the jackal!"

WORST LINES
Battak: "You, Bear! You spoke to the new human. You were being friendly. You know it is not allowed to be friendly!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
Ursa means Bear in the Latin.

MISTAKES
None.

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

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

REVIEW
Despite being quite predictable this part successfully introduces Blackhawk's new sidekick and reinforces the new format of the strip.

.. Claws Unsheathed .. Death Approaches .. Do Not Miss Next Prog!

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, Part 20

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 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, Part 19

NAME
Black Hawk, Part 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!